The Missionary Society of Vassar College was founded. In June 1867 the name was changed to the Society for Religious Inquiry. The society conducted extensive correspondence with foreign and domestic missionaries, often requesting and—after supplying sufficient postage—receiving artifacts for their cabinet of curiosities.  In December, 1870, Justus Doolittle, a missionary in Foo Chow, China, wrote to the society: “...I’m afraid that there are few things here that are interesting.  Though some things are funny if you understand them.”

In 1872 the society began correspondence with African American students at the Hampton Institute in Virginia, sending also from time to time contributions to help with their expenses.  In December of 1874 the society’s secretary Jeannie Price heard from Robert Kelson, a Hampton student: “…I am trying to do the best I can because I feel that it is here we are to be made men and women, who can assist in educating our race, and doing other good which is needed in our country.”

The society was reorganized in 1885 as the Young Women's Christian Association of Vassar College and for many years was popularly known as "Christians."