June 19, 1867
The first graduation exercises were held in the Chapel. Four members of the Class of 1867, Harriet Warner, Maria Dickinson, Elizabeth Geiger and Helen D. Woodward received the first Vassar baccalaureate degrees. Certificates of completion were awarded in place of formal diplomas, pending the resolution—which happened the next year—of the question of awarding “bachelor’s” degrees to women.
The New York Times marked the event in two paragraphs:
“The Vassar College Commencement took place this morning. The weather was beautiful. Four young ladies graduated. Original compositions were read in Latin and French; also an English poem and a valedictory.
“Among the distinguished visitors were Hon. Wm. Kelly, James Harper, Jerome Hopkins, Benson Lossing, and others.”
Frequent visitors to the college in later years, two Detroit classmates, Maria Dickinson McGraw and Harriet Warner Bishop attended the college's 50th anniversary in 1915, and Mrs. Bishop attended the 75th in 1940.