May 28, 1874
The junior class gave the seniors a moonlight excursion down the Hudson on the steamer Mary Powell, in place of the usual reception. This became an annual custom until the faculty discontinued it in 1885, citing its expense, the danger from wandering ferry boats and some detrimental remarks from newspaper men. The tradition was restored in June 1899.
“The most celebrated excursion was the trip to West Point on the Mary Powell in 1877. The cadets turned out in a body, clambered over the rocks by the river, and waved ‘pocket handkerchiefs’ to the young ladies, who fluttered theirs in return (it is not recorded whether or not with the permission of the Lady Principal), and exclaimed in the Miscellany later, ‘What elegant uniforms!’” Frances T. Marburg ’15, “The Social Life,” The Vassar Miscellany, Vassar 1865-1915, From the Undergraduate Point of View, Fiftieth Anniversary Number