June 24, 1874
Under their class motto, "Finis Coronat Opus," 42 members of the Class of 1874 received their degrees in the Chapel at Vassar's eighth Commencement. The traditional organ voluntary was followed by an invocation by the chancellor of New York University, Rev. Howard Crosby. The literary and musical exercises followed, and, in a departure from custom, the musical pieces were given by members of the music faculty: the Misses Charlotte Finch ‘72 and Eliza M. Wiley and Mrs. Alma B. Goodrich.
The Latin salutatory oration, given by Lizzie Andrews Hill ’74, was followed by student orations, which included “The Specialist in Natural Science,” by Anna Louise Meeker ’74, “Deutschland und die Wissenschaft,” by Lucretia Stow ’74 and “The Deformity of Symmetry,” by Mary Walley Marvin ’74. The oratorical opposition for 1874 was between “Competition Fatal to High Scholarship,” given by Fannie Florence Fisher ’74, and “Competition Favorable to High Scholarship,” given by Laura Higbee Brownell ’74. The valedictory address was given by Florence Cushing ’74.
The conferring of degrees on the 42 graduate was followed by a luncheon and tours of the college facilities. The New York Times