June 22, 1875
Class Day for the Class of 1875 began at 3 pm in the Chapel. A band played a march as the class assembled, led by their marshal, Emma Hollister ’75. The recitation of the class’s history by class historian Eva March Tappan ’75 was at times, according to The New York Times, “so irresistibly funny that the members of the Senior Class, fully appreciating her allusions, indulged in uncontrollable laughter.” After a poem by the class’s poet laureate, Mary Taylor ’75, Kate Roberts ’75 offered, one by one, the prophecies for her classmates, and as she “surrounded their future with impossibilities, the greatest merriment prevailed.”
Later, the band serenaded a crowd gathered under a pavilion for the dedication of the class tree, a young maple. Preparing to bury the class records at the tree’s base, Kate McBain ’75, holding Matthew Vassar’s spade, delivered the senior charge, praising the maple, which, she said, casts long shadows while yet letting sunlight shine through. She added that, although the maple had been chosen to represent the class, the class was not a “sappy” one. In the junior response, Mary Augusta Jordan ’76 said that she was interested to hear of the class’s lack of sap, “as that statement fully accounted for the absence of all sweetness in it.” An evening reception and dancing in the Calisthenium to the famous band of Patrick Gilmore concluded the class’s day.
The trustees, in a concurrent series of meetings, elected the Rev. Dr. J. Ryland Kendrick and William Allen Butler to the places left vacant by the deaths of founding trustees Rufus Babcock and George W. Sterling, gave out a detailed description of the college’s grounds and facilities and reported on the college’s finances. Receipts for the year totaled $170,000 and expenses—including $45,000 for extensive alterations to the former Riding Academy to accommodate the new museum—of $200,000. The year’s profits were about $16,000. The New York Times
The trustees also reported that the inventory of the college property showed its value to be nearly $700,000 and additional investments to amount to about $300,000, bringing the total value to $1,000,000. Collegiate students for the year were 214: seniors, 42; juniors, 51; sophomores, 58; freshmen, 63. Pursuing special collegiate courses were: juniors, 3; sophomores, 5; freshmen, 3. Students in the preparatory department totaled 159, for a total of 384 students at Vassar. The Chicago Tribune