Ella McCaleb ’78, who had returned to Vassar in 1885 as secretary to President Taylor, was named the first secretary of the college. In this role she functioned as a senior officer, overseeing with the president Vassar’s academic affairs and its correspondence. Attaining the rank of professor, she was named the first dean of the college in 1913. An important link the college’s early days, she served President MacCracken as dean until her retirement in l923.