March 19, 1919
A meeting, convened at the request of C. Mildred Thompson ‘03, professor of history and chairman of the committee on admission, discussed the college’s policy, if any, about “the acceptance of Negro students.” Two prospective students whom Thompson believed were daughters of Anita Hemmings Love ’97, a graduate of African American lineage who had passed for white while a student, had sent in preliminary “cards of application.” “To my assistant,” Thompson recalled in a note to the file, “I remarked that, knowing what I had heard, I had no right to accept the applications without authorization from the Committee.”
Also present at the meeting were President MacCracken, Dean Ella McCaleb ’78, Warden Jean Palmer ’93, Associate Professor of English Margaret Judson, Associate Professor of Chemistry Annie MacLeod and the committee’s secretary, Vera B. Thompson. “My recollection,” Professor Thompson wrote, “is that in reporting the specific applications I asked if Vassar had any policy in regard to the acceptance of Negro students. According to my memory there was no difference of opinion expressed among the members. All agreed that Vassar had no specific policy as to Negroes, who would be expected to meet the requirements which pertained to all.” The minutes of the meeting conclude: “Secretary was instructed to accept application.”
Ellen Love graduated from Vassar in 1927.