With the appointment of Dr. Austen Riggs as consulting psychiatrist and lecturer on mental hygiene, Vassar pioneered in providing psychotherapeutic consultation for undergraduates. An innovator of mental hygiene through talk therapy combined with a regimen of work, play and rest, Riggs founded the Stockbridge Institute for the Psychoneuroses in Stockbridge, MA, which in 1919 became The Austen Riggs Foundation.  His duties at Vassar included clinics, direct treatment of students and college lectures on mental hygiene.

Recommending the appointment to the trustees, President MacCracken said, “The number of cases of mental fatigue and of nervous diseases among students, while not large, is serious enough to warrant action….”     Trustee Minutes