October 19, 1960
Professor of English Doris Russell, chair of the faculty committee for the college's centennial, and faculty colleagues revealed the centennial's major event at an assembly in the Chapel. An article in The Miscellany News urged "every student..to attend the assembly to learn the essential and rewarding part she can play in the program." "The highlghts on the calendar," Professor Russell said, "are events dependent upon student interest and participation."
Joan Gordon of the sociology department and chemist Edward Linner spoke about student involvement in the Conference on the Natural and Social Sciences, scheduled for the weekend of November 5—the same weekend, The Miscellany News noted, as Junior Party, a major social event of the year. Anita Zorzoli of the physiology department discussed the much anticipated participation later that month of a team from Vassar in the "G.E. College Bowl" television program. Professor Zorzoli coached the five-member team: Eleanor Green '61, Joan Oxman '61, Perre MacFarland '62, Dana Dowling '63 and Marina Darrow '63.
The major mid-winter event was to be the Festival of the Mid-Nineteenth Century being planned by Professor Arthur Satz from the music department and Elizabeth Daniels from the English department. The focus of the festival's lectures, discussions and associated events was the two decades before and after the founding of the college in 1861.
Professor Dean Mace from the English department discussed the week-long International Conference scheduled for March 19-24, 1961, which would convene participants from around the world to "consider common problems and values of their divergent cultures." Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt would welcome the delegates to the conference, which was supported by a $5,000 grant from the Hazen Foundation. "Seldom at any college," Mr. Mace told the assembled students, "can there be for an occasion so large and distinguished a collection of contemporary leaders drawn from over the surface of the whole earth...challenging us to consider with all of our resources of intellect and experience one of the major questions of our time."
The following week,an editoria in The Miscellany Newsl, "Centennial Disenchantment," expressed the editors' concern that "after five years of elaborate planning—with careful attention given to the special pink of the Vassar rose—the Centennial Committee has made one oversight in their plans—they have forgotten the student body." While praising the scope and importance of the several conferences, the editorial cited the lack of student participation in their planning and such details as the scheduling of the International Conference during the spring vacation, when it "will be missed by a good part of the student body" and the diversion for the major conferences (with the exception of the International Conference) of lecture funds from "independent lectures that usually supplement our academic work."
In response the planning committees pledged to work with students wishing to contribute to the centennial events and the trustees approved additional funding and offered free room and board during the spring vacation for students wishing to attend the March conference.