A major centennial event, an international conference on “Emerging values and new directions of present-day societies—their implications for education,” brought over 40 scholars, scientists, diplomats and writers, representing 20 countries in the non-Communist world, to the campus. After a welcome from President Blanding and a greeting from Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, British economist and political analyst Barbara Ward gave the keynote address to an audience of 500 in the Chapel.  Her topic was the comparative abilities of the West and those of the Communist countries to appeal to the world’s underdeveloped nations.  Although its basis is coercion, she said, the Communist model’s appeal as a ready-made system is likely to have an advantage in many African areas.  Miss Ward’s address was the basis for discussions in the following day’s seminars.
Other speakers included: Alva Myrdal, Swedish Ambassador to India and noted sociologist, author and teacher; Indian Deputy Minister of State Lakshmi Menon; American philosopher Susanne K. Langer, professor of philosophy at Connecticut College and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Vera Micheles Dean, distinguished American author and lecturer, editor for the Foreign Policy Association and former Vassar trustee.
Panelists included Egyptian social worker and family planning pioneer Zahia Marzouk; Nigerian barrister and businesswoman J. Aduke Moore; British politician and diplomat David Owen; former Pakistani delegate to the U. N. Commission on the Status of Women Begum Anwar Ahmed; former Indian Minister of Health and president of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Rajkumari Amrit Kaur,; Argentine economist and educational historian Dr. Elba Gomez del Rey de Kybal; Greek author and educator Ketty Stassinopoulou, vice-president of the International Council of Women; Danish Judge Helga Pedersen; Christian Democrat member of the German Bundestag and Federal Minister of Health Elisabeth Schwarzhaupt; Indonesian Minister of Health Hurustiati Subandrio; Korean educator Helen Kim, president of Ehwa Womans University; Margaret Ballinger, the first president of the South African Liberal Party and former member of the South African Parliament; Chilean educator and women’s rights advocate Irma Salas de Silva; Lebanese writer and educator Salwa C. Nassar; Yugoslavian composer and teacher Lala Spajic; Polish biochemist Alina Szumlewicz, a specialist in tropic diseases; Parvin Birjandi, the first dean of women at the University of Tehran, Iran; Dutch lawyer and diplomat Jeantine Hefting, former alternate delegate to the U. N. Commission on the Status of Women and Mexican jurist, playwright, journalist and ambassador Amalia de Castillo Ledón.
Discussion leaders included United Nations Under Secretary Ralph Bunche, Professor Emeritus of Economics Mabel Newcomer, foreign affairs expert Dr. Dorothy Fosdick, eminent teacher and critic Germaine Bree and Connecticut College President Rosemary Park.
The Voice of America, the United States government’s external broadcasting service, taped nearly half of the conference participants, and the interviews were broadcast in many countries.  The proceedings of the conference, edited and with commentary by the journalist, foreign correspondent and editor Emmet John Hughes, were published in 1962 by Harper and Row as Education in World Perspective: the International Conference on World Education, Celebrating the Centennial of Vassar College.