June 7, 1961
An estimated 6,000 alumnae and spouses from the United States and ten foreign countries participated in Vassar's centennial reunion. Representatives of Vassar classes from as far back as 1889 joined in the parade led by a car containing Jenny Mae Wickes ’89, Henrietta Houston Hawes ’91 and Louise Lawrence Meigs ‘91.
President Blanding announced that alumnae centennial gifts reached “the magnificent sum” of $1,352,680, the largest annual alumnae gift in the college’s history. The alumnae, “the pride and glory of the college,” the president said, “have insured freedom and vitality for the college to grow and change.” Another gift, announced at an earlier date, was an enlarged steel engraving, 17 by 20 inches, of the south front view of the White House, in a shadow-box gold frame with antique velvet matting. President Blanding read the enclosed message from Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, ex-’51:
“I am proud to have been a student at the first large woman’s college in the United States to achieve its 100th birthday. I know Vassar will continue to instill in each student, along with the love of knowledge, a desire to serve her family, her community and the nation. The President joins me in congratulating you today.”
The reunion events included two short comic operas “Mardi Gras,” by Mildred Kayden '42, and “Trial of the Dog,” adapted from The Wasps of Aristophanes by Martha Alter '25, and a pageant of college life, “The Colors of the Day,” by Muriel Ruykeyser ’34 in the Outdoor Theatre. The centennial photographic exhibition, The Magnificent Enterprise: Education Opens the Door, continued. The New York Times