As the new year began, the United States had 385,000 troops in Vietnam and 60,000 sailors offshore. American deaths in the war stood at 6,000, with another 30,000 wounded. Although the number of Vietcong killed was estimated at 61,000, their forces numbered over 280,000.
Dean-elect of the Faculty Nell Eurich was appointed vice-chairman of the Committee on New Dimensions, joining Dean of Studies Elizabeth A. Daniels '41 in directing the committee's work.
Former President Henry Noble McCracken announced his opposition to the college's proposed affiliation with Yale University, citing it as "an ethical breach of trust in the more than 1,000 individual endowments to Vassar College, dating back 106 years to Matthew Vassar's original $400,000 investment." A month later, in The New York Times, MacCracken charged that moving to New Have would be "a wholesale takeover of an independent institution," casting aside Vassar's independence "for a position alongside a big university. The Poughkeepsie Journal, The Miscellany News
At its first meeting, the Vassar-Yale Joint Trustee-Fellow Committee approved the guidelines for the Vassar-Yale coordinate study.
President Simpson and two aides met with 32 Dutchess County leaders in industry, government and education to discuss the study being undertaken by Vassar and Yale. Simpson ruled out closer cooperation with the four local colleges -- Bennett, Dutchess Community, Bard, and Marist -- as a suitable alternative to moving to New Haven. “I realize,” he said, “that a college must be rooted in the heart of a community, as Vassar is, and that it must serve the community. But…I have an even bigger responsibility. The college has an obligation to offer to some of the best women in the country some of the best education. The problem is how to fulfill that trust.”
City Manager Thomas W. Maurer said that the college’s 500 nonprofessional jobs and the support of its 1,600 students and 935 acre campus accounted for $7 million of the community’s economy and that the $200 million urban renewal program under way in Poughkeepsie would be slowed if Vassar took its business to New Haven. The group of legislators and businessmen stated that they would "press for the establishment of a graduate university center in Dutchess County regardless of whether Vassar College [moved] to New Haven." The Poughkeepsie Journal, The New York Times
The first of six meetings of a sub-committee of the Committee on the New Dimensions, chaired by Elizabeth A. Daniels, Dean of Studies, heard student thoughts on "the entire scope of Vassar education."
Merce Cunningham, Matthew Vassar Lecturer, presented a dance lecture-demonstration.
The college announced that 39 prominent alumnae and former faculty members had written to The Miscellany News criticizing Vassar student leaders’ failure to endorse a recent statement, sent to President Lyndon Johnson by students from many colleges and universities, which strongly opposed United States policy in Vietnam. “As alumnae and former faculty members,” the letter said, “proud of Vassar’s record of active concern for human life and social progress, we are disappointed in this silence.”
The letter’s signers included: Professor Emeritus of English Helen Sandison; Professor Emeritus of Economics Emily Clark Brown; poet Muriel Ruykeyser ’34; photographer Rollie Thorne McKenna ’40; Mary Clabaugh Wright ’38, professor of history at Yale; writers Felicia Lamport ‘37 and Jane Whitbread Levin ’36; art historian and critic Katharine Kuh ’25; Charlotte Curtis ’50, women’s news editor of The New York Times; Margaret Skelly Goheen ’41, the wife of Princeton president Robert Goheen and Jane Northrop Bancroft ’36, wife of the executive editor of The Times.
The editor of The Miscellany News was not immediately available for comment, and Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett said he would have “no comment because Vassar people, like everyone else, are free to express an opinion if they want or not express an opinion.”
Subsequently, Student Government Association President Marcia Sneden ’67 and Beth Dunlop ’69, the editor of The Miscellany News, responded that neither had known of the student leaders’ letter, but they noted that Ms. Sneden had been among a special student steering committee that met on January 31 with Secretary of State Dean Rusk to express strong student misgivings over the administration’s Vietnam policies. The New York Times
Assemblyman Victor Waryas introduced in the State Assembly a bill calling for the establishment of a university center at the Vassar College site.
A panel of seven seniors discussed their Vassar educations with the Trustee Committee on Undergraduate Life. Discussing "the relative merits of 'bigness' and the drawbacks thereof, "Vivian Bland '67, who spent her junior year in Princeton's critical languages program, found the level of "intellectual blood, sweat and tears" at the university on a par with that at Vassar, but she felt that the university perspective lent a sense of greater pupose to the work. Rosemary Boyd '67, a mathematics major, found the criticism of small college math departments unjust. "The Vassar education," she said, "is not designed to educate the men who can be educated anywhere." "I have learned here," she concluded, "to respect myself as a mathematician and a woman."
Kathleen McAfee '67, a biology major and Matthew Vassar scholar and the president of the Vassar Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), declared herself "rather bitterly disappointed with my intellectual experience at Vassar." A consistenty low level of expectation among the faculty and the "general maternalism of rules and regulations at Vassar"—along with an ineffectual College Government Association (CGA)—led, she said, to a general fear of experimentation at the college. But, Miss McAfee added, "the depth of my alienation is not shared by all students." Sara Linnie Slocum '67, a former editor-in-chief of The Miscellany News and an honors history major, noted a growing disappointment among seniors with the approach of the end of their time at the college. "In me," she said, "it's taken the form of not caring anymore. It's the feeling that there was nothing you could have done about the place." There was at Vassar, she added "no way to expand your horizons."
Trustee John F. Dooling's response to Miss Slocum, that the trustees "are not trying to adjust you to the world but to maladjust you to a bad world," provoked Ellen Kovner '67, a student observer to the discussion, to say, "You're doing us an injustice—you're turning our discontent into something admirable." Miss McAfee concluded this part of the conversation, declaring, "This education is precisely to maladjust you to a bad world, and it doesn't do that—it lulls you into complacency."
Other student speakers were Eve Slater '67, an honors chemistry major, and Jane Rubens '67, an English major. "I have felt," Miss Slater said, "a day by day, hour by hour learning process," adding "my education here has been special, but it is in jeopardy in terms of the future," and Miss Rubens said, "I am one of those who, given a choice, would come here again, but it isn't that this place is perfect."
In conclusion, Marcia Sneden '67, the program's moderator and the acting CGA president, summed up the attitude of the senor class as one of "withdrawal, retreat, frustration and quietism." The Miscellany News
William S. Gaud, administrator of the State Department’s 15 year-old Agency for International Development, lectured on "The U.S. Foreign Aid Program."
In his Winter Alumni Day address, President Kingman Brewster of Yale, spoke to 1,000 Yale alumnae and wives about the proposed Yale-Vassar study. Yale, he said, could make a crucial contribution to higher education with Vassar's move: human, library and laboratory resources would be better utilized and a coordinate college situation would better suit the increasing pace of the change in society.
“Bringing women in,” Brewster declared, “will enrich and enlarge the variety of interests, points of view and values taken into consideration in the classrooms and seminar rooms of Yale…. The presence of the opposite sex is a constructive stimulus to a higher level of performance on everyone's part, students and faculty of both sexes." The New York Times
New York Chamber Soloists Orchestra gave the Barbara Woods Morgan Memorial Concert in the Students' Building.
Robert Van Nice, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, gave the Class of 1928 Visiting Scholars' Lecture, entitled "Saint Sophia: An Architectural Inquiry." As resident representative of Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks research center, Van Nice published the core documentation on Hagia Sophia, the 6th century church/mosque/museum in Istanbul. The first volume of his St. Sophia in Istanbul: An Architectural Survey appeared in 1965, followed by volume two in 1986.
Columbia University musicologist Denis Stevens, former editor of Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians and founder of the baroque chorus and orchestra Accademia Monteverdiana, lectured on "Claudio Monteverdi: The Madrigalist."
Folk-singer Pete Seeger performed. Seeger, whose appearance at Vassar in 1962 was protested by the American Legion, was a vigorous opponent of the war in Vietnam. His 1967 song, “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” subtly attacked both the war and President Johnson, prompting its censorship in some performances.
Physician and sex educator Mary Steichen Calderone '25, lectured on "Sex Attitudes and Sex Education."
President Alan Simpson confirmed the announcement by Elizabeth Daniels, dean of studies, that the Committee on New Dimensions was “reorganizing to examine alternatives to the Yale-Vassar study."
American bassoonist and conductor Arthur Weisberg conducted the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, a group founded by Weisberg in 1961 and in residence at Rutgers as part of a workshop program supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Among the selections on the program was “Fantasy and Variations,” by Richard Wilson, who joined the Vassar music faculty in 1966.
The Board of Trustees approved the proposal that Elizabeth Daniels, Dean of Studies, devote the remainder of the semester as full-time chairman of the Committee on New Dimensions, in order to study alternatives to the Yale-Vassar coordination.
British poet Jon Silkin, read from his work. Silkin’s Poems, New and Selected appeared in 1966.
Civil rights leader Whitney Young, Jr., executive director of the National Urban League, lectured on "From Pledge to Performance in Civil Rights." Under Young’s direction, the league, a relatively small and cautious organization founded early in the 20th century, became a major force in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Spanish-Canarian historian, critic and essayist Juan Marichal, Harvard University, lectured on "The Intellectual and Politics in Modern Spain."
British philosopher and political theorist Sir Isaiah Berlin, former Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory and president of Wolfson College, University of Oxford, gave the first C. Mildred Thompson Lecture of the academic year, entitled, "The Enlightenment Century: Revolution in Ethics and Politics."
The Thompson lectureship, given by an anonymous donor, honored American historian C. Mildred Thompson '03, who taught in the history department from 1910 until 1923, when she became Vassar's dean, a position she held until her retirement in 1948. Dean Thompson died in 1975.
President Alan Simpson addressed Associate Alumnae of Vassar College, stating "Vassar cannot go it alone...It must break out in some constructive way. Otherwise it faces a 'brain drain.'" Dean of Studies Elizabeth Daniels also spoke on alternatives to the Yale-Vassar coordination.
Abstract expressionist painter Ad Reinhardt gave the1928 Visiting Scholars' Lecture entitled, "Artists among Artists."
Two hundred faculty and students marched in front of Main Building in silent protest against United States' involvement in Vietnam.
Irma Brandeis, Dante scholar and professor of literature at Bard College, lectured on "Glimpses of the Master's Hand: Two Canti from Dante's Purgatory."
Polish-born biologist, mathematician and historian of science Jacob Bronowski, associate director of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, gave the Sigma Xi RESA (Research Society of America) Lecture, entitled "The New Philosophy of Biology." Established in 1959, the club was a preliminary step in the establishment in 1995 of a chapter of Sigma Xi, a national honorary scientific society open to faculty members with associate membership for outstanding students.
Pioneer social psychologist Theodore M. Newcomb, founder of the doctoral program in social psychology at the University of Michigan, gave the Helen Gates Putnam Conservation Lecture, entitled "College Influences on Change and Persistence of Attitudes."
As letters of acceptance to Class of 1971 at Ivy League and Seven College Conference institutions went out, The New York Times noted sharply increased efforts to add cultural and racial diversity to their student bodies. The paper also presented application and acceptance data for the schools. At Vassar, where the 1,386 applications represented a 2.9 percent increase over the previous year, 699 applicants—50 percent—were accepted for 435 places.
Radcliffe, experiencing a 17.5 increase in applications accepted 350 of the 2,428 applicants—14.4 percent—for 300 places in the freshman class. Barnard, with 4.7 percent more applicants over 1966, accepted 48 percent; Mount Holyoke, seeing a 3.6 percent increase, accepted 41percent; Smith, with a 1.6 percent decline in applications, accepted 44 percent and Wellesley, down 7.9 percent in applications, accepted 30 percent.
Astrophysicist Vera Cooper Rubin '47, Carnegie Institution of Washington, lectured on "Galaxies and Quasars."
Judicial historian and biographer Carl Brent Swisher, Johns Hopkins University, gave the Sharpe Memorial Lecture, entitled "Law and Lawlessness."
American attacks on North Vietnamese airfields began, inflicting heavy damage on runways and installations and over time destroying about half of the North’s air power.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr., chaplain of Yale University, lectured on "The Ethics of the War in Vietnam." An early spokesman for the civil rights movement, Coffin was also among the first to denounce the United States presence in Vietnam.
Representatives from Vassar’s academic departments held preliminary discussions on coordination with their Yale counterparts.
Vassar held a symposium, "Historians Look at Latin America Today," in honor of Latin American and foreign policy scholar Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty Charles C. Griffin, who was retiring after 34 years in Vassar’s history department. The panelists included Robert Alexander, Rutgers University; Lewis Hanke, Columbia University; Frederick Pike, The University of Pennsylvania; Stanley Stein, Princeton University and Professor Griffin. Professor Carl Degler, the symposium's moderator, said its purpose was "to honor Charles Griffin for the high position he has acheived in the field of Latin American studies, both in this country and south of the Rio Grande." "On this occasion," Professor Degler continued, "Vassar will pay tribute to one of her most distinguished teachers and historians, as well as to the dean of the faculty."
In his retirement, Professor Griffin worked in Swift Hall under a grant from the Library of Congress, organizing the Library's Latin American section, and in the second term of 1967-68 he taught at Princeton. The Miscellany News
American mathematician and historian of mathematics Kenneth O. May, from the University of Toronto, lectured on "Quantity and Quality of the Mathematical Literature." May contributed “May’s theorem” to the field of social choice theory and was the founder of the International Commission on the History of Mathematics (ICHM).
The Honorable Eugenie Anderson, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, gave the inaugural Barbara Bailey Brown Lecture entitled, "The United Nations Now: Problems and Promises." The Barbara Bailey Brown Fund, was established in 1966 by the Class of 1932 in memory of their classmate Barbara Bailey '32 in support of programs and lectures fostering international understanding.
Yale University President Kingman Brewster addressed the Vassar faculty on Yale's vision for coordinate education.
The chancellor of the State University of New York, Samuel Gould, spoke to the Class of 1967 and their guests at Commencement, warning that the age had become a “juvenocracy, where even the old are preoccupied with youth. Yet there exists an acute lack of awareness between the youth who aims to keep up with change and the adult who styles himself in the image of youth and yet desires to preserve traditional realities.” Gould described the alienated youth who claimed that his education was manipulated and irrelevant: “He trusts no one over 30; his alienation is so rampant that he has begun scrutinizing his own peers and doubting his own motives.”
President Simpson conferred the bachelor’s degree on 388 graduates of the college. The New York Times
At the annual meeting of the Associate Alumnae of Vassar College (AAVC), alumnae fund chairman Mrs. Helen Hendrickson Couch '24 announced that the $7.5 million raised by alumnae to match a $2.5 million challenge grant from the Ford Foundation made Vassar the first college whose graduates had successfully matched a Ford Foundation challenge unaided by other bodies. The Ford challenge, issued in 1964 and set to expire on June 30, 1967 had already been met by the college in August of 1966.
The AAVC president, France Prindle Taft ’42 announced that 100 percent of the 165 living members of the Class of 1917 contributed to the class’s 50th anniversary gift of $400,000.
Dr. Nell P. Eurich became Dean of Faculty. A former member of the English department at New York University and former acting president of her alma mater, Stephens College, and of New College in Sarasota, FL, she was the wife of Alvin C. Eurich, president of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. Her Columbia PhD dissertation appeared as Science in Utopia: A Mighty Design from Harvard University Press in 1967.
Racial tensions erupted in Detroit when police raided a party for two returning Vietnam veterans at an unlicensed club. As trouble spread, city and state police were overwhelmed, and by the second day, nearly 500 fires and hundreds of separate incidents resulted in 1,800 arrests. President Johnson sent in Federal troops on the third day, and the 82nd Airborne stood ready to deploy paratroopers. Machine guns and tanks were used to regain control of several areas of the city.
Before subsiding on July 26, the riots had inspired similar incidents in Flint, Saginaw, Grand Rapids in Michigan and in Toledo, Ohio. In all: 43 people—33 of them African Americans—died; 467 people were injured; 7,231 people, ranging in age from four to 82—were arrested; 2,509 stores were burned or looted; 412 buildings were damaged irreparably; 388 families were homeless and damage estimates were between $40 and $80 million.
In the wake of racially-inspired riots in many parts of the country President Lyndon Johnson appointed a National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, to be chaired by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner with New York City Mayor John Lindsay as vice chair. The commission issued its report and a summary of its 17 chapters and six main recommendations on March 1, 1968.
Vassar celebrated the opening of the new computer center and the dedication of its IBM 360 computer. "No other women's college...has a computer of this capacity," stated President Alan Simpson. Professor of mathematics Winifred Asprey '38 introduced the keynote speaker at the dedication, her former Vassar professor and a computer pioneer, Commander Grace Murray Hopper '28, who spoke on "Computers and Your Future." Concurrently serving in the Navy (since 1943) and as staff scientist in the UNIVAC division of the Sperry Rand Corporation, Hopper, Susan Frelich '70 reported in The Miscellany News, "emphasized the future because she feels that she actually lives in the future. This is only the beginning of the computer age, she said; we are only beginning to know what to do with computers."
"She then explained that although computers can perform two operations simultaneously (multi-processing), we do not know how to use this power since human beings can only perform sequential rather than parallel thought operations. Creating a form of multi-dimensional mathematics should be our next challenge she said. She pointed out, however, that one must remember that machines are useless without people telling them what to do and that there is a serious shortage of such brainpower."
Student seminars and faculty research were highlighted as the college embarked on academic computing. Among faculty projects cited by The Miscellany News were the examination of light wave patterns given off by amber by Professor of Chemistry Curt Beck, tests of intuition devised by Associate Professor of Psychology Malcolm Westcott and a study by Associate Professor of Religion John Glasse of the use of Lutheran doctrine by Ludwig Feuerbach, whose identification as "(a nineteenth century theologian)" drew a spirited posthumous response from Feuerbach in the issue for October 4.
"It is pleasant," he wrote, "to have made the front page of The Misc...even if it had to be as data for Vassar's new computer." "I am distressed, though," Feuerbach continued, "at being billed as a 'theologian.' That is just what I have wanted not to be, ever since I quit theology after having tried it as a freshman. I am a philosopher. As to Lutheran doctrine, the philosopher continued, "I hope your man Glasse has found that that didn't really interest me. What did was Martin Luther the man, and his lively reports on religious experience from within.... He misunderstood his own experience, of course, as Chrisitians do. But I've cleared that up in my book, The Essence of Christianity. It's in paperback, you know."
A frequent visitor to the campus, Grace Murray Hopper returned in the fall of 1971 to join three other distinquished alumnae, Princeton philosopher Margaret D. Wilson '60, historian C. Doris Hellman '30 and microbiologist Gladys L. Hobby '31 in a discussion of "Science and Human Values," the final Alumnae Association Centennial Seminar. The Miscellany News
Columbia University historian of city planning George R. Collins, visiting scholar in art, lectured on "Visionary City Planning in Our Century." Collins taught Art 386a, "Modern City Planning," and focusing his lecture on modern "geometrics," "utopias" and "technological fantasies," he concluded that "the visionary plans of our century tend toward the dynamic—expandable and expendable in character." The Miscellany News
Collins’s Camillo Sitte and the Birth of Modern City Planning (1965) illuminated the work of the 19th century Austrian architect and innovator, and his 10-volume general edition of the “Planning and Cities” series (1968-75) traced the history of urbanism back to ancient and primitive societies.
Speaking to the Associate Alumnae of Vassar College, Elizabeth Daniels '41, dean of studies and director of special studies for the Committee on New Dimensions, said that a survey of alumnae showed the majority of responding alumnae to prefer single-sex education.
The Gertrude Folks Zimand Lecture entitled, "Community Power Structure and the War on Poverty," was given by Kenneth Clark, professor of psychology at the City University of New York. Clark, whose 1950 study of the effects of segregation on the development of both white and black students was cited in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, was recipient of the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1961.
An article, "How Dare They Do It?" by Dorothy Sieberling '43 in LIFE magazine denounced Vassar’s possible move to Yale and to New Haven. A senior editor at the magazine, Ms. Sieberling asked "How can they consider plunging into a congested city at a time when colleges—and the human soul—crave space? How can theY contemplate trading an intimate personal environment for the mounting depersonalization of the multiversity?." "Most of all," she continued, "how can they abandon and destroy an institution of long and great distinction whose potential for valuable service and leadership is still strong?"
The article sketched Vassar's history, traced the history of the Vassar/Yale negotiations, presented the work of the campus Committee on New Dimensions and contrasted photographs of the lawns and vistas of Vassar, of students in the Daisy Chain and of Main Building with a a smoky aerial picture of Vassar's "probable site in New Haven.... It overlooks factory and slums beyond." "An appeal to preserve Vassar in its setting," Ms. Sieberling concluded, "is often dismissed as sentimental nostalgia. To this alumna, Vassar's historic campus, its beauty, calm and amplitude constitute values vital to education and to life; they are a rare heritage of the past most in need of preservation today. How dare they do it?" LIFE
Wiley Jackson, housing chairman of the Northern Dutchess chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a member of the Poughkeepsie Housing Committee, led a discussion on "Fair Housing in Poughkeepsie." The city was among the finalists for a federal "Model Cities" grant under the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty," and public housing and neighborhood improvement were key elements in its proposal.
In November 1967 Poughkeepsie was one of the 63 communities eligible for "Model Cities" grants.
After two days of discussion of reports from the Committee on New Dimensions and from the affiliation study headed by President Simpson and Yale’s president Kingman Brewster, Jr., the board of trustees announced that “no decision has been reached” on the proposed affiliation between Vassar and Yale. “The several studies,” said Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett, “are still under serious consideration. The trustees will meet as often as may be required to further this consideration.” The New York Times
The Anna Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble performed. In addition to her ensemble work, blending the lyric and the stark images of contemporary life, Sokolow , a student of Martha Graham, was the Broadway choreographer of Street Scene, Camino Real, Candide and the original production of Hair.
Topologist W. Wistar Comfort from Wesleyan University lectured on "The Marriage Lemma: A Fixed-Point Theorem in Banach Space."
The Dean's Program held a conference on "Problems of Urban Poverty—Strategy for Slums," "to discuss effective methods to deal with the problem of urban poverty." The conference included: the founder of American community organizing, Saul Alinsky, Franklin Thomas, the newly-appointed president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation ; political scientist John Bailey; East Harlem community leader Ruth Atkins; Poughkeepsie city planner Julio Vivas; Lou Glasse, co-founder of the “Good Neighbor Pledge,” a project in aid of racial integration in Poughkeepsie; Poughkeepsie City Manager Theodore Maurer; Ron Gregory and Zion Page.
Pioneer in superconductivity and quarks, physicist William M. Fairbank from Stanford University, gave the Research Society of America (RESA) Lecture, entitled "Low Temperatures: A Frontier of Physics," to the Sigma Xi Club. Established in 1959, the club was a preliminary step in the establishment in 1995 of a chapter of Sigma Xi, a national honorary scientific society open to faculty members with associate membership for outstanding students.
Social critic, editor and journalist Dwight MacDonald posed the question "How Democratic Can A Culture Get?" Appreciating, in The Miscellany News, that the "longtime political and literary critic proved to be as witty and bombastic with his rhetoric as he can be in his writing," Ellen Chesler '69 stated the evident answer to MacDonalds's question—"Not very." "What MacDonald wants," she wrote, "is two cultures, one for the 'masses' and another for the 'cultural classes.' The burden of culture in history has never been carried by more than 20 percent of the people, he says.... He claims that culture is something that implies discrimination and standards and that only a minority of any society is willing to have these standards. But he points out that since the 19th century, industry has provided means for mass production of culture, and public education has provided a mass market for it."
A former editor of Partisan Review and staff writer for The New Yorker, MacDonald published Against the American Grain: Essays on the Effect of Mass Culture in 1962 and Our Invisible Poor in 1963.
A conference on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, hosted by the college in conjunction with the State University of New York at New Paltz, began at New Paltz with a lecture by New Paltz Professor Harry Schwartz. A member of the editorial board of The New York Times and the newspaper's specialist on Soviet affairs, Professor Schwartz spoke on "Fifty Years of the Bolshevik Revolution." Events at Vassar at the weekend included panels on Soviet economy, foreign policy, intellectual life and literature.
Professor Herbert Levine, a specialist in Soviet economic planning at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Harry Braverman, editor of the Socialist Monthly Review, and Professor Lynn Turgeon, a scholar of Soviet industry and labor at Hofstra University spoke on "The Russian Revolution: 50 Years of Economic Change. "Fifty Years of Soviet Foreign Policy" were examined in a lecture by Professor Alexander Dallin, the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Relations at Columbia University.
Focusing on "The Cultural Impact of the Revolution," Russian émigré historian Marc Raeff from Columbia spoke on "The Revolutiion and the Russian Intelligentsia," Professor George Gibian, chair of the department of Russian at Cornell University, examined "A Half Century of Soviet Literature: Issues, Achievements, Problems" and John Githens from Vassar's Russian department described "Metaphoric Avatars of October in Mandelstam and Mayakovsky."
Sponsored by the economics, history, political science and Russian departments and supported by the Matthew Vassar Lecture Fund and the Crego Endowment, the conference concluded with a concert by the Yale Russian Chorus, a group of some 40 undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members which toured in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. "The conference," explained one of the event's planners, Vassar political scientist Suzanne Lotarski, "is not a celebration of the anniversary of the revolution but an educational opportunity to evaluate a timely and much discussed event." The Miscellany News
The Crego Endowment, established in 1956 by Jean Crego '32 in honor of her father, sponsored annual lectures in the general field of economics under the auspices of the economics department.
Philosopher and linguist Dr. Jerrold J. Katz from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lectured on "Interference and Opacity." Katz’s The Philosophy of Language appeared in 1966.
Donald Pearson, professor of music and college organist, performed a Dedication Recital on the new Gress-Miles chapel organ. The new instrument, built by the Gress-Miles Organ Company of Princeton, NJ, had four manuals and pedal, 106 ranks and 5,700 pipes, and occupied the same space and the same hand-carved façade designed by architects Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge in 1904 for the original chapel organ. A reception in the Chapel's choir rehearsal room followed the recital.
Handwriting and documents expert Elizabeth McCarthy '17, lectured on "Crimes in Ink." A lawyer and one of the country’s leading handwriting experts, McCarthy gave testimony in the Kennedy assassination and the Alger Hiss investigations. While investigating Boston mayoral nomination documents in 1967, she discovered that her own name had been forged.
The Dean's Program hosted a lecture by Bob Moore, organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in Selma, Alabama, on "The Black Movement in America and the Role of White People." Moore was imprisoned for his participation in Julian Bond’s “Atlanta Project,” the registration of black voters and the protest of Bond’s ejection from the Georgia legislature.
Anthropologist Bruce E. Raemsch from Hartwick College lectured on "Recent Evidence of Man in New York 35,000 Years Ago." Raemsch’s extensive collection of artifacts are in the Yager Museum of Art and Culture at Hartwick.
The college announced that, after a year’s study of affiliation with Yale University, Vassar would “remain in its birthplace” and “the mistress in our house.” The trustees said that Yale and Vassar, as two institutions, each “engaged in expanding its reach through its own invention, will serve the interests of higher education better than one.” Further, the trustees said that the decision to remain in Poughkeepsie was “influenced by loyalty to a place as spacious and beautiful as ours, by confidence in the future of our region…and by our commitment to the education of women.”
Interviewed by The New York Times, President Alan Simpson said that the decision to abandon affiliation with Yale was reached with difficulty. But, he said the Vassar trustees endorsed an alternate plan—"Vassar will remain in Poughkeepsie and undergo a multi-million dollar expansion...including proposals for a coordinate men's college, graduate institutes, curricular innovations, and a residential unit in New York." Simpson added that the men’s college would be at least minimally operative within five years. In this alternative plan, "Two autonomous institutes, one for the Study of Man and his Environment and another for the Advancement of Teaching will be launched to serve both graduate and undergraduate men and women." They will offer degrees at the M.A. level and will also conduct research. The 14-page alternative plan, which would cost $50 to $70 million, was given to the faculty for discussion and reaction.
Campus reaction to the trustees’ decision was generally favorable. “Yale,” one student told The Times, “is a nice place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there. Why? Just think of losing this gorgeous place and going to a large university. We get close enough to the Yale boys now.” Another student added “Everyone seems to think that the school needed something. I want to see what they’re going to do here. I’m waiting for that.”
A nearly simultaneous statement by Yale president Kingman Brewster, Jr., said that the Vassar decision was “a disappointment to me,” but announced plans for a new women’s college of some 1,500 students to be developed at a cost of between $50 and $70 million. An editorial in The Yale Daily the following day was similarly bittersweet, saying, “Yale’s gentlemen have been jilted. All we can do is take it like men and join President Brewster in considering the even more exciting possibility of founding an independent women’s college here.” The New York Times, The Miscellany News
English literary critic and scholar Christopher Ricks, Worcester College, Oxford, lectured on "Milton's 'Lycidas.'" Ricks’s highly regarded Milton’s Grand Style (1963) was followed by his edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained in 1968.
Sister Jacqueline Grennan, president of Webster College, gave the Helen Kenyon Lecture, entitled, "Can the Academic World Seek the Living God?"
Greek architect, city planner and visionary Constantinos Doxiadis lectured on "Man and His City." The lead architect for the Pakistani capital Islamabad (1960), Doxiadis’s Ekistics: An Introduction to the Science of Human Settlements appeared in 1968.