February 9, 1967
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