November 20, 1967
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