Calvin Marsh, Metropolitan Opera baritone and composer-pianist, performed.
Asked by Barbara Walters on NBC's Today Show if Vassar was planning on some form of coeducation President Alan Simpson said yes, that this was part of the trustees' plan for the future of the college. He said, according to The Miscellany News, he had come to the college, in 1964, with an open mind on the question, although he was a bit inclined towards segregation of the sexes. A Sarah Lawrence graduate and thus preferring the single-sex approach, Walters asked why coeducation was a good idea. "Mr. Simpson noted that Vassar was founded to give women the same education available to men at top colleges when women were not admitted to such institutions.... Women are now admitted to most schools for segregation of the sexes is historical. Coeducation is a growing irreversible trend.... When asked why Vassar had turned down the Yale merger, Mr. Simpson again cited the desire for independence and a sense of place."
On the Vietnamese Tet holiday, Vietcong units sprang into action throughout South Vietnam, attacking more than 100 towns and villages with sapper commando units that were followed by waves of heavily armed troops. The fighting created more than 500,000 refugees, and, while Vietcong deaths were some 37,000 with many more wounded or captured, the 2,500 American deaths in the assault dealt a crippling blow to public support of the war.
Kathleen Weil-Garris Posner ‘56, scholar of the Renaissance and professor of fine arts at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, gave the Class of 1928 Visiting Scholar's Lecture, entitled "Bramante and Sansovino: The Creation of a High Renaissance Sanctuary."
Philosopher Frederick A. Olafson from Harvard University, lectured on "Philosophy and the Humanities." Olafson’s Principles and Persons: An Ethical Interpretation of Existentialism was published in 1967.
Dr. Imogene Horsley, professor of music at Carleton College, lectured on "Aspects of Tonality in Lasso and Gesualdo."
Clyde Griffen, dean of freshmen and history department faculty member, was designated to conduct a study of the alternatives for a coordinate college for men at Vassar.
Behavioral psychologist and social philosopher B. F. Skinner, Harvard University, gave the Helen Gates Putnam Lecture on new approaches to behavior analysis.
Speakers at a four-day symposium on "The New Morality," sponsored by the Dean's Program and discussing “personal, social, and religious aspects of morality” included physician and sex education advocate Dr. Mary Steichen Calderone ’25, poet and activist Alan Ginsberg, neo-orthodox theologian and social activist William Stringfellow and Vassar Chaplain Frederic C. Wood.
A founder in 1964 and the executive director of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), "We argue about sex, Dr. Calderone told her audience, "as we would argue about whether a car we've never seen, never driven and don't know the mechanics of could win the Gran Prix. If we are to create a valid morality about sexuality, we'll have to know about man's sexuality.... Man's sexuality needs to be studied, researched and treated with a little more respect and dignity."
"If rules must be posed," wrote Alison Luchs '70 in The Miscellany News, "Dr. Calderone demanded that they be honest ones, based on 'a relationship of mutual respect between the power group and the group over which they have power. When we make a rule like "no men in girls' rooms after 9:00 p.m.," we have to be clear in our terminology.... If you mean no students are to have intercourse on the grounds of the college, or while they are students at the college, then say so.' Few students in her audience could argue with her sincere approach. But even fewer could imagine a rule stated that explicitly in the Vassar handbook."
Writing in The Misc. about Allen Ginsberg's peripatetic visit to Vassar, its several informal discussions—in the Gold Parlor, in Cushiing Living Room—and it's culmination on Saturday evening before a capacity crowd in the Chapel, Susan Casteras '71, said, "Perhaps the most powerful and ironic ability of the man was his capacity to make an audience of either one or 1,000 more than just comfortable in his presence; to make them actually close to him. He had the power to infuse into his audience a gripping sense of this closeness.
"The reading provided a somewhat frightening opportunity to infuse into his audience a man baring his intellect and his consciousness, leaving himself in a state of emotional nakedness. After the poetry reading, he asked...members of the audience how they had reacted to the evening. When someone mentioned that it had been painful to watch a man so self-absorbed in the verbal and emotional stripping of himself, Ginsberg nodded and said he had felt that way."
Concluding the symposium in his Sunday Chapel sermon,"The New Old Morality," Vassar Chaplain Frederic C. Wood, Jr., said Christiane Citron '71, in The Miscellany News, "pointed out that the so-called new morality involves a new ethical attitude, not a new set of literalized rules; the rules are still the Commandments.... He wants the individual to establish the principle of love of God (and neighbor) within himself, and then to be guided in every action by this internal principle." Enumerating four main aspect to this form of morality, Wood identified the most fundamental aspect, said Citron, was "the priority to be given the spirit over the letter of the law.... It is up to the individual determine the sprit of the law. Therefore the morality is antinomian: one can in specific instance go against the law....
"Secondly, this...morality asserts the internal, rather than the external source of values.... Everyone has to realize the importance in its own right of his decisions.... In addition, he said this 'new old morality' draws a distinction between freedom and responsibility in one's behavior.... Finally, Mr. Wood concluded, implicit in this morality is its religious nature, for without some sort of ultimate commitment, the morality is meaningless.... Mr. Wood added that although this guidance is religious in nature, it is not necessarily religious in form."
William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Yale University, lectured on "Vietnam and the draft: Crisis of Conscience." One of some 20,000 signatories the previous year of “A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority,” Coffin was, along with Dr. Benjamin Spock, Mitchell Goodman, Michael Ferber and Marcus Raskin, one of the “Boston Five” indicted by a Federal grand jury on January 5, 1968, on conspiracy charges. Four of the five, including Coffin, were convicted, but their conviction was overturned in 1970.
Argentine writer and critic Jorge Luis Borges lectured on "The Fantastic in Argentine Literature.” In 1961, Borges and Samuel Beckett shared the first International Publishers Prize, the Prix Formentor. The start, in 1967, of his collaboration with translator Norman Thomas di Giovanni brought Borges’s complex works—long admired in Latin America—to the attention of readers in the English-speaking world.
Former Harvard lecturer in psychology and founder of the League for Spiritual Discovery Dr. Timothy Leary lectured in the Students’ Building on the "Conflict of Men and the Use of Drugs in Modern Society." The advocate of spiritual discovery through the use of psychedelic drugs had expressed interest in speaking at Vassar during an earlier interview with The Miscellany News, and he reportedly waived his customary $1,500 fee. “No drug is either ‘bad’ or ‘good,’” Leary told his audience, “but using makes it so.”
Leary’s league, founded in 1963, was for several years housed at a 2,500 acre estate near Millbrook, NY, owned by heirs to the Mellon banking fortune. On February 19, lawyers for the estate’s owners had announced that the League for Spiritual Discovery and two other groups, the Neo-American Church—headed by Chief Boo Hoo—and the Sri Ram Ashrama, had been ordered to leave the premises.
Writing to The Vassar Alumnae/i Quarterly
in 2007, two members of the Class of 1971 reflected on the event. “…one thing I recall with perfect clarity” said one, “he gave his lecture sitting on the floor of the stage (no podium, no chair) with his legs crossed, barefoot—and the bottoms of his feet were filthy!” “I do not know,” said the other, “who invited him or why, but even then I knew he was a drugged-out jackass with nothing to impart to me. I stayed away in droves.” The Vassar Alumnae/i Quarterly
American poet and feminist Adrienne Rich read from her work. Her collection, Necessities of Life: Poems, 1962-65 was published in 1966 and Selected Poems appeared in 1967.
Artist, critic and biographer of his aunt, Virginia Woolf, Quentin Bell, professor of art history and theory at the University of Sussex, lectured on "Bloomsbury Painters and Writers."
Botanist Harry A. Borthwick, United States Department of Agriculture, gave the Helen Gates Putnum Conservation Lecture, entitled "Light Control of Plant Movements."
American linguist and scholar Margaret Schlauch, professor emeritus of English at the University of Warsaw and member of the Committee on Modern Languages and Literatures of the Polish Academy, lectured on "The Value of Linguistic Studies to Literary Critics."
Vassar's madrigal singers departed for a two-week Scandinavian concert tour.
Controversial Catholic theologian Rev. Fr. Hans Küng, professor of ecumenical theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, lectured on "The Problems and Future of the Church." Among Fr. Küng’s struggles with Catholic hierarchy was his reasoned rejection of the doctrine of papal infallibility, which became widely known through his book, Infallible? An Inquiry (1971). Because of Kung's rejection of the doctrine, part of the official teaching of the Catholic Church since 1871, Pope John Paul II revoked Küng's missio canonica in 1979, stripping him of his right to teach in any Catholic institution in Germany.
President Lyndon Johnson announced that “I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President,” surprising most observers with this recognition of the “division in the American house” over the war in Vietnam and civil unrest at home. “With American sons in the field far away,” he said, “with the American future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office, the Presidency of your country.” The New York Times
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN.
Rioting, looting and arson broke out in dozens of cities, most notably in Washington, DC, Baltimore and Chicago. On Chicago’s west side two days of lawlessness left 11 people—all African Americans—dead, almost 3,000 arrested and over 200 building damaged beyond repair.
Canadian philanthropist and designer Phyllis Bronfman Lambert '48, lectured on "The Construction of a Modern Building." The planner of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts in Montreal (1967), she was also director of planning for the Seagram Building (1958) in New York City, by the Bronfman Centre’s architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The Dean's Program held a symposium, "Focus on India." Speakers included Bengali literary critic and poet Dr. Amiya Chakravarty and Swami Sarvagatananda, chaplain to Hindu students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the minister to the Hindu communities in Boston and Providence, known as the “Sunshine in Boston.”
Lt. Col. Arch E. Roberts, U.S. Army, Ret., lectured on the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Lt. Col. Roberts’s book, Victory Denied: Why Your Son Faces Death in No-Win Wars, was published in 1966.
The college canceled classes in order to allow students and faculty to participate in a memorial march through Poughkeepsie to honor the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Political scientist and pioneer in the field of environmental policy Lynton Caldwell, Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, gave the Gussie and Israel Matz Lecture, entitled "Shaping the Environment of Civilized Societies." Caldwell was a principal architect of the United States’ National Environmental Policy Act (1970) the first in the world.
Philosopher of Renaissance humanism Paul Oscar Kristellar, Frederick J. E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, lectured on "The European Significance of Florentine Platonism."
Member institutions of Ivy League and the Seven College Conference sent acceptance letters to candidates for the Class of 1972, and overall figures showed that applications to the men’s schools increased ten and one-half percent over the previous year while applications to the women’s colleges decreased by five percent. Among the Seven Colleges, Vassar’ applications declined most steeply at 14 percent, followed by Bryn Mawr (11 ½ percent), Wellesley (4 ½ percent) and Smith (4 percent). Applications to Radcliffe increased by three percent.
Vassar accepted 50 percent of the applicants for its 400 freshman places, compared to acceptance rates of 35 percent, 46 percent and 48 percent at, respectively, Wellesley, Smith and Mount Holyoke. Radcliffe accepted 13 percent of its applicants.
Both the Ivies and the Seven Sisters noted increased recruitment and enrollment of students of color, students prepared at public schools and students living outside the Northeast. Admissions Director Jean L. Harry ’33 said that Vassar had admitted twice the number of black students as in 1967, and she credited the help of the student Afro-American Society in recruitment. “These Negro girls at Vassar,” she said, “can talk to their friends about the total experience, academic and social, in a way we cannot.” The New York Times
American historian Christopher Lasch from Northwestern University, gave the second C. Mildred Thompson Lecture of the academic year, entitled "The Ambiguities of Equality: The Idea of Asylum in Nineteenth Century Reform." A liberal critic of liberalism, Lasch published The American Liberals and the Russian Revolution in 1962, and his The New Radicalism in America appeared in 1965.
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.
Eve Borsook '49, New York University, gave the 1928 Fund Lecture, entitled "The Florence Flood: Damage and Discovery." A specialist in the analysis and restoration of Italian mural painting, Borsook was also an accomplished photographer of such work. Her The Mural Painters of Tuscany, From Cimabue to Andrea Del Sarto was published in 1960, and in 1966 her study of the Sienese muralist, Ambrogio Lorenzetti appeared. She collaborated with the dean of Italian mural scholars, Leonetto Tintori, on Giotto: The Peruzzi Chapel in 1965.
An article in The Miscellany News by Assistant Professor of Sociology Martin Oppenheimer called upon the Vassar administration to “publicly state that the college does not condone the use of informers on this campus.” Charging that local law enforcement “has had at least one student here act as an informer on the drug scene” and had “attempted to solicit other informers from the student body,” Oppenheimer declared, “the atmosphere of suspicion and mutual distrust is far more damaging to education and democracy” than drug experimentation.
Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett, agreeing that the issues raised by Oppenheimer’s article were serious ones, said that student meetings were being conducted in the residence halls to discuss the drug situation. College chaplain Frederic Wood declared that tolerance of informers on campus was “subversive to the educational climate.”
In his article, Oppenheimer noted that a recent survey had shown that one-third to one-fifth of the students at Vassar had used marijuana at least once. But, he said, “We have neither the obligation to do the work of the police…nor to protect students from the due course of justice….” The New York Times
Donald M. Frame, professor of French at Columbia University, gave the Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, entitled "Montaigne on the Absurdity and Dignity of Man." The translator and editor of Complete Works of Montaigne in 1958, Frame’s life of the 16th century French essayist and statesman, Montaigne: A Biography, appeared in 1965.
Some 300 student protestors, among them members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), were joined by campus groups and local groups such the United Black Front, the Congress of Racial Equality and the Harlem Committee for Self-Defense in seizing the office of the dean of Columbia University. The acting dean, Henry Coleman, explained that he had no control over the protestors’ goals—the siting of a new gymnasium on Columbia property in Harlem, which the protestors condemned as “racist” and Columbia government contracts with Institute of Defense Analysis—and, saying “It’s getting too crowded here and we’re going to have trouble,” retired to his office.
After a week of mounting protests and the seizure by protestors of five university buildings—including the office of university president Grayson Kirk—on April 30, some 1,000 New York City police moved onto campus and in an attempt to regain control of the buildings. Classes were suspended as the protests and building takeovers continued, and a review panel, headed by former United States Solicitor General Archibald Cox, a professor at the Harvard Law School, undertook analysis and resolution of the turmoil.
In late May, the university appointed a “director of student interests,” Assistant Dean Irving DeKoff, and over the summer, efforts by administrators, faculty and alumni to restore order and accommodate student issues alternated with the preparation for court trials of some 1,000 student protestors. Two women students, both in the School of General Studies, were fined $250 and jailed for 15 days. The New York Times
The coiner of the phrase “Think globally, act locally,” French microbiologist, environmentalist and humanist Rene Dubos from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, gave the Gussie and Israel Matz Fund Lecture, entitled "Biological Advantages of Urban Life." Dubos’s book, So Human and Animal: How We Are Shaped by Surroundings and Events won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 1968.
Enzymologist C. H. W. Hirs, from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, lectured on "Slide Chain Reactivity and the Structure of Ribonuclease."
The Dean's Program held a symposium entitled, "The New Left Reappraisal of the Cold War: American Foreign Policy 1945-65," to examine the historiography of the Cold War. Guest speakers included: diplomatic historian Lloyd Gardner, Rutgers University; Stanford University historian Barton Bernstein and Yale historian Gaddis Smith.
Ellen Chesler '69 and two Yale students, Steven Weisman '68 and Michael Winger from the Yale Law School, published an analysis of the Vassar-Yale study, "Vassar and Yale Study: the whole story," in Yale's The New Journal. Among the report’s several accusations was the observation that "The Vassar-Yale affiliation was already doomed six months before it ended."
Writer, educator and activist Johnathon Kozol lectured on "Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools." Kozol’s first book, Death at an Early Age, won the National Book Award in science, philosophy and religion in 1968.
Vassar proposed two new programs benefitting the local community: in July and August, Vassar would hold a "cultural enrichment and recreational program" for local disadvantaged Poughkeepsie children; and in the fall Vassar would admit with full-scholarship, a number of "non-matriculated," local students of color, who could not meet the regular admissions standards, to be tutored in a remedial program designed to prepare them for college matriculation.
Vassar held a symposium on "Causality." The speakers included philosopher William Ruddick from New York University, Robert Fogelin, associate professor of philosophy at Yale University, and John O'Connor, from Vassar’s philosophy department.
Vassar students petitioned President Alan Simpson to condemn police action recently taken at Columbia University and to promise that such a situation would not happen at Vassar.
The New York Times reported that more than 250 Vassar students and 20 members of the faculty sent a letter to Columbia’s president Grayson Kirk saying that they were “appalled at the violence directed against the students and faculty” by the police. Vassar Student Association President Alison Bernstein ’69 said she “deplored the tactics of the demonstrators at Columbia but I deplore even more the action of the administration in calling in the police.” Toni Ackerman ’70 called the use of police force “not only unwise but unwarranted.”
As student protests developed at Columbia, Columbia students visited Vassar and offered informal informational discussions of the events on their campus near the student mailboxes in Main Building. The New York Times
The committee studying the organization of a men's coordinate college presented its report to President Alan Simpson. Since declining the invitation for a coordinate institution with Yale University in November 1967, the college had considered following the model exemplified by Brown University, which had established a separate women's college, Pembroke College, in 1897. Hamilton College, in Clinton, NY, formed a women's coordinate college, Kirkland College, in 1968, and Mount Holyoke College and Smith were considering similar, but less-formal arrangements in Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley with two coeducational institutions and Amherst College.
The Vassar committee, led by Associate Professor of History Clyde Griffen, presented both pros and cons of founding a coordinate institution, a possibility already referred to on the campus as "Matthew College." In October, the Vassar trustees endorsed instead the formation of a coeducational Vassar College, a decision applauded by The Miscellany News in its October 4 issue: "Social life is commonly regarded as part of the college experience, and most students believe that coeducation offers the only 'normal' life."
Eleanor Dodge Barton '38, chairman of the art department at Sweet Briar College, lectured on "Alessandro Algardi: A case history of a seventeenth century sculptor," part of program, “The Italian Renaissance,” in honor of retiring Leila Cook Barber, chairman of the Vassar art department.
Miss Barber joined the Vassar faculty in 1931 and, in addition to her memorable lectures and her seminars in 14th and 15th century Italian painters, she contributed to the residential community, leading the college’s wartime defense program during World War II and serving, first as resident and then as house fellow, in Josselyn House from 1935 until her retirement. She was an early faculty supporter of the college’s decision to become coeducational.
Professor Volkmar Sander, founder of New York University’s Deutsches Haus, lectured on "Bertolt Brecht's Documentary Theater."
A survey to the annual contributions to colleges and universities showed Vassar trailing Smith but ahead of the other members of the Seven College Conference: Smith, $3,922,000; Vassar, $3,852,000; Barnard, $3,413,000; Bryn Mawr, $2,736,000; Mount Holyoke, $2,643,000; Wellesley, $2,187,000 and Radcliffe, $1,926,000.
In the Ivy League, Harvard received $38,346,000 and Yale was given $33,410,000. The New York Times
The faculty recommended that the trustees pursue co-education, rather than coordinate education.
While rain pelted the campus, strong opinion rang in the Chapel at Commencement. In his address New York Mayor John V. Lindsay told the 1,400 guests and members of the Class of 1968 he was “disheartened” by the “irrationality” of the 90th Congress’s response to the report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders—the so-called “riot commission”—of which he was vice chairman. The report had urged strong efforts to help African Americans get jobs, housing and education, but Congress, Lindsay said, “has been moving in the opposite direction."
“Typical of the response by Congress,” he said, “was the recent action of the House Appropriations Committee in cutting by fully 50 percent the amount of funds requested by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, was awarded the entire appropriation it submitted. This divergence of values, this irrationality of national purpose, is indicative of a nation that has lost its way. It confuses the need to maintain our society with the need to rebuild our society.”
Frequent applause interrupted Lindsay’s 30-minute address, and many of the 413 members of ’68 who had been holding daisies or carnations as they listened handed the blooms to him as they walked past to receive their diplomas, some whispering “Flower Power.” At the end of the ceremony, Mary Lindsay ’47 approached her husband, “who looked a little sheepish sitting with his little bouquet in the lap of his blue and black academic robe,” saying, “John, you look just like a bride.” Richard Reeves, The New York Times
New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy and candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1968 presidential election, was shot in Los Angeles shortly after winning the California primary election. He died 26 hours later.
The board of trustees accepted the Forward Planning Committee's resolution to "adopt a policy of admission of male undergraduate students on a wholly coeducational basis." The trustees asked Dean Nell Eurich to draw up a plan for the timing, recruitment, needed construction and funds to achieve coeducation.
The resulting goal was to reach a student body of 2,400 with a 1:1 male/female ratio by 1975. The plan also proposed major construction to be done "regardless of the increased student body," including apartments/dormitories between the golf course and Sunset Lake, two main dining halls—rather than the proposed large dining hall to be located in the middle of the quad—a new science building and an experimental theater.
Twenty men sponsored by local companies, enrolled in chemistry, physics and mathematics courses on a trial basis, becoming the first male students enrolled at Vassar since the college enrolled veterans after the World War II.
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Charles Frankel, professor of philosophy and public affairs at Columbia University, began work as planning director of the proposed Institute for the Advancement of College and University Teaching at Vassar.
“We’re constantly aware of the turmoil at Columbia University,” Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett told The New York Times as Vassar’s fall orientation began. “It has taught us all that unless you listen to students and take them seriously you’re in trouble. Beginning right now with orientation we want to show them we feel this way.” A list including The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Black Power, by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton, replaced the usual European and American classics as required summer reading for the 419 members of the Class of 1972. “We want to show freshmen,” political science Professor Glen Johnson, the dean of freshmen, declared, “that, contrary to students’ major criticism now, college can be relevant to real life. This demonstrates that intellectual pursuits at college can relate to the vital issues facing the country.” The New York Times
A report prepared for the State University of New York called for a Mid-Hudson Graduate Center at Vassar College to be affiliated with 38 other area institutions. President Alan Simpson welcomed the possibility.
Negotiations began between six men's colleges (Bowdoin, Amherst, Dartmouth, Williams, Colgate, and Trinity) and Vassar to begin an exchange program next semester. By December, approximately 70 Vassar women and 70-80 men from Colgate, Williams, and Trinity registered in the exchange.
“Men in classes and on campus is the only way to prevent stagnancy,” declared Susan Casteras ‘71, managing editor of The Miscellany News,” when interviewed by The New York Times about a new exchange program with Williams. But Janet Stanton ’72 had doubts about both coeducation at Vassar and the plans to achieve it. “The way we’re doing it,” she said, “will take many years and probably after that Vassar will be a second rate school. We’ll have to refuse qualified women and take unqualified men.”
As the fall progressed, trustees at other men’s colleges approved a student exchange with Vassar, and faculty exchanges were also discussed. At his inauguration on October 12th, Trinity president Theodore D. Lockwood announced that a Vassar exchange would make the college “coeducational on a trial basis” and that the Trinity trustees had approved the immediate start of a coeducation feasibility study. Colgate University joined the exchange ten days later.
Marine malacologist Melbourne R. Carriker, from the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, gave the Helen Gates Putnam Conservation Lecture, entitled "Biology of Shell Penetration of Oysters by Their Predator, the Boring Snail."
Father Pierre Benoit, director of l’École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, lectured on "The Evolution of the Ancient City of Jerusalem."
German-born cultural historian Peter Gay, professor of history at Columbia University, gave the C. Mildred Thompson Lecture, "The Enlightenment: Dead or Alive." Gay’s The Enlightenment: An Interpretation: Vol. 1, The Rise of Modern Paganism (1966) was awarded the National Book Award in history for 1967, and his Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider appeared in 1968.
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.
Vassar College and Trinity College agreed to establish an exchange program.
Padraic Colum, Irish poet and playwright, gave the 1928 Fund Lecture, entitled "Yeats and the Irish Cultural Movement." An early collaborator with Yeats in the Irish National Theatre, Colum and his wife Mary befriended James Joyce and assisted in the transcription of his Finnegan’s Wake (1939). The Colums’ Our Friend James Joyce appeared in 1958.
Professor Bernard Berofsky, philosopher of free will, moral responsibility and determinism at Columbia University, spoke on "Purposive Action" at Philosophers' Holiday, a longstanding series of occasional lectures sponsored by the philosophy department. The term, Marsha Levine '72 wrote in The Miscellany News, was "his own definition" for "the features that he feels distinguish such action from the teleological behavior of machines and animals.... Mr. Berofsky presented his arguments in a clear, vigorous, predominately non-technical style: he illustrated each point with familiar and often amusing examples. The result was an illuminating hour and a refreshing change from some previous Philosophers' Holiday lectures, which were comprehensible perhaps to the initiated, but mysterious and bewildering to laymen in the audience."
Bernard Berofsky, who taught briefly at Vassar and who spoke again at the college on "Responsibility and Necessity: The Metaphysical Character of Free Will Debate" in February 1974, published Free Will and Determinism in 1966. Princeton University Press published his Determinism in 1971.
he board of trustees approved Vassar’s acceptance of male transfer students for 1969-70 and the admission of freshman men in the fall of 1970. The board also petitioned the New York State Board of Regents for amendment of the charter of the college, giving it the right to grant degrees to men.
Vassar College and Colgate University agreed to an exchange program for the following semester.
Scholar, translator and interpretor, Japonologist Donald Keene, University Professor of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, lectured on "Two Modern Japanese Poets: Shiki and Takuboku."
Ten colleges (Amherst, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wesleyan, Wheaton and Williams) discussed ways in which they might cooperate, particularly through exchanges, in order to offer students better educational opportunities.
Yugoslav-born American moral and political theorist, Thomas Nagel, Princeton University, lectured on "War and Murder."
Professor of Mathematics Morris Kline, New York University, lectured on "Logic and Truth in Mathematics." Kline’s interest in cultural perception of mathematics and the teaching of mathematics led to such works as Mathematics, A Cultural Approach (1962), Calculus, an Intuitive and Physical Approach (1967), Mathematics for Liberal Arts (1967) and Mathematics in the Modern World (1968).
Operation Rolling Thunder, the U. S. bombing of airfields and supporting sites in North Vietnam that began on March 2, 1965, ended. Over 900 American aircraft were lost and 818 pilots were either dead or missing. By U. S. estimates, some 182,000 North Vietnamese civilians died.
A conference of students, faculty, administration, and trustees gathered at Lake Minnewaska to discuss decision-making processes and new directions open to the college.
Hedda Garza, Socialist Workers' Party candidate for Senate, lectured on "Black Control of the Black Community." Mrs. Garza, a lifelong advocate for liberal and socialist causes, garnered 4,919 votes in the November 5 election, the least among the seven senatorial candidates. Incumbent Republican Senator Jacob Javits won with 3,269,772 votes.
Vassar students were among the 700 women from 22 Eastern colleges who participated in Coeducation Week at Yale. Approved by the Yale administration under strong undergraduate pressure, the project was intended, according to Aviam Soifer ’69, the head of the student steering committee, to allow “the sexes to meet over coffee, over lunch or whatever, and just get accustomed to each other.”
“I just came to see what its like to go to school with men,” Vassar sophomore Jean Brenner ’70 explained as she prepared to move into the room vacated by Frank Knoblauch, one of over half the Yale undergraduates who volunteered to give up their rooms for the project. “The idea,” Mr. Soifer explained, “is to take the male-female relationship out of the absurdly pressured situation of the weekend date. A lot of the guys think of women simply as objects, or dumb broads, but they’re human beings, too.”
Yale President Kingman Brewster, Jr. cited the success of “Coeducation Week” on November 14th when announcing that the university would admit 500 women as freshmen the following September. The New York Times
Former Vice President Richard Nixon defeated the Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey and American Independent party candidate George Wallace to become the 37th President of the United States.
Czech philosopher Julius Tomin from the Charles University in Prague, lectured on the "Impact of Recent Events in Czechoslovakia on Marxist Theory and Practice." The junior fellowship on the faculty of philosophy of the sometimes controversial Plato scholar deteriorated abruptly with the August, 1968, Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that ended the reforms of the “Prague Spring.” Returning to Prague in 1970 after a visiting professorship at the University of Hawaii, Tomin worked as a turbine operator and started holding clandestine philosophy seminars for students excluded from the university because of their political views.
Tomin sought support from Western academics and, in 1980, lecturing on Aristotle at one of Tomin’s “seminars,” the visiting Master of Baliol College, Oxford, Anthony Kenney was arrested by Czech police. The uproar in the British press led to the formation of the Jan Hus Foundation—named after a 13th Czech reformer—which aided Tomin’s emigration to England with his family later that year.
Composer and musical theorist James Tenney, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, lectured on "Computer Generations of Music." Tenney’s interest in computer generation, alternative instruments and tunings and taped or other recorded sound allied him with Steve Reich, John Cage, Phillip Glass and the player-piano composer Conlon Nancarrow.
Assistant Professor Margaret Dauler Wilson ‘60, from the Rockefeller Institute, lectured on "Concept, Cause, and Object: Kant's Reply to Hume."
Russian-American economist Wassily Leontief from Harvard University, gave the Martin H. Crego Lecture, entitled "To Grow Or Not to Grow." Leontief was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in economics for his use of input-output tables in the development of “input-output analysis.”
The Crego lecture, part of the Crego Endowment, established in 1956 by Jean Crego ’32, in honor of her father, sponsored an annual lecture in the general field of economics, under the auspices of the economics department.
The eminent New York University musicologist Jan LaRue, a founding member and director of the Mozart Society, spoke on "A Unique Monument to Friendship: Mozart's Quartets Dedicated to Haydn." LaRue, whose Catalogue of 18th Century Symphonies (1988) contained 17,000 entries, definitively identified a recently discovered 15-minute symphony in 1985 as a work by the 12-year old Mozart, his first in a minor key.
Lawyer Theodore Sorenson, advisor and White House Counsel to President John F. Kennedy, gave the Barbara Bailey Brown Lecture, entitled "Whose Law and Order?"
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.
Dutchess County neighbor and frequent Vassar visitor, folk singer Pete Seeger performed.
The Hungarian String Quartet performed "The Six Mozart Quartets Dedicated to Haydn." Founded in Budapest in 1935, the preeminent European chamber ensemble moved to the United States in 1950 and disbanded in 1972.
Art historian Sheldon Nodelman, Yale University, gave the Class of 1928 Fund Lecture, entitled "Illusion and the Arts of Reality: Some Thought on the Plastic Arts in the Sixties and After."
American scholar and cultural critic Benjamin DeMott, Amherst College, lectured on "Culture and Society." DeMott’s Supergrow: Essays and Reports on Imagination in America appeared in 1969.
Danish scholar Elias Bredsdorff, widely acclaimed for his biography of Hans Christian Andersen, published in 1975, lectured on "Interplay of Word and Image in the Modern Theater." For many years Bresdorff was head of the Scandinavian studies department at Cambridge University.
Spanish art critic and literary biographer and critic Ricardo Gullón, University of Texas, lectured on "Una Relectura de Doña Perfecta."
Former United Nations aide Christopher Thorn, newly appointed president of the American University in Cairo, lectured on "Life and Higher Education in Egypt Today."
Twenty-some students staged a five-and-a-half hour sit-in demonstration in the office of Nell Eurich, dean of the faculty, demanding the extension of professor Roger Katan's contract to include the following semester. Katan, an architect and “advocacy planner,” was visiting professor in the political science department.
American author, political activist and rabbi Arthur I. Waskow, co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D. C., lectured on "The Next Thirty Years of American History."
Jacob Bean, founder and curator of the drawings department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, lectured on "Italian Draughtsmen of the 17th Century."
Steven Cahn, New York University, lectured on "The Performer as Creator: An Analysis of the Role of the Performer in Music."
French-American nutritionist Jean Mayer, Harvard School of Public Health, lectured on "The Ethics of Birth Control." An internationally known expert on nutrition and world hunger, Mayer frequently cited arguments for population control—some going back to ancient Greece—as ethical as well as pragmatic issues.
Aesthetician, film and media theorist and philosopher of language Alexander Sesonske, from the University of California at Santa Barbara, lectured on "Cinema Space."