Under the sponsorship of the endowed Poynter Program, the college presented a panel on "Investigative Reporting," which included Lucinda Franks ‘68 and Richard Severo from The New York Times; Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation and veteran journalist Jules Witcover from the Washington Post.  Lucinda Franks, who shared the 1971Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for “”Diana: the Making of a Terrorist,” an account the life and death of Weatherwoman Diana Oughton, taught Vassar’s Contemporary Press class in 1981.  Richard Severo also taught at Vassar for several years.

Veteran journalist Carey McWilliams, a lawyer in the 1930s for migrant workers, began his investigative career writing about their mistreatment and that of Japanese-American internees during Word War II.  His Witch Hunt (1950) was an early attempt to combat McCarthyism, and his “Are We Training Cuban Guerillas?” appeared in The Nation five months before the Bay of Pigs invasion.  Jules Witcover’s 85 Days: The Last Campaign of Robert Kennedy was published in 1969, and Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-76 appeared in 1977.

Marion Knauss Poynter ’46 was the wife of Nelson Poynter, the publisher of The St. Petersburg Times and co-founder of The Congressional Quarterly.  In 1975 he founded the Modern Media Institute, a school and center for the study of journalism in St. Petersburg.  The institute became The Poynter Institute of Media Studies in 1984.