Dr. Jonathan Beckwith, the leader of the group of researchers at the Harvard Medical School that isolated the first gene in 1969, lectured on "Politics of Genetic Engineering."  When the breakthrough was announced, an editorial in The New York Times, “Playing with Biological Fire,” noted the Beckwith team’s concern about its implications and uses, concluding, “It is an act of faith to believe that when and if this new power becomes available it will be used more to benefit than to hurt the human species.  But every day’s newspaper provides evidence suggesting that the contrary may be true.”

Harvard University Press published Beckwith’s Making Genes, Making Waves: A Social Activist in Science in 2002.

A bomb threat called in at 11:27 pm interrupted a concert in the Chapel by singer Harry Chapin. Security searched the building and the Arlington branch fire and police were notified. The bomb threat was the first the campus had received in several years. 

German-born representational sculptor Walter Erlebacher gave the Class of 1928 Lecture, showing slides and speaking about his work.  A sculptor of the human body and teacher at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Erlebacher was married to the modern realist painter Martha Mayer Erlebacher.  He returned to Vassar for a lecture in 1982.

Computer scientist Malcolm H. Gotterer from Florida International University lectured on "Selecting Data Base and File Structure Designs." 

Obesity researcher Dr. Irving Faust, Rockefeller University, lectured on "Growth and Regulation of Adipose Tissue." 

Internationally renowned jazz pianist Keith Jarrett gave a concert in Skinner Hall. 

C. Mildred Thompson ‘03, dean of the college from 1923 until 1948, died at the age of 93.  Joining the history department in 1910, she was its chairman until her appointment as dean. Active in the formation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1945, she had served in the 1950s as dean of women at the College of Free Europe in Strasbourg.

Ramie and Merri Arian, singers associated with the North American Federation of Temple Youth, gave a concert of Jewish folk music. 

Novelist Robert Stone, author of Dog Soldiers (1974), read from his work for the Matthew Vassar Lecture.  Stone’s novel, a complex account of the effects of the Vietnamese war and particularly the heroin trade it stimulated on the lives of returning soldiers, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1975.  Stone adapted the book for the film Who’ll Stop the Rain (1978).

Robert Meeropol, son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were executed on June 19, 1953, by the U.S. Government for conspiracy to commit espionage, lectured on the circumstances surrounding his parents' deaths.  Meeropol’s older brother Michael spoke at Vassar on “The Significance of the Rosenberg Case Today” in September 1995.

Professor of Mathematics Nathaniel Friedman from the State University of New York at Albany lectured on "Mathematical Models and Difference Equations." 

Community activist Marie Tarver from the Poughkeepsie Model Cities Agency lectured on urban problems in Poughkeepsie. The first African-American member, in 1964, of the Poughkeepsie board of education, Tarver received an Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Award for her community service in 1990. 

Dr. Leonard Jeffries, founding chairman of the African-American studies department at the City College of New York, lectured on "Black Studies and the Urban Crisis." 

Dr. Leonard Jeffries, founding chairman of the African-American studies department at the City College of New York, lectured on "Black Studies and the Urban Crisis." 

Feminist author Carolyn Heilbrun, professor of English literature at Columbia University, lectured on "Marriage: The Modern Discovery."   The first woman to be tenured in Columbia’s English department, Heilbrun complemented feminist landmarks such as Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (1973) and Reinventing Womanhood (1979) with ten mystery novels published under the pseudonym Amanda Cross and featuring sleuth Kate Fansler.

French historian Alan B. Spitzer from the University of Iowa gave the C. Mildred Thompson Lecture on "Post-Revolutionary Youth: The French Generation of 1820."  His book, The French Generation of 1820, an analysis of the intellectual climate of the Bourbon restoration in France from1814 until 1830, was published by Princeton University Press in 1987. 

Over spring break, 25 rooms in Main and two Terrace Apartments were broken into and robbed. 

Swedish physical chemist Dr. Kai Pedersen from the University of Uppsala gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "The Importance of the Work of The Svedberg and Arne Tiselius in the Early Development of Modern Protein Chemistry."  Dr. Pederson’s subjects were the Swedish biochemists The (Theodor) Svedberg, the early student of colloids and the developer of their study using the technique of analytical ultracentrifugation, and Arne Tisellus, Svedberg’s student and successor, especially in the electrophoresis of proteins. Svedberg received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1926, and Tiselius received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938. 

Anthropologist Morton Levine from Fordham University lectured on "The Basques: An Example of Ethnic Stubbornness."  A scholar on the subject of Basque isolation, Professor Levine was a faculty member at Vassar from 1963 until 1968.

Mathematician Thomas W. Tucker from Colgate University presented two lectures: "The Marooned Mapmaker Meets the Euler Characteristics" and "Mathematics and Art: Why Dürer Wasn't Greek." 

Economist Estelle James from the State University of New York at Stony Brook lectured on "Income and Employment Effects of Sexual Integration." 

Earle Brown, American avant-garde composer, gave an informal presentation of some of his recent work. Brown experimented both in free or “open" forms, in which instrumentalists and/or the conductor had a range of random choices, and in unorthodox notations, drawing on early techniques as well as the graphic notation of music.

Activist political scientist and sociologist Frances Fox Piven from Boston University lectured on "The Urban Crisis of the 1970's." Her Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare and Poor People’s Movements: Why they Succeed, How they Fail—both written with Richard Cloward—appeared in 1971 and 1977.

Visiting Scholar Walter Allen, British critic and novelist, lectured on "The Comedy of Dickens."   Allen’s definitive The English Novel: A Short Critical History (1954) was followed by The Novel Today (1955), Six Great Novelists (1955) and Tradition and Dream: The English and American Novel from the Twenties to Our Time (1964).

Dr. Ronald Brady, philosopher of science at Ramapo College, lectured on "Goethe's Theory of Science: Some Non-Cartesian Meditations." 

Dr. James Tobin, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, gave the Martin H. Crego Lecture on "The Crisis in Economic Policy."  A member of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors, Tobin received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1981.

The Crego lecture, part of the Crego Endowment established in 1956 by Jean Crego ’32 in honor of her father, was an annual lecture in the general field of economics under the auspices of the economics department.

Poet, essayist, photographer and publisher Jonathan Williams read from his works for the Class of 1928 Poetry Reading.   A native of North Carolina, Williams combined the avant-garde with the “found” language of his native mountains.  The Jargon Society and the Jargon Press, which he founded, discovered or nurtured poets such as Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Lorine Neidecker, Charles Olson and Louis Zukovsky. 

At the time of his death in 2008 The New York Times quoted Canadian critic Hugh Kenner’s description of Williams as a publisher: he was “the truffle hound of American poetry.”

Vassar held a "Conference on the Politics of Hunger," featuring nutritionist and hunger researcher Jean Mayer from the Harvard School of Public Health and author Emma Rothschild.  An advisor on world hunger to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter, Dr. Mayer organized the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health and helped found the National Council on Hunger and Malnutrition in the United States.

Ms. Rothschild’s research and writing on the subject included “The Politics of Food” (1974) and “Running Out of Food” (1974) in The New York Review of Books, “Food Politics” (1976) in Foreign Affairs and “Short Term, Long Term” (1975), an account of the UN World Food Conference held outside Rome in November 1974 in The New Yorker.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced over $4 million in fellowship awards to 308 scholars, scientists and artists chosen from 2,319 applicants.  Among those awarded a fellowship was Vassar English professor, Harriett Hawkins, whose research topic was “Tragic and Satiric Studies in the Art of the Insoluble.” Professor Hawkins spent her year's sabbatical at the University of Oxford, where she was a member fo the senior faculty at Balliol and Linacre Colleges.

The British Academy awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature to Professor Hawkins's Poetic Freedom and Poetic Truth: Chaucer to Milton (1976) in 1978.

Professor Franco Fido from the department of Hispanic and Italian studies at Brown University gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on “Boccaccio's ars narrandi in the sixth day of The Decameron.

Poet Samuel Menashe, author of the collections To Open (1974) and No Jerusalem But This (1971), read from his work. 

Vassar held a symposium on "American Biography." The speakers included Justin Kaplan, biographer of Mark Twain; Nancy Milford, Zelda Fitzgerald’s biographer; James David Barber, presidential historian and Martin Duberman, whose subjects had been Charles Francis Adams and James Russell Lowell. 

Harry Blum from the National Institutes of Health lectured on "Biological Shape and Visual Science."  A former researcher in the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories in Cambridge, MA, Blum was a pioneer in the development of topological algorithms and pattern recognition.

Historian Jean Vilar from the University of Paris-Sorbonne lectured on "Inquisition and Literature in Spanish Golden Age." 

African-American poet, painter and experimental novelist Clarence Major read from his poetry for the Class of 1928 Poetry Reading. 

Philosopher and cognitive scientist Jerry Fodor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lectured on "Thought and Language."  Dr. Fodor collaborated with Thomas Bever and Merrill Garrett on The Psychology of Language (1974), and Harvard University Press published his The Language of Thought in 1975.

Richard Crowley, architect and historic preservation activist, lectured on the "Rhinebeck Area Historic Survey."   Crowley led the mapping and registering of historic buildings and other structures in northern Dutchess and Columbia Counties.

Sidney Dickstein, defense attorney for publisher Ralph Ginzburg, lectured on "The Supreme Court vs. Ralph Ginzburg or All's Fair in Sex and Law." The editor of Eros magazine, Ginzburg appealed his conviction on obscenity charges—distributing the magazine along with a “newsletter” called “Liaison” and a “psychological study,” “The Housewife’s Handbook on Selective Promiscuity”—to the Supreme Court.

The Court affirmed Ginzburg’s conviction in1966, and he spent eight months in a federal prison, an experience about which he wrote in his book, Castrated: My Eight Months in Prison (1972), which he dedicated to his wife.

Poet and critic Dr. Hasye Cooperman from The New School for Social Research lectured on "The Yiddish Language in America." 

Russian-born German journalist and political scientist Klaus Mehnert, an expert on relations between China and the USSR, lectured on "China Events and Chinese Foreign Policy" and "Observations on American Youth Radicalism." 

Pierre Tabatoni, French cultural attaché in New York, gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "Pratiques et Mythes de Progrès Social en France.

Philosopher Stanley Rosen from Pennsylvania State University lectured on "Socrates as Midwife."  Rosen’s first book, Plato’s Symposium (1967) was published by Yale University Press.

Feminist legal educator and lawyer Nancy Erickson from the Woman's Law Center in New York City lectured on "The Equal Rights Amendment."  The author of Woman’s Guide to Marriage and Divorce in New York (1974), Nancy Erickson taught women and the law at New York Law School and Cornell Law School.

Joint resolutions granting women full protection under the law were introduced in both houses of Congress in December 1923, and reintroduced annually until the amendment passed in 1972.  Despite congressional extension of the deadline for its ratification by the states, the amendment fell three states short at the final deadline, June 30, 1982.

The following evening Ms. Erickson and Lucinda Cisler, author of Women: a Bibliography (1970), spoke on "The Politics and Impact of the Supreme Court Abortion Decisions."

Ms. Cisler chaired the National Organization for Women (NOW) Taskforce on Reproduction and Its Control from 1969 until 1971 and was the founder and first secretary of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL).

Sociologist and social psychologist Anthony Giddens, fellow of Kings College, the University of Cambridge, England, gave the Savel and Gertrude Folks Zimand Lecture on "Recent Trends in European Sociology." One of the founders of the Social and Political Sciences Committee in the Faculty of Economics at Cambridge, Giddens’s scholarly focus was on the structure and development of the social sciences

Gertrude Folks Zimand ’16 was a lifelong crusader against the abuses of child labor.  General secretary and trustee of the National Child Labor Committee and founder of its National Committee on the Employment of Youth, she was married to Savel Zimand, a Rumanian-born international journalist and author.

Hispanist María de la Soledad Carrasco Urgoiti from Hunter College gave the Matthew Vassar lecture on "The Moor of Granada in Literature."  Her El problema morisco en Aragón al comienzo del reinado de Felipe II was published by University of North Carolina Press in 1969.

American folk-blues singer Maria Muldaur and singer-songwriter Tim Moore performed a concert in the Chapel.   Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis,” from her debut album, Maria Muldaur (1973), achieved eighth place on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart in 1974, and three of Moore’s songs from his first album, Tim Moore (1973), “A Fool Like You,” “Second Avenue” and “When You Close Your Eyes,” received significant play on the radio.

Julliard student Robert Black performed piano works by Lizst, Busoni, and Chopin. Black completed his work at The Julliard School in 1975 and founded the New York New Music Ensemble, the first of several efforts both as concert pianist and conductor to promote the work of new composers.

Leonard Silk, economics editor for The New York Times, lectured on "Economic News Coverage."  A PhD in economics, Silk taught at the University of Maine and Simmons College before joining The Times in 1970.  At the time of his retirement from the newspaper in 1992, he wrote in his last column: “I see economics as a branch of philosophy—moral philosophy as it was called in the days of Adam Smith.  Its mission was and still is to improve the lot of humanity, especially for the poor.”

Poet and filmmaker Gerard Malanga, assistant to Andy Warhol during the making of his films from 1963 until 1970, read from his recent work.  Malanga appeared from time to time in Warhol’s films.

In an article on rising college costs in The New York Times, education editor Edward B. Fiske noted President Alan Simpson’s recent chapel speech to the college community about costly campus vandalism, called “Vandals and Vandalism.”  Speaking at the request of the College Council, made up of students, faculty members and administrators, Simpson denounced “not only the ‘crazy few’ who were responsible for the vandalism but also the ‘guilty many’ who seemed to tolerate it without active opposition.

“Earlier, a school senate report declared ‘Violence and vandalism in the school has reached a level of crisis.’  It continues, ‘It is perhaps less expected here and therefore more noticeable than on other campuses.’”

Dr. Mark Bieber, National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University, lectured on "Essential Fatty Acids, Brain Development, and Parental Nutrition."  His research on the working of fats in nutrition and as a founding member of the American Heart Association’s Industry Nutrition Advisory Panel led to the establishment by the association of the annual Mark Bieber Award.

Drew Middleton, military correspondent for The New York Times, lectured on "The Press and the Pentagon."  A sports writer for The Poughkeepsie Eagle News in the late 1930’s, Middleton was a foreign correspondent in Europe, first with the Associated Press and later with The Times, throughout World War II.  His memoirs, Where Has Last July Gone? appeared in 1973.

British social anthropologist and ethnologist Julian Pitt-Rivers from the London School of Economics gave the Matthew Vassar lecture on "Genesis: Myth or History."  Pitt-Rivers’s seminal The People of the Sierra (1954) applied the techniques of “tribal” study to Andalusian villagers, tracing habits of class, ownership and subservience to an ancient Mediterranean code of honor and of shame.  Writing in The Sunday Independent at the time of Pitt-Rivers’s death in 2001, anthropologist Jonathan Benthall said that in his later work, The Fate of Schechem, or The Politics of Sex (1977), Pitt-Rivers “posited a long continuity in the region dating back to Genesis and the Odyssey and based on this code.”

Catholic journalist and bioethicist Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, author of Who's Minding the Children: The History and Politics of Child Care in the U.S. (1974), spoke at Vassar.  The founding editor, in 1974, of The Hastings Center Report, Steinfels directed the independent and nonpartisan bioethics research institute’s publication between 1974 and 1980.  She and her husband, New York Times religion writer Peter Steinfels, edited the Catholic lay people’s journal Commonweal between 1989 and 2004.

American poet Ruth Stone read from her poetry for the Class of 1928 Poetry Reading.   Stone wrote the poems for her first book, In an Iridescent Time (1959) when she and her husband, the poet and novelist Walter Stone, lived at Vassar, where Walter Stone was a member of the English department.  Her second collection, Topography and Other Poems appeared in 1971, and Cheap was published in 1975.

Prolific African-American science-fiction writer and critic Samuel R. Delany read from his works.   Delany’s 11th novel, Dahlgren, was published in January 1975, and his 12th, Triton, and a critical work, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction appeared in 1976 and 1977.

Sovietologist Dr. Robert Tucker from Princeton University offered "Reflections of a Stalin Biographer."  An attaché at the United States embassy in Moscow between 1944 and 1953, Tucker published The Soviet Political Mind: Studies in Stalinism and Post-Stalin Change in 1963, and his Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879-1929: A Study in History and Personality and Stalin in Power: The Revolution from Above followed in 1973 and 1990.

Actress and author Jane Marla Robbins performed her one-woman play, Dear Nobody, for the Dickinson-Kayden Event.   Written with Terry Belanger, Robbins’s play focused on the 18th century English author and diarist Fanny Burney and a number of her “friends,” such as Samuel Johnson, Mme. DeStael and King George III.  New York Times theater critic Clive Barnes, reviewing the play’s debut in 1974, said the secret of the play’s great success was “simple but twofold.  Fanny Burney happens to be one of the most interesting people one could have wished to meet in the whole of 18th-century London.  And, secondly, Jane Marla Robbins, the actress and co-author of the occasion, plays her capitally.”

Mildred Bernstein Kayden ’42 established the Dickinson-Kayden fund in 1966 in honor of the late Professor of Music George Sherman Dickinson. 

Professor of Chemistry Dietmar Seyferth from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology lectured on "Organocobalt Cluster Compounds—Carbon in an Unusual Environment."  A specialist in the synthesis and characterization of organometallic compounds—compounds containing bonds between carbon and a metal—and in their reactivity and applications, Professor Seyferth was the founding regional editor of The Journal of Organometallic Chemistry between 1964 and 1981.

Michael Wood, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lectured on "Nice Guys Finish Last: Images of Success in American Movies."  Dr. Wood’s America in the Movies was published by Basic Books and Secker & Warburg in 1975.

Spanish lawyer, journalist and playwright Joaquín Calvo Sotelo, a member of the Royal Spanish Academy and author of some 60 plays, lectured on "Personajes Universales del Teatro Espanol.

Social historian, critic and historian of dress Anne Hollander gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "Fabric of Vision: The Role of Drapery in the Pictorial Imagination."  Hollander’s influential book Seeing Through Clothes appeared in 1978, and Fabric of Vision: Dress and Drapery in Painting was published by the National Gallery in London in 2002.

African-American computer scientist Dr. Milton White, chief executive officer of the processing system company Datanamics, lectured on "Computer Technology and Black America." 

Humorist and Washington Post columnist Art Buchwald offered advice and encouragement to the graduates at the 116th commencement.   “You are the generation,” he said, “of Watergate and Kahoutek.  You were raised on Bonanza  and Kojak.  Walter Cronkite is your godfather, and Nixon was your president.  You flopped at streaking, and you blew Earth Day, and you’ve seen war live and in color on television and your previous president said he was not a crook.”

Reflecting on the day Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Buchwald said, "We’re all going to make it. For 200 years we’ve muddled along.  It’s less than a year since a President of the United States was forced to resign...because he lied to the American public.  But what is more important was that as it happened, we did not see one tank or helmeted officer in the street.  A country of over 200 million people was able to change Presidents overnight, without one bayonet being unsheathed.  I believe any country that can still do that can’t be all bad.”     Vassar News Office

Dean of Studies Natalie J. Marshall ‘51 succeeded John Duggan as vice-president for student affairs. Duggan left Vassar to become the president of St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Associate Professor of English Colton Johnson succeeded Marshall as dean of studies.
Richard Moll, formerly at Bowdoin College, replaced Richard D. Stephenson as director of admissions. Stephenson became admissions director at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, MA.

Vassar obtained a club license, which allowed the sale of beer, wine and liquor in the College Center's pub. 

Vassar was selected from 15 colleges to oversee the Common Application Experiment. This innovation was part of a national effort to streamline the college admission process.  All of the colleges involved agreed to use an identical application form known as the "Common Application." This application form allowed high school students to fill out just one application, which they would then send to all of the colleges to which they were applying.

An underestimate of the number of returning students led to the conversion of parlors and study rooms in Cushing House, Jewett House and Main Building for emergency student housing.
The Admissions Office announced the addition of senior students to the interviewing staff. Admissions director Richard Moll, who used student interviewers at Bowdoin College, said “This is a significant achievement, as only a handful of colleges in the country involve students so directly in the admissions process.”  Student interviewers were added to staff to “give the regular admission officers more flexibility,” increase the number of Vassar applicants interviewed and “make Vassar more credible to candidates.”

On October 3, 1975, the Miscellany News identified the first student interviewers selected by a special committee: Patricia Brown ‘76, Jeremy Mark ‘76, Alice Markowitz ‘76 and Steven Seltz ‘76. The committee also selected two alternates.
The Women’s Center voted to exclude men from full voting rights within the organization, rescinding the Spring 1975 decision to fully enfranchise men.

Student Government vice president Ellen Dickstein ‘77 attended the second annual Seven Sisters Leadership Conference at Wellesley College.

The Office of Admission held a conference for “prospective student chairmen,” drawn from the regional alumnae clubs to recruit and interview admission candidates from local high schools.  Vice President for Student Affairs Natalie Marshall ‘51 said of the workshops, “This is the first time we’ve held such a conference.”

The hours at the Retreat were extended from 5 P.M. to midnight on weeknights.

“Nightlife,” Vassar’s discotheque, opened in the All Purpose Room of the College Center.

The Vassar Print Room in Taylor Hall presented an exhibition of eighteen lithographs by the 19th century French printmaker and caricaturist Honoré Daumier.

Caroline Bird '35 spoke at the Women’s Center about her book, The Case Against College, in which she maintained that college “is good for some people, but it is not good for everybody." Bird argued that college should not be seen as a necessity for the job market. It should be only for those for whom “learning is almost sexually exciting.”     Caroline Bird, The Case Against College

A female student was assaulted on the Quad in the early morning hours. In response to the attack, the college increased security—extending Student Patrol and the escort service hours, providing two-way walkie-talkies for all security guards and watchmen and increasing the number of security guards on weekend late-night duty.

The Vassar Experimental Theatre presented Federico García Lorca’s play Yerma.



In a talk in the Chapel, political activist, Holocaust survivor and writer Elie Wiesel focused on the heroes of Biblical literature.



The Miscellany News announced that the 1975 Vassarion would soon be available. shortly, when material Vice President for Student Affairs Natalie J. Marshall ‘51 considered “libelous, grossly indecent, or racist” was removed.   Publication was delayed in the spring of 1975 after the printer informed the administration of “questionable” content. In response, former vice president for student affairs John Duggan, director of campus activities Peggy Streit, 1974-1975 S.G.A. president Ricki Ryland ‘75 and 1975 Senior Class President Roz Fultz ‘75 traveled to Pittsburgh to review to the yearbook proofs.  The original version, Marshall said, “in no way presents a picture of what I value in Vassar.”



As a result of Poughkeepsie police officer George Lochner’s report on Vassar’s security system, Vice President for Administration James Ritterskamp endorsed a “tighter security force” with more stringent qualifications in hiring and more extensive training. The Lochner Report was released in its entirety at the October 18th meeting of the board of trustees.

George Lochner served as head of Vassar security from 1986 until 1996.
The Miscellany News reported that the men’s soccer team completed the first undefeated season in Vassar history with a record of 9-0-2.

The college announced the establishment of a research professorship in classical studies in honor of the Harvard classical archeologist, Carl Blegen and his wife Elizabeth Pierce Blegen ’10.  Funded at the level of $625,000 by combining a trust fund established by Mrs. Blegen’s will and two small endowment funds, the professorship recognized an increased interest in classical studies at Vassar and among several of Vassar’s peer institutions—“a source of satisfaction to all,” said Dean of the Faculty Barbara Wells, “especially in a time when we are witnessing a national preoccupation with prevocationalism.”      The New York Times

Vassar’s radio station WVKR joined 175 college radio stations in a boycott of Warner Brothers-Reprise Records, over the company’s decision to stop providing newly released albums to college radio stations at no charge.
Activist and Georgia state senator Julian Bond spoke in Chicago Auditorium, on “The New Politics.”  A founding member in 1960 of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Bond fought the Georgia state representatives’ refusal to seat him after his election in 1966 because of SNCC’s position on the Vietnamese war all the way to the Supreme Court, where he prevailed.
British a cappella group the King’s Singers, on their third American tour, performed in Skinner Recital Hall. Their program included English madrigals, Spanish Renaissance motets and 16th century French chansons.
In memory of Professor of History C. Mildred Thompson ’03, the history department held a symposium, which featured discussions on “Vassar Training in History: Is there a Future in the Past?” and “The Historical Role of Women.”

Dean of the college from 1923 until 1948, Thompson died on February 17, 1975.
Vice President for Administration James Ritterskamp reported a deficit of $646,000 for the 1975-1976 academic year.
Dr. Ruth Patrick, winner of the 1975 Tyler Ecology Award for environmental research and preservation, gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on “The Structure and Functioning of Stream Ecosystems.”  The president of the American Society of Naturalists, Dr. Patrick founded the limnology department at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

Dr. Vassos Lyssarides, head of the Greek-Cypriot Socialist Party (EDEK) and member of the governing National Council of Cyprus, gave a speech entitled “Post-Vietnam Intervention in Proxy” in the College Center. Lyssarides claimed that the United States used Greece and Turkey as proxies to intervene in Cypriot affairs.

The Miscellany News reported that critic and novelist Mary McCarthy ’33 had been chosen as commencement speaker.  McCarthy’s novel The Group (1963), nominated for the National Book Award, recounted the story of seven Vassar alumnae and their lives after graduation.

Psychology professor L. Joseph Stone died.  A pioneer in developmental child study and former head of the New York State Psychological Association, Stone had been a member of the Vassar faculty since 1939.

Central Hudson Gas and Electric cut off Vassar’s access to gas. As a condition of the college’s receiving gas at a “dump rate,” Central Hudson could end the supply at any time if necessitated by regular-fee customers’ demand. The interruption ended on February 18, 1976, by which time the college, turning to oil in the place of gas, spent an extra $160,000 on fuel.

The Women’s Studies program appointed its first coordinator, Assistant Professor of History Teresa Vilardi.
Students revived Philaletheis, originally a literary society and for many years a dramatic group. Organized in 1865 as the first student organization, it had lapsed in 1958, due to lack of interest.  The first 1975 Philaletheis production was Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap (1952).