Matthew’s Mug raised the cost of beer and liquor from 10 to 40 cents because of a first-semester deficit.
The Miscellany News reported that library thefts had significantly dropped since the installation of an electronic security system in July of 1974.
Department chairmen protested the January 14th vote by the board of trustees freezing salaries and wages for all college employees for the 1976-77 academic year. Twenty-eight out of 29 department chairmen signed a letter to President Simpson, the administration and the trustees which asserted that the vote breached The Governance. The Faculty Compensation Committee (FCC) also reacted to the vote, drafting a letter to the faculty in which they declared the board made “its decision unilaterally without regard to the FCC’s position.”
At a faculty meeting on January 28, President Simpson defended the action, saying, “The Dean [Dean of Faculty Barbara Wells] and I reject the suggestion that The Governance was violated in either the letter or the spirit by the procedure through which the compensation decision was reached.” The faculty endorsed the department heads’ January 20th statement, and biology professor Patricia Johnson observed that she “had never seen the faculty so united on an issue.”
The issue was resolved on April 16, when the trustee Committee on Budget recommended a five percent increase in faculty wages for the coming academic year. The Miscellany News
Pop-rock band Orleans, known for “Dance for Me” and “Still the One,” performed a concert in the Chapel.
The Vassar Library presented an exhibit of samplers from the Martha Reed Collection, collected in Europe around the years 1910-11. The collection was given to the college in 1920 by Emmeline Reed Bedell in honor of her niece Martha Clawson Reed ’10.
The Vassar house fellows released a report protesting the administration's proposal to eliminate eight house fellow apartments in order to create 32 new student rooms. Dean of the Faculty Barbara Wells observed that reducing the number of house fellows would save the college $27,000. Furthermore, she said, the additional students would bring in $110,000.
Main house fellow and mathematics professor Donald Spicer responded that the benefits of the house fellow program were “subjective and difficult to measure in dollars and cents. I feel very keenly, however, that the house fellow program is not a frill, but that it typifies the unique aspects of the Vassar educational experience.”
No further action was taken on the proposal. The Miscellany News
The Vassar economics department released its annual salary and compensation analysis, showing that faculty average real salaries had decreased in the previous three years. Thus, economics professor Stephen Rousseas concluded, “A wage freeze next year would, in effect, cut real salaries for the fourth year in a row.”
Roger Wilkins and Charlayne Hunter of The New York Times and William J. Raspberry of The Washington Post participated in a panel on “The Press and the Black Community” in Chicago Auditorium. The nephew of civil rights leader Roy Wilkins, Roger Wilkins was Assistant United States Attorney General in the Lyndon Johnson administration and briefly an officer of the Ford Foundation before joining The Times. After two years of litigation Hunter was one of two students who desegregated the University of Georgia in January 1961. Raspberry was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1982 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1994.
Wilkins, Hunter, and Raspberry were the first African-American journalists brought to campus by the Poynter Committee, which supervised the five-year $50,000 gift to the college by Nelson and Marion Knauss Poynter ‘46, publishers of The St. Petersburg Times. The grant was intended to increase students’ appreciation for and exposure to the media. The panel discussion was also sponsored by the Africana Studies Program.
Coordinator for Women's Courses Teresa Vilardi and the biology department sponsored a lecture in the College Center on "New Research on Feminine Bio-psychology and Sexuality. "Speakers included Dr. Elizabeth McCauley from the departments of psychiatry and pediatrics at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Dr. Marcy Greenwood ’68, assistant professor at the Institute of Human Nutrition of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University.
Dr. Greenwood was a visiting assistant professor of biology at Vassar in 1976, and she served on the faculty until 1989, becoming a full professor in 1981.
Mary Johnson Lowe, acting Supreme Court justice for the New York County Supreme Court, spoke at the Black Benefit Weekend held in Chicago Hall. In 1978, Lowe was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the second African-American woman to be appointed to the Federal judiciary.
In honor of retiring Professor of Classics Marion Tait, New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin lectured in Taylor Hall on "The Fiscal Reform of New York City" for the annual Helen Kenyon Lecture.
Feminist journalist Deirdre English lectured on “Ideology and Child-Rearing Practices” in the College Center. Her books Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness and Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers appeared in 1973, and For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts’ Advice to Women was published by Anchor Press in 1978.
In 1981, English was the first editor-in-chief of the liberal investigative journal Mother Jones, a position she held until 1986.
The Library reported that many woodcut prints by American landscape painter and printmaker Winslow Homer had been torn out of old issues of Harper’s Weekly. The libraries at Bowdoin, Colby, Harvard, Cornell, and Mount Holyoke described similar thefts.
A disagreement over autonomy in appointments led seven of the 12 members of the Poynter Committee—including all five faculty representatives— to resign. Eventually Dean of the Faculty Barbara Wells disbanded the Committee and appointed English department chairman Elizabeth Daniels ’41 to oversee the grant from Nelson and Marion Knauss Poynter ‘46, publishers of The St. Petersburg Times, intended to inform students about the media.
WVKR, Vassar’s student-run radio station, became an FM station and was assigned FM band 91.3 by the Federal Communications Commission. The station began its FM broadcasts in the fall of 1976.
The Vassar men’s basketball team, dubbed “one big, tough, pink ball club” by The Miscellany News, won the North Eastern Atlantic Conference, ending the season with 12 wins and 5 losses, the best record in its history.
Rosalyn Carter, wife of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter, spoke at Pratt House in support of her husband’s candidacy.
Taiwanese philosopher Dr. Chung-Ying Cheng of the University of Hawai’i lectured on Ch’an Buddism in the “Language of Ch’an.”
The eminent English economist Joan Robinson spoke on "Ideology and Analysis: Kalecki and Keynes" in the College Center for the annual Martin H. Crego Lecture. Professor Emeritus of Economics at Cambridge University, Robinson worked with John Maynard Keynes on his development of his general theory of employment, interest and money. During a question-and-answer session, Robinson asserted, “the future of capitalism is not rosy.”
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.
The board of trustees and the Associate Alumnae/i of Vassar College (AAVC) board of directors adopted the recommendations of a report on fundraising prepared in September of 1974 by the consulting firm of Robert E. Nelson Associates. Urging greater coordination between the AAVC and the Vassar board, the report also recommended that the college take administrative responsibility for the Alumnae House and the AAVC operating budget.
Former Undersecretary of State George Ball spoke in Taylor Hall as part of the two-day symposium “Bicentennial Reflections on American Foreign Policy.” Other speakers included Professor Robert Tucker, professor of American foreign policy at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins; Cornell University Professor of History Walter LaFeber and Kempton Jenkins, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations.
The coalition began with a organized for November 12, 1975, by Lenny Steinhorn ‘77 and Jed Mark ‘76 to discuss “political apathy on campus.”
“This College was founded in a period of change and of great strife for the nation. The courage to pursue the goal against such odds and to accept change as desirable—and possibly also to accept internal strife—are Vassar’s heritage and woven into its very fabric.”
Approaching her conclusion, Drouilhet turned to the move to coeducation, noting, “During the controversy in recent years, I have felt strongly but spoken rarely on this subject.” She then told of private research she had done, studying admission records, interviewing alumnae who were educators “in some of the superior schools from which Vassar had previously had many good applicants. They confirmed the published reports. Suddenly, I realized that to continue Matthew Vassar’s goal to provide the best education for women, his college must become coeducational. These facts made me realize just how women have progressed in this century…women no longer wanted an education equal to men’s; they wanted to share equally with men the same educational experience.”
The new administrative space remained, eventually becoming the offices of the Communications office, and the Gold Parlor returned to residential use.
Helen Drusilla Lockwood ’12 taught English at Vassar from 1927-1956 and chaired the English department from 1950-1956. At her death in 1971, she bequeathed $6 million to Vassar, some of which was used to construct the Lockwood library.
Suzanne Bordelon ed. Feminist Legacy: the Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Gertrude Buck
Protestors claimed that the leaflet was “sexist,” claiming it “portrays an inaccurate picture of the male students presently at Vassar and discriminates against the female students presently at Vassar.” The Miscellany News
Dick Gregory, political activist and comedian, lectured on America's "white racist sexist system" for two hours and 20 minutes to an audience of 900 in the Chapel. Finding little cause for hope in the outcome of the recent election, Gregory said, "It didn't make too much damn' difference which of those two cats got in.... I knew Ford was gonna lose when he watied until after people were dying from the flu shots before he got his." Gregory "saved his most scathing barbs," wrote Leo Crowley '77 in The Miscellany News, "for Earl Butz," the former secretary of agriculture who has resigned a month earlier after, after a salacious racist joke of his was reported in the media. Butz was, said Gregory, the "kind of guy who writes dirty words on bathroom walls—in his own house." Gregory urged students to get involved in protest movements, inviting them to join a Thanksgiving day rally in front of the White House in protest of conditions in South Africa.
Student Government Association (SGA) President Steve Nelson '77 reported being approached by "two neatly dressed, middle-aged men" after Gregory's talk who, according to Jack Nadler '77 in The Miscellany News, wanted "to talk to you about the future of our country." Noting that Gregory had identified the men as FBI agents, Nelson said he'd been "non-commital" in response to questions about "the extent of radical activities on campus by both students and faculty" and about whether he planned to join the Thanksgiving demonstrators. But, Nadler added "he did tell them that, for the most part, 'student opinion in closer to Dick Gregory than to the Ford administration.'"
Some 30 Vassar students joined the Thanksgiving protest. Dick Gregory, who had first come to Vassar to entertain during Christmas House Party weekend in 1964, appeared on campus again in 1981, 1990 and 1999.
The College Center Gallery exhibited the works of Seven Women Artists: Sandy Galleher, Jean Johnson, Mary Langston, Carole Reichgut, Lorraine Reiley, Elayne Seaman, and Sheila Tankard.
Speaking on campus, Judge William H. Booth, president of the American Committee on Africa, criticized US policy in South Africa—labeling it exploitation.
A devoted and effective foe of racial discrimination, Judge Booth served as chairman of New York City’s Commission on Human Rights from 1966-1969.
In an article in the Miscellany News, he characterized apartheid as “expensive, wasteful, tragic and absurd.”
“In bulbous nose and jackanapes costume, he draws two volunteers from the audience, enticing them into a syncopated song and dance for left feet and twin kazoos. It is a dangerous exercise to depend on the buffoonery of strangers, but Mr. Berky has blind faith in his ability to make someone else seem funny. At the performance I attended, he won his loudest laugh with the simple act of peeking at one volunteer’s ankles and discovering that the man’s socks did not match.”
Curator at the Whitney Museum, Marcia Tucker lectured on “Issues in Contemporary Art.” The innovative Tucker had presented the first major exhibit of conceptual art in 1969, and she was the founding director in 1977 of the New Museum of Contemporary Art.