Mary McCarthy ’33, author of Cannibals and Missionaries (1979), Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (1957, and The Group (1963), lectured on "Some Narrative Techniques and Their Implications" in the Chapel, as the first President’s Distinguished Visitor.

The President’s Distinguished Visitor Program was intended to “honor distinguished alumnae/i, and to offer students the example and inspiration of persons of genuine achievement.” Each year the President invited three prominent alumnae/i to visit campus for a week or more in order to lecture and mentor. This was McCarthy’s first visit to campus since she served as the 1976 commencement speaker.

While on campus, McCarthy also lectured about political theorist Hannah Arendt, spoke to English classes, and held a tea—during which she read from her book The Mask of State: Watergate Portraits (1974).

On February 12th, McCarthy, along with Professor of History Donald J. Olsen, author of The Growth of Victorian London (1976), Associate Professor of English Beth Darlington, editor of The Love Letters of William and Mary Wordsworth (1981) and Professor of Anthropology Walter Fairservis, author of Asia: Treasures and Tradition (1981), held a book signing in the Vassar Cooperative Bookstore.