Mary McCarthy ’33 died at the age of 77.  McCarthy wrote 28 books in her lifetime; the most famous, The Group, was a semi-autobiographical novel that followed eight Vassar graduates navigating New York City post-graduation.  The first “President’s Distinguished Visitor” in 1982, she spoke at Commencement twice.

In September 1985, McCarthy talked about Vassar with broadcast journalist Faith Daniels:
“I’m very fond of Vassar, even when I’ve been on the outs with Vassar.  I’m very fond of the place, and let’s say I’m fond of, and amused by, the idea of the Vassar girl of all ages, because all are recognizable to me.  Their desire to be superior—superior to others, superior to their community.  There is a certain daringness, sometimes simply a wish to be daring and sometimes the reality, because they’re not all that way.  And, on the positive side, I think they are very well educated on the whole.  I mean, you can’t educate everybody.”  Quoted in Frances Kiernan, Seeing Mary Plain: a Life of Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy’s papers are in the Vassar Special Collections Library