Justice Albie Sachs of the Constitutional Court of South Africa delivered the keynote address of Equal Rights Awareness Week, sponsored by student organization P.E.A.C.E (Promoting Equality and Community Everywhere). Justice Sachs was a Freedom Fighter against the South Africa apartheid regime and was the chief architect of the 1996 post-apartheid constitution.

Choreographer Twyla Tharp gave a lecture and demonstration titled “Kinetic Energy” in Walker Athletic and Fitness Center. Tharp is lauded for her contributions to classical and modern dance and has received numerous awards including a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards and nineteen honorary doctorates. The event was sponsored by the Carolyn Grant Fund. The Miscellany News, The Poughkeepsie Journal.

 
Former CFO of the College Anthony C. Stellato died in his home in Poughkeepsie. Stellato served as Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer from 1980 to his retirement in 2000. He was survived by his wife and three sons. The Miscellany News

During an EPA investigation, crystallized picric acid, a substance with a molecular structure similar to TNT, was found in Olmsted Hall. Picric acid was often used up until the 1980s but was discontinued and removed from Vassar facilities, as it is explosive in solid form. The substance was detonated on the Vassar Farm by the Westchester County Bomb Squad.

On April 11, 2002, two seniors were expelled and one sophomore was suspended after being found responsible for vandalizing around 20 cars parked near the Town Houses. An investigation began immediately following the incident, which took place in November of 2001. The Town of Poughkeepsie Police and Vassar security were able to identify the suspects and revealed that there was around $14,000 worth of damage done to ten of the cars.

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center held a month-long exhibition called “Modern Metropolis,” curated by the Emily Hargoves Fisher ‘57, Richard B. Fisher Curator Joel Smith and the Philip and Lynn Strauss Curator of Prints and Drawings, Patricia Phagan. The exhibition showcased New York’s part in the growth of modern art in the early 1900s. “Phagan describes the show as presenting ‘images of New York's grand architecture and thriving crowds, both of which evoke the enduring and indomitable spirit of the city.’ The works featured are pieces that document and humanize turn-of-the-century New York City.”

Throughout the week, the Vassar Greens held a series of events to celebrate Earth Week. The theme of the series was “Breaking the Chains that Bind Us,” and explored how one person can help make change. Events included a talk by Lois Gibbs, executive director of the Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, a viewing of a documentary film on the vinyl industry’s environmental impact, and the grand opening of a community garden on Raymond Avenue.

Professor of History David Schalk retired at the end of the 2001-2002 academic year. After completing his doctorate in European intellectual history at Harvard University, Schalk joined the Vassar faculty in 1968 and taught European and French History. After his retirement, Schalk continued to publish articles and reviews, sit on doctoral thesis panels, and give lectures. Room 23 in Swift Hall was named in his honor.  The Miscellany News and Vassar History Department

After having been represented by Main House, Ferry House was finally given formal representation in the Vassar Student Association. The 34 students then residing in Ferry would be allowed to elect a president, freshman representative, and a treasurer. They would also be given a budget for their own programming.

As part of a national lecture series called, “Human Rights: The Unfinished Agenda for the New Millenium,” Vassar held a lecture presented by Harold Koh on the impact of 9/11 on American civil and political rights. The event was cosponsored and organized by the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Vall-Kill, which aims to continue Roosevelt’s legacy by promoting human rights. As a professor of International Law at Yale University and former assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 1998 to 2001, Koh argued in his lecture that, “Over the course of the past year, we have slowly been compromising our civil liberties in favor of national security.”

Over 100 Vassar students went to Central Park in New York City to protest alongside 250,000 others at a rally held by the organization Not In Our Name (NION). NION was holding demonstrations across the U.S. to “protest the war on Iraq, detentions and roundups of immigrants, police state restrictions, and the erosion of civil liberties.” Vassar College President Frances Fergusson encouraged this activism in her fall convocation address which she gave shortly before the NYC protest.  

On November 8, two teams from the Culinary Institute of America came to the ACDC to participate in a cooking competition run and judged by Vassar students. The competition was inspired by “Iron Chef,” a Japanese cooking show. At Vassar, the two teams had one hour to create a three-course meal, which had to include Samuel Adams beer. The judges awarded the team Celebrator with first place over team Spicy Nuts. Student organizers hoped that this event would cause a “massive shift in the way we view the culinary arts at Vassar.”
F. Sherwood Roland, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his research on ozone depletion, gave a speech on campus about the state of the atmosphere. National Medal of Science winner Gene Linkens introduced Roland.  

The Roots performed at Vassar in the Walker Field House on November 23, after being booked by ViCE (Vassar College Entertainment). The band was “highly regarded as one of the most groundbreaking hip hop acts of the [1990s].”