This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Image credit: Simeon, Bourique under the Flaming Tree

Parents — and Haiti — Come to Campus, April 11–13

Each April, parents of current students journey to Poughkeepsie to enjoy the Vassar experience for themselves. Parents, as well as their sons and daughters, can look forward to enjoying special events, athletic meets, shows, and presentations demonstrating the range of talents and interests encompassed by the student body. Some of this year’s many special events include performances by various a cappella groups, lectures on the library’s exhibition of the letters of John and Abigail Adams, an historical walking tour of the Vassar campus, and an ice cream social.

Parents’ Weekend also features the annual Vassar Haiti Project Art Sale. Andrew Meade, co-chair of the Vassar Haiti Project and director of international services at Vassar, lived in Haiti in the 1970s and established the Vassar Haiti Project in 2001. The group, composed of students, faculty, administrators, and community volunteers, aims, generally, to increase public understanding about Haitian culture and history and, specifically, to support the impoverished village of Chermaitre. The Vassar Haiti Project has raised more than $200,000 for the village, much of which is now directed toward the rebuilding of the village’s one-room school with a new seven-room structure.

The Parents’ Weekend art sale also supports the artists and artisans of Haiti through the purchasing and auctioning of their art. This year marks the seventh anniversary of the art auction and sale, which features original paintings, sculptures, crafts and handiwork, and silk hand-painted scarves, all by native Haitian artists.

From March 9–16, nine representatives from the Vassar Haiti Project traveled to Chermaitre, bringing supplies — medical equipment, clothing, art and school supplies, flashlights, games and toys, and basic toiletries — and evaluating the progress of the school building project, as well as exploring new projects for the school, such as the installation of a solar-power energy system.

April 2008

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