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

Photo credit: Andrea Fischman

“Peanut Butter Guy” Lee Zalben ’95 Speaks at Convocation

Excitement, anticipation, and some 700 members of the Vassar community filled the Chapel on Wednesday, April 28 for Spring Convocation. Following a processional featuring Gail Archer on the famed pipe organ and an inspired adaptation of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Roadperformed by the Convocation Choir, Lee Zalben took to the stage to present the 2010 banner to Selina Isobel Strasburger, president of the senior class.

Founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., a New York City sandwich shop and leading natural food brand, Zalben welcomed the graduating class into AAVC and encouraged the new alumnae/i to utilize this network for support and advice as they begin their careers. “As alums, we want to see you succeed,” he stated. “We take pride in your accomplishments and in helping you reach your goals. Being there for you reconnects us to this place and to this time in our lives.” Zalben, an enthusiastic world traveler, is dedicated to making the world a better and “more delicious” place through his company’s practices (Zalben could not resist sending audience members away with a memento of his visit: a jar of peanut butter). While at Vassar, Zalben was an Urban Studies major and spent his junior year abroad studying at University College London and the Bartlett School of Architecture and Design. He also holds a Masters of Science from Pace University.

This year’s faculty speaker was Ken Livingston, professor of psychology. In “Notes from Neverland” he examined why, despite his advanced years, he still feels young. “Everyday I come to work where everyone is 18-25. It’s easy to imagine that one is perpetually youthful,” he said, noting that the intellectual stimulation, fresh challenges and fascinating students he has encountered on campus has kept him feeling about 25 years old. “Vassar allows us to step out of the flow of time,” he concluded.

May 2010

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