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

Reflections: The Vietnam War

Have you visited the Memories section of the Vassar 150 website lately? If you haven’t, here’s a glimpse of what you’ve been missing:

While many Vassar students openly opposed the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Cate (Amy Siegel) Duggar ’70 had a decidedly different perspective on the fighting. Though “strongly anti-war personally,” she writes, her then-fiancé was a Navy SEAL officer leading a group of 12 men in Southeast Asia.

“I was marooned at Vassar—where I couldn’t find a single person who even knew anyone serving in Vietnam,” she notes. “My sense of isolation was reflected in my senior thesis for the drama department, a reading called ‘Women in Wartime,’ constructed from primary sources dating from World War I and earlier.”

Duggar resented the Vassar Moratorium, an on-campus anti-war demonstration meant to raise awareness. “With the man I loved getting shot at on a daily basis in the Delta, I felt that my consciousness was plenty raised already,” Duggar recalls.

And so one night—and with the help of a friend—a frustrated Duggar set off a military flare from the roof of Raymond, catching the attention of more than a few people. Was Duggar discovered? Find out by reading the rest of her essay.

Plus, read what your classmates and other Vassar alumnae and alumni are writing about their time at Vassar. Don’t forget to submit your own memory to the Sesquicentennial website! Share any aspect of your personal Vassar experience—recollections of your time on campus, inspiring faculty, friendships forged, how the college changed you, how you changed the college and the world.

November 2011

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