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

Reflections: A Guy in a Woman's World?

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:

John Stevenson ’75 grew up with three brothers—his only siblings. Two of his brothers attended all-male schools, so when John enrolled at Vassar, he became the first sibling to choose coeducation. Furthermore, he enrolled at Vassar at a time when male students were still a bit of a novelty.

“What I knew of college life from my brothers did not exist at Vassar, so my initial experiences of my freshman year were full of dissonance in light of my thinking, values, and my comfort zone,” he writes.

“As newly minted freshmen men on campus, we were in a highly visible, cautiously regarded (sometimes resented) minority, and I often thought I didn’t belong at Vassar, that I didn’t fit in. The feelings of disconnect were so strong that by mid-October of ’71 I was ready to transfer out to a more male-centric college like my brothers had attended.”

What made Stevenson stay? And how did the experience impact him? Find out by reading the rest of his 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.

December 2011

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