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Anita Hemmings, class of 1897, was Vassar’s first African American graduate, although she had to “pass” as white to get in. Read her story in the Vassar Quarterly digital archive.
Beatrix McCleary, VC 1944, and Camille Cottrell and June Jackson, both VC 1945-’44, were the first three African Americans knowingly admitted to Vassar. Read McCleary’s own account of what it was like to be a “negro student at Vassar” from the VQ digital archives.
Carole Merritt ’62 and five other Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee workers were jailed in Canton, MS, on Feb. 3, 1964. Merritt later wrote about the experience, and her experiences at Vassar, in the VQ. Read her article.
In 1976, Norman Hodges, assoc. professor of history, was appointed director of the Africana Studies Department. The same year, he published “Blacks and the Bicentennial: The Irony of Democracy” in the VQ. Read it here.
The internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet performs in Skinner Hall on Sunday at 3pm as part of this year’s Modfest. Get the whole schedule here.
Claudia Thomas '71 (left), the first Black woman orthopedic surgeon in the U.S., was one of the founding members of the AAAVC and its first chairperson. Read her account of how it came about. Photo courtesy of Ebony Magazine, 1981
Pictured here with Beatrix McCleary '44, June Jackson Christmas '45-'44 (left) was one of the first African Americans to graduate from Vassar. In 1988, the prominent psychiatrist wrote "A Historical Overview: The Black Experience at Vassar" for the VQ's March 1988 issue.
A founding faculty member of the Education Department and the Africana Studies Program, Joyce Bickerstaff arrived at Vassar in 1971 and retired in 2014. In 1996, she led a study trip to the Black South which she described in depth in this VQ article.
The Africana Studies Program had its first incarnation as the Urban Center for Black Studies in downtown Poughkeepsie. Read about the genesis of the program in this 40th anniversary article in the VQ.
The American Stories is a sweeping exploration of American paintings from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center's permanent collection, Jan. 29-Apr 17. Learn more.
Don't miss The American Stories, a sweeping exploration of American paintings from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center’s permanent collection, January 29-April 17, 2016. Read more.
In 1991, Pascal St. Gerard ’92 became the first Black student to be elected president of the Vassar Student Association. Read an interview with St. Gerard from the VQ digital archive.
Now a successful playwright and actor, April Y. Thompson ’94 was the president of the Black Students’ Union when the ALANA Center (then called the Intercultural Center) first opened. Read her remarks in the VQ. Photo by Jill Jones
Now a venerable tradition, the African Violets first became a part of Vassar’s Commencement celebration in 1991 after a year of racial unrest. Read the article about the origin of this tradition and others.
Ceremonial Kente cloths were bestowed on the founding members of the AAAVC at the 2015 Triennial. Read about the celebration in the VQ.
To support the New York Special Olympics, more than two dozen Vassar athletes and at least one coach will take the Polar Bear Plunge on Sunday, Feb. 21. Find out more and watch a video of last year’s plunge. Photo by Stockton Photo, Inc.
All College Days 2016 begin today. Get the full schedule of events here.
Black Scholars: Assoc. prof of film Mia Mask examines how African Americans have been portrayed on the screen and how those portrayals impact cultural attitudes. Read more.
Black Scholars: Assoc. prof of history Quincy Mills explores the role of Black barbershops in the evolution of African American history and culture. Read more.
Black Scholars: Assoc. prof. of political science and international studies Zachariah Mampilly studies rebel movements from Africa to Asia. Read more.
Fluid Ecologies: Hispanic Caribbean Art from the Permanent Collection, an exhibition of thirteen works on paper by seven of the most celebrated Hispanic Caribbean artists of the last five decades, is on view through May 8. Read more.
One hundred years of Vassar: The Alumnae/i Quarterly (1916-2015) is now online. Read more about the Vassar College Libraries’ latest digital archiving effort and browse the collection of 453 issues at library.vassar.edu/vq/.
Vassar College Office of Communications
124 Raymond Ave
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
Late 1800s - 2017
Browse and enjoy.
Starting in 2011, Vassar’s 150th anniversary, the college’s homepages have been available for browsing in this archive. Each image is captioned, and the caption links to related information. Enjoy!