African Americans have been part of the fabric of Vassar College since its inception in 1861—from students, faculty, and administrators to artists, architects, artisans, landscapers, caterers, housekeepers, and others who have passed through the College over time.
Buildings and Belonging honors their presence and contributions. In addition to educating all about the influence of African Americans at Vassar, organizers aim to encourage a greater sense of “belonging” for African Americans currently living, studying, and working at the College.
Buildings and Belonging highlights campus buildings and sites where African Americans have contributed to the physical, cultural, academic, and sociological history and development of the College. Interested parties may take guided and self-guided tours of these sites, designated by markers. This website (vassar.edu/buildings-and-belonging) and a printed map will assist visitors in their exploration and provide additional information about the historical relevance of each site.
The Buildings and Belonging project reflects Vassar’s commitment to equity and inclusion in academia and campus life. In addition to establishing permanent markers, the organizers plan to incorporate the project into the life of the campus through orientation events, admissions tours, and ongoing research.