Matthew Vassar, founder of the college, was born in East Dereham, parish of Tuddingham, Norfolk County, England, the son of Ann Bennett and James Vassar, farmers and dissenters.

" has alway been a mooted question on what day I was born, the family record reporting it at mid-night, Father insisting it was before 12 O'ck at night, and Mother after 12 O'ck on the 28th April 1792."     Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, ed., The Autobiography and Letters of Matthew Vassar