In an article in The New York Times on campus reactions to Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s proposed drug laws requiring mandatory life sentences without parole for all drug users, dealers and those convicted of drug related crimes, Michael T. Kaufman quoted an anonymous Vassar student.  “’I deal to make a little money and provide a service to my friends,’ she said, adding that this made her a dealer.  A pusher, the student commented, is someone intent on expanding his business primarily to make a good deal of money.  The student said she did not think the bill, if enacted, would in any way stop her from selling.”
The Paris Peace Accords were signed by the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, ending America’s longest war to date.
The Murphy Farmhouse Arts and Crafts Center opened on the Murphy Farm, offering students "informal classroom surroundings for Vassar College classes and a place for experimental activities."     The Miscellany News
Internationally-known American soprano Benita Valente gave a recital of songs by Haydn, Schubert, Debussy, Fauré and Rodrigo.  The winner, in 1960, of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut on September 22, 1973, as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

A discussion on "The Media and the 1972 Elections: A Basis for Confidence?"—the first in a series of media lectures sponsored by the American Culture Committee on Poynter Fellows—featured five prominent journalists and a former congressman.  Moderated by Elie Abel, dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, the panel included: Shana Alexander '45, contributing editor of Newsweek; Clifton Daniel, associate editor of The New York Times; Allard Lowenstein, former congresssman from New York and president of Americans for Democratic Action; Sanford Socolow, deputy director of CBS News; and Nicholas von Hoffman, journalist with The Washington Post.

The sponsors of the Poynter Program were Marion Knauss Poynter ’46 and her husband, Nelson Poynter, the publisher of The St. Petersburg Times and co-founder of The Congressional Quarterly.  In 1975 they founded the Modern Media Institute, a school and center for the study of journalism in St. Petersburg.  The institute became The Poynter Institute of Media Studies in 1984.

Father Benedict J. Groeschel, clinical psychologist and Capuchin friar, lectured on "The Psychology of Mysticism."

Christopher White, curator of graphic arts at the National Gallery of Art, lectured on "Dürer as Draughtsman."   White’s Dürer: The Artist and His Drawings was published by Phaidon Press in London in 1971.

Influential American historian of the Soviet Union Alexander Dallin, co-founder of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at Stanford University and author of The Soviet Union, Arms Control, and Disarmament : A Study of Soviet Attitudes (1964), lectured on "Soviet Foreign Policy: Pressures and Constraints."

Professor Dallin lectured at Vassar on "50 Years of Soviet Policy" in November 1967.

Alan Gussow lectured on "A Sense of Place: An Artist and the Hudson River." The artist and conservationist lived in Congers, in Rockland County, and his talk was adapted from his book A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Land, which was published in 1972.
The influential private collector of Tibetan art, George E. Hibbard, lectured on "The Art of Tibet."

Biologist and sexologist Robert T. Francoeur from Fairleigh-Dickinson University lectured on "Marriage, the Family, and the Future."  His lecture was the ninth in a series of talks on the role of the sexes in a changing society that was sponsored by the Vassar board of trustees.

Dr. Francoeur’s Eve's New Rib: 20 Faces of Sex, Marriage and Family (1972) was published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, and Hot and Cool Sex: Cultures in Conflict appeared in 1974.

As part of the interpartmental course, The River, Allan R. Talbot, an evironmentalist from the City College of New York School of Architectural and Environmental Design, lectured on "Who Are the Environmentalists and Why Are They Saying Such Awful Things About Us?"  Professor Talbot's Power along th Hudson: The Storm King Case and the Birth of Environmentalism (1972) detailed the ongoing struggle of the nascent environmental group Scenic Hudson in opposition to the hydroelectric power plant and high voltage transmission liine proposed in the late 1960s by Consolidated Edison for Storm King mountain in the Hudson Highlands.

Plagued by questions of the admisibility of environmental rather than economic evidence—and even the definition of what evironmental evidence should consist of—Scenic Hudson's suit against the power company was denied in 1971.  Persisting, the group won the landmark case in 1980, and Consolidated Edison, giving up its Storm King license, created a park at the proposed site.

Anticipating the opening at the end of spring break of the remodeled and expanded Students’ Building as the All Campus Dining Center, Main Building's dining hall, the original dining hall on campus, offered its last meal to students.

"At five-thirty, the doors of the dining room opened for the last time.  From the corsages worn by the staff ladies to the continuous flashing of cameras, everyone felt the uniqueness of the roast beef dinner.

"Dean Drouilhet, lost in the memories of Main's past, and Faith Scott, Executive Director of the Alumnae Association, were guests of honor at a champagne table headed by Thompson Lingel ['74].  He proposed the first toast of the night to [Jennie] Cushing Underwood, the woman to whom Main Dining Room was dedicated.  Jan Shoring ['73] followed with a toast to the Class of 1973.

"Another clinking of glasses silenced all for James Severino's ['74] toast to the Class of 1974, the first to include freshmen men.  Finally [Edmund] Hollander '76 proposed a toast to what he termed the most degenerate class in Vassar's history—the Class of 1976.  Rounds of applause resounded throughout the room after each toast.

"After a most relaxed and pleasant dinner, all moved to the parlors for a very special demi-tasse and a fine assortment of cookies.  The final toast of the evening praised the Vassar tradition of demi-tasse."     The Miscellany News

When a fire destroyed the dining room in Main Building and the former Chapel space above it in February 1918, the Class of 1880 funded the reconstructed two-storied dining room, which they dedicated to their classmate, Jennie Cushing Underwood '80, who died in 1916.

The Student Fellow program, a program in which upper-classmen were chosen to be peer counselors to freshmen, selected its first fellows for the following fall.
The All College Dining Center (ACDC) opened, taking the place of the dining rooms in individual residence halls, which were shut down.

The initial phase of the construction of the new College Center began with relocation of the College Book Store and the Retreat from the first floor of Main Building to the former Lathrop House kitchen and the Aula, where they were expected to remain until the the new center's completion in the fall of 1974.  The plans for the center included an expanded Retreat, a college store, accommodation for the Vassar Cooperative Book Store, student organization offices, meeting rooms, a soundproof music practice room, a crafts room, a darkroom, space for radio station WVKR, the Post Office and mailboxes, an all-purpose room and a new auditorium.  For the auditorium, Linda Malone '75 reported in The Miscellany News "the ceiling of the dining hall will be remodeled to reveal a third level of windows presently concealed by a false arch.  These windows were part of the original construction which included a fifth story chapel above the dining hall."

Destroyed in 1918 by fire, the space above the dining hall was partially reclaimed when the hall was restored, as Underwood Hall, to its original use.  The new space, first known for its furnishings as the "Green and Grey" room, later became The Villard Room, in honor of the former chair of the board of trustees, Mary St. John Villard '34.

The College Center opened in the late summer of 1975.

Dr. Joel Sheveloff, professor of musicology at Boston University, lectured on "The Bartok Quartets."

Historian Dr. Elizabeth Lewisohn Eisenstein ‘45/44, adjunct professor of history at American University, lectured on "Printing and the Permanent Renaissance."   A specialist in the history of the French Revolution and early 19th century France, Eisenstein focused her later work on printing, the press and the cultural and formal evolution of the book.  Her two-volume study, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Europe, was published by Cambridge University Press in 1979.

Professor Eisenstein spoke again at Vassar in April 1978 and in April 1981.  She returned in November 1988 as the President's Distinguished Visitor.

German-born mathematician Dr. Wilhelm Magnus, professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University, lectured on "Functions and Limitations of Mathematics."
The Julliard String Quartet performed the six quartets of Bela Bartok in two concerts in Skinner Hall.  "It is possible," wrote Richard Teller '74 in The Miscellany News, "in listening to all six at once, to trace the composer's development, for the quartets cover most of his creative lifetime, the first having been completed in 1908, the sixth in 1939."
Under sponsorship from the departments of physical education and anthropology and the New York State Council on the Arts, the Topeng Dance Theater of Bali performed traditional Indonesian masked dances.

American historian Professor Carl N. Degler from Stanford University lectured on "Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States."  His book of the same name, published in 1971, received the 1972 Pulitzer Prize in History.

Professor Degler was a member of the Vassar history department from 1952 until 1968.  His essay "Vassar College" appeared in American Places: Encounters with History (2000) published by Oxford University Press and edited by William E. Leuchtenburg.

Biblical hermeneuticist Hans W. Frei from Yale University lectured on "Biblical Narrative and Literary Sensibility." His The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative was published by Yale University Press in 1974.
The student body elected Steven J. Hueglin ’74 as the first male president of the Student Government Association (SGA).  Erica Ryland '75 was elected vice-president, the first woman to gain this post in three years.
Chaidir Anwar Sani, Indonesian representative to the United Nations, lectured on "Indonesia's Foreign Policy in a Multi-Polar Asia."
A leading advocate of nuclear power, Dr. Vance L. Sailor from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, lectured on "The Future of Nuclear Power."
A study of college fees by Iver Peterson in The New York Times entitled “College Costs Will Rise Sharply Again Next Fall” reported increases at all the Ivy League and Seven Sisters colleges.  Vassar’s $200 increase brought the estimated total cost for 1973-74 to $5,000, only $25 below Radcliffe, the most expensive women’s college, $750 above the least costly, Wellesley, at $4,250 and only $50 less than Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.
President Simpson dedicated the All College Dining Center (ACDC) in the Students’ Building.  Funding for the building’s conversion had been given by the family of Mary Babbott Ladd '08, whose anonymous gift made possible the Students’ Building, which opened in 1914.
After nearly a decade of tremendous change at Vassar, including co-education, discussions of graduate institutions and an increase in the student body to 2150, the faculty voted that the college "should not undergo any substantial expansion, so that it may have time to consolidate its efforts to maintain educational excellence with a student body of approximately the present size."      The Miscellany News
Vassar received a $3 million anonymous gift from a family associated with the college, breaking the college record for personal donations.   The gift was used to partially fund the new hall of biological sciences.
Frances Farenthold '46, former member of the Texas House of Representatives and the first national chairperson of the National Women's Political Caucus, gave the 109th Commencement Address.
By veto-proof votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment forbidding any further United States involvement in Southeast Asia, as of August 15, 1973.
A fire destroyed a two-story barn on the Murphy Farm.

The new Olmsted Hall of Biological Sciences, bringing together for the first time under one roof the original departments of physiology, zoology and plant sciences, opened for classes. Honoring Louise MacCracken Olmsted ’32, Nancy Olmsted, M.D. ’60 and former trustee Robert G. Olmsted, the late-modernist building—Sherwood, Mills and Smith, architects—was considered one of the best-equipped undergraduate science buildings of its period.

Continuing Vassar’s tradition of adaptive reuse of its buildings, the Hallie Flanagan Davis Powerhouse Theater opened in the college's former generating station. The source of direct current electricity between 1912 and 1955, when the college converted to the alternating current supplied by Hudson Heat and Electric, the building stood idle for nearly 20 years.

The new facility, a thoroughly up to date “black box” theater named in honor of the founder of the Vassar Experimental Theater and the head of Franklin Roosevelt’s Federal Theater Project, complemented the proscenium theater in Avery Hall.

Dr. Gould Colman, director of the department of manuscripts and university archives at the Cornell University Library, lectured on "Documenting the American Culture: The Role of Oral History."

Authors and journalists David Halberstam and Frances Fitzgerald spoke on a panel about "Vietnam in Retrospect: What Lessons for Journalism?" Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest (1972) and Fitzgerald’s Fire in the Lake (1972)—winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award—were among the earliest and most critical studies of the war in Vietnam.

Speaking under the auspices of the Poynter Committee of the Changing American Culture Program, both writers expressed concern about the function and future of the press.  "A reporter," said Halberstam, who reported on the Vietnam war for The New York Times, "cannot be better than the community in which he performs...he is linked to his paper and must obey the paper's dictums."  He was, he said, frequently on the verge of being withdrawn from Vietnam for "overstepping his rights as a reporter.  A journalist easily becomes the defender of his material."

Ms. Fitzgerald, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Revew of Books, said that both press and television—the first such of an American war—were managed to avoid both grisly scenes and the portrayal of Vietnamese civilians.  "An axiom," she said, "of American journalism is that the question produces the answer, and reporters, in some sense, find only what they want to find.  The indiviual reporter defines th importance of an event, having the power of selection."

The sponsors of the Poynter Program were Marion Knauss Poynter ’46 and her husband, Nelson Poynter, the publisher of The St. Petersburg Times and co-founder of The Congressional Quarterly.  In 1975 they founded the Modern Media Institute, a school and center for the study of journalism in St. Petersburg.  The institute became The Poynter Institute of Media Studies in 1984.

As the holiest days in the Jewish and Muslim calendars, Yom Kippur and Ramadan, coincided, Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel in an attempt to regain territory lost in the 1967 Six-Day War. The volatile conflict drew massive military resupplies to the opposing sides from the United States and Russia, and the two nuclear powers issued threats.  The resulting Arab oil embargo lasted, with crippling effects, until the following March, long after the hostilities ended with a United Nations ceasefire on October 25.
Embroiled in a political scandal, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned.  Michigan Congressman Gerald R. Ford replaced Agnew as Vice President.
A sukkot, commemorating the Jewish Festival of Harvest, was set on fire in the early morning hours. At 1:48 a.m. a student in Lathrop reported a muffled explosion and fire. Within a few minutes the campus fire truck responded and extinguished the fire. A gasoline soaked rag was found at the scene, and students suggested that the incident reflected the conflict in the Middle East.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement and famous for his influence on the Beatles, lectured on "Transcendental Meditation."
Over 400 hundred Vassar students held the area's first "Impeach the President" rally in Taylor Hall.  Students at colleges and universities began letter-writing campaigns, public opinion polls, research groups and newspaper advertisements calling for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon, because of the Watergate scandal.
Poet and founder/editor of The Quarterly Review of Literature (QRL) Theodore Weiss from Princeton University read some of his works for a Class of 1928 Fund poetry reading.  The QRL was one of the most influential American literary journals in the 20th century.

The college announced the appointment of Kingston businessman and community leader Herbert L. Shultz, husband of Barbara Rodie Shultz '42, as Vassar's first director of development. Formally joining the college administration the following January, after the successful completion the previous December of Vassar's $50 million dollar capital campaign, Shultz directed the formation of the college's development office and facilitated the incorporation of the alumnae/i annual fund into Vassar's development efforts.  He retired, at the age of 65, in 1983.

Czech-born British philosopher and mathematician Stephen Körner from Yale and Bristol Universities, gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "The Structure and Function of Metaphysics."
British moral philosopher Philippa Foot, Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College, University of Oxford, lectured on "Can There Be a Moral Ought?"  A lifelong inquirer into the nature and origin of moral thought and the author of several books on the subject, Dr. Foot introduced "The Trolley Problem," an enduring puzzle for ethicists, in 1967.  Her Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy appeared from Oxford: Blackwell and Berkeley: University of California Press in 1978.

Charles Ludlam’s The Ridiculous Theatrical Company performed Bluebeard (1970), their avant-garde adaptation of H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), funded by the Dickinson-Kayden fund.   Reviewing the original production in The New York Times, drama critic Mel Gussow said, “Led by Ludlam, a truly terrible actor like Mario Montez (as Lamia the Leopard Woman) seems exactly right and the good actors seem perfect.  I particularly like Black-Eyed Susan as Sybil (she merits  some sort of citation for the self-confidence with which in the last scene she wears that third genital) and John Brockmeyer as the Karloffian servant Sheemish.”

Mildred Bernstein Kayden ’42 established the fund in 1966 in honor of the late Professor of Music George Sherman Dickinson.

Vassar students joined students from several other local colleges in signing a petition for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon due to the Watergate scandal.
The College decided to lower the average temperature in residence halls by ten percent in response to the energy crisis.
Congress passed the War Powers Resolution requiring the President to secure the approval of Congress within 90 days of sending American forces abroad.
Professor Alan Charity, visiting lecturer from the University of York in England, gave the Class of 1928 Lecture, "T. S. Eliot and the Dantean Recognition."
By a tally of 1,009 votes to 1,001, Daniel O’Keefe ’75 defeated three-term Republican incumbent Jean Murphy for a seat on the Dutchess County Board of Representatives.  The New York Times reported that O’Keefe’s $913.50 campaign chest came from students and faculty supporters.
German professor Ingeborg Glier, Yale University, gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "Courtly Love—Reconsidered."
German professor Ingeborg Glier, Yale University, gave the Matthew Vassar Lecture on "Courtly Love—Reconsidered."
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General in the Kennedy administration, gave the Sharpe Memorial Lecture on "The Nixon Administration and the Rule of Law."
Dr. Harold Fleischer from IBM lectured on "The Physical Basis of Computers."
California Congressman Ronald Dellums gave the Angela Davis Lecture on "Strategies for the Seventies." The first African-American congressman elected from Northern California and an avowed socialist, Dellums was on President Nixon’s “enemies list.”  The Angela Davis lectures were sponsored by the Urban Center for Black Studies of Vassar College.

American psychologist, author and editor Dr. James Hillman, former director of the Jung Institute in Zurich, lectured on "The Archetypical Child in the Myth of the American Family."  The editor of Spring, an international journal of Jungian thought, and a visiting lecturer at Yale, Dr. Hillman appeared as part of the Changing American Culture Program's series, "Issues for the Seventies: The American Family in Crisis."

A self-identified "renegade psychologist" and the founder of "archetypal psychology"—sometimes referred to as "imaginal psychology—Hillman proposed in such works as Re-Visioning Psychology (1975)—based on his 1972 Yale Terry Lectures—to discover the guiding fictions of traditional psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. 

Jonathon Kozol, prominent educational critic and author, lectured on "Ghetto Schools and Thanksgiving 1973."  The author of Death at an Early Age (1967)winner of the National Book Award in science, philosophy and religion in 1968— called on his audience to join in the "most important action against racism this nation has seen in the last five years," the planned Thanksgiving Day demonstration in Boston to support the United Farm Workers, free schools and "to resurrect everything good, strong and bold that has preceded Richard Nixon."     The Miscellany News.

The Harvard educator and activist spoke at Vassar in April 1968, and in November 1972 lectured on campus on "Political Indoctrination in the Public Schools."  He returned in 1991, when his subject was "Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools."

Professor José Olivio Jiménez from Hunter College, CCNY, lectured on "Aproximación Existencial a José Martiacute."
British-born anthropologist and linguist James Brain from the State University of New York at New Paltz lectured on "The Hazda: The Life of Hunters and Gatherers in East Africa."  Professor Brain was a visiting professor at Vassar between 1976 and 1982.

Pulitzer Prize poet Robert Lowell, Harvard University, read some of his poetry for the Class of 1928 and Changing American Culture Lecture.  Lowell’s first Pulitzer Prize (1947) was for his second collection, Lord Weary’s Castle (1946).  History, For Lizzie and Harriet and The Dolphin, for which he won the prize in 1974, appeared in 1973.

Robert Lowell read from his work and that of Elizabeth Bishop '34 in April 1966, when he and his wife, critic and essayist Elizabeth Hardwick visited Vassar.

The college exceeded its goal in the four-year $50 million dollar capital campaign, making it the largest campaign ever for a small college. Mary St. John Villard '34, the chair of the alumnae committee responsible, along with Secretary of the College Lynn C. Bartlett, for the campaign's leadership, announced a "Victory Dinner" in the Students' Buidling set for December 7, in appreciation of "the people who have given so much of their time, their energy and their financial support to this essential project."     The Miscellany News
Over 400 students attended a meeting in Taylor Hall at which they expressed concerns about the administration's educational policies. They demanded the hiring of 40 additional faculty members, a student place on the board of trustees, access to student evaluations of faculty and a meeting between the Student Senate and the faculty.      The Miscellany News
With a relatively free hand in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong destroyed 18 million gallons of fuel in storage near Saigon.
David Perry, representative of the American Friends Service Committee, lectured on "South Vietnam: A Question of Torture."
Elaine Folkers, Asnuntuk Community College, Fairfield, CT, lectured on "Eating Low on the Food Chain: The Ecology of Nutrition."

The board of trustees voted unanimously to continue the office of assistant to the president for black affairs, thus concluding a controversy that had raged on campus for several days. Earlier in the week the incumbent assistant for black affairs, Assistant Professor of Sociology Ora Fant, learned from President Simpson that he saw no further need for the special office, which came into being as part of the settlement of the black students’ takeover of Main Building in 1969.

When news of this decision reached the black faculty, the only two professors with doctorates, historian Norman Hodges and psychologist William Hall, tendered their resignations, effective June 30, to Dean of the Faculty Barbara Wells.  Some 150 students, hearing of the move, protested outside the Students’ Building, where the trustees, college officials and principal donors were gathering for a dinner celebrating the college’s successful completion of its $50 million capital campaign, and the Student Government Association passed a resolution critical of the abolition of the office and asking President Simpson to appear before it to explain his decision.

Along with their decision, the trustees passed a resolution applauding “the wise decision of the president” to continue the post, and they urged him to persuade Dr. Hodges and Dr. Hall to withdraw their resignations.  Asked by The New York Times about the board’s decision, President Simpson said “I don’t consider the board’s decision a reversal, but I don’t wish to comment any further.”     The New York Times

Robert Black, a student at The Julliard School, performed piano works of Berg, Boulez, Debussy, Messiaen, Schönberg, Stockhausen, and Wyttenbach.
Architect Michael Graves, Princeton University, lectured on "A Little of the Old In and Out."
Mahatma Jagadao, a disciple of the Indian leader of the Divine Light Movement, Guru Maharaj Ji—also known as Prem Pal Singh Rawat—lectured on "Who is Guru Maharaj Ji?"
The director of the Office of Women in Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Phyllis T. Bodel, spoke about "Medical Training and Admissions."
New York City storyteller and author Spencer Holst read some of his short stories for the Matthew Vassar Lecture.
Iris M. Zavala, State University of New York, Stony Brook, lectured on "Literature y Sociedad en Puerto Rico en el siglo XIX."
Astronomer Dr. Frederick Chromey from Brooklyn College lectured on "Violent Galaxies: Evidence of a Scientific Revolution."  Professor Chromey joined the Vassar faculty in 1981.