Retiring Dean of Residence Elizabeth Moffat Drouilhet ’30 spoke at Spring Convocation.  “Rarely,” she said, “have you had so reluctant a speaker.  Having carefully avoided making a speech for the past 35 years, I now succumb in the last 35 days….  I could think of many reasons for refusing, but only one for accepting: Cornelia Raymond and I span the entire history of Vassar College.  She came to the campus in 1865 as a child of four with her father, the President.  I came as a freshman in 1926.  Miss Raymond was here as Director of Publications, a job she still held when I returned in 1940 as Warden, the original title of my present job.  I shall say something about the 50 years of Vassar I have seen and let each of you go back to the sources to learn of Miss Raymond’s 60 years.

“This College was founded in a period of change and of great strife for the nation.  The courage to pursue the goal against such odds and to accept change as desirable—and possibly also to accept internal strife—are Vassar’s heritage and woven into its very fabric.”

Approaching her conclusion, Drouilhet turned to the move to coeducation, noting, “During the controversy in recent years, I have felt strongly but spoken rarely on this subject.”  She then told of private research she had done, studying admission records, interviewing alumnae who were educators “in some of the superior schools from which Vassar had previously had many good applicants.  They confirmed the published reports.  Suddenly, I realized that to continue Matthew Vassar’s goal to provide the best education for women, his college must become coeducational.  These facts made me realize just how women have progressed in this century…women no longer wanted an education equal to men’s; they wanted to share equally with men the same educational experience.”