President Simpson announced that Vassar had received Mark Twain’s family papers—over 600 letters and telegrams. The materials were donated by a former trustee, Ralph Conner, and his wife Jean Connor, the great-grandniece of Mark Twain. Also accompanying Twain’s papers were those of Jean Connor’s mother, author Jean Webster McKinney ’01.

The New York Times quoted Frederick Anderson, a prominent editor of Twain’s papers, who had not previously been allowed access to this material:  “It’s a great coup….This is a spectacular collection….  We’ve been trying desperately to work around the material…. I’m extremely eager to see it.”  President Simpson commented, “This is Mark Twain’s second visit to Vassar, and he is here to stay.”

The American sage and humorist called his first visit to Vassar, on May 2, 1885, a “ghastly experience!”