The bookstore installed a $15,000 high-tech security system over winter break in response to an increase in theft, mostly of such items as clothing, books and toiletries. Bookstore manager Claire Tooker said, “We have had our share of students stealing. The college gave permission for the system, and the college means business.”     The Miscellany News

Vassar announced that it was “considering joining a program that would enable the college to provide millions of dollars in low-interest loans to its students and their parents.” The program would provide $45 million dollars in bonds to six area colleges, whose tax-exempt status would allow the interest to be “lower than conventional loans.” On January 11th, Governor Mario Cuomo officially invited Vassar into the program, which would “help more low- and moderate-income students afford to go to six of New York’s best private colleges.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Tracy Nichols ’91, a former member of the cross-country team and “only the second All-America selection in the school’s history,” won the Honda Inspiration Award “for overcoming an ailment that has plagued her since she was 11.” The disease, pandysautonomia, prevented her from perspiring. The Poughkeepsie Journal reported, “The only way Nichols [was] able to compete throughout her collegiate career [was] with the help of people literally throwing buckets of water on her along the course so that she wouldn’t overheat and collapse from heat stroke.”

Nichols, who studied in Leningrad on a fellowship after graduating, set several cross-country records and won several awards while at Vassar.  

Nicki King ’92 became Vassar basketball’s all-time leading scorer during a victory over Nyack. Four days earlier, King, a psychology major, became the third player in the school’s history to score 1,000 points. “I just like playing basketball because it is fun,” she said. “If the records come that is fine.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal

Following a recommendation by the Security Advisory Committee, the college began locking residence halls days and nights, allowing entry only by individual keys and student ID cards. The policy was implemented to prevent non-students from entering the halls, in response to a series of recent incidents that included a Poughkeepsie resident using showers in Main Building and a man found hiding in a student’s closet.

Many students expressed disappointment in the new system, particularly because keys were fitted to individual dorms rather than allowing students universal access to all residence halls. “This has done something to our psyche,” said one sophomore. “Our fundamental rights have been taken away. We should have the right to enter the dorms freely.”

A temporary measure, the key system was replaced with a more flexible electronic card-entry system the following year.     The Miscellany News

An anonymous caller targeted several gay students with threatening voicemails, leading one student to take a leave of absence. The Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance (BiGALA) staged a protest in the College Center, playing tapes of the voicemails for four days and urging students with information about the anonymous caller to come forward.

A student was eventually charged as the caller, and although the College Regulations Panel found insufficient evidence to find him guilty, he withdrew from the college. The student who took a leave of absence also chose to withdraw.     The Miscellany News

Members of the women’s swim team broke ten records during the Seven Sisters Swimming and Diving Championship, held at Vassar. The team finished fourth out of the five competing schools, but “every woman on the team swam her best time of the year,” according to Coach Cheri Jurgens, who attributed the women’s success to their hard work during the winter break and pre-season training. “We put in obscene amounts of time in the pool over break and the hard training really paid off this weekend,” added co-captain Gail Krovitz ’93.     The Miscellany News

The Vassar College Madrigal Singers performed works by composer Bill McClelland at Dance Theater Workshop in Manhattan. The 16-member ensemble sang McClelland’s “The Ballad of Don and Dan,” crafted by Ian Frazier from “news items describing a bizarre murder in Montana in the mid-1980’s,” as well as musical adaptations of nature poems by Elizabeth Bishop ’34 and Richard Wilbur. Though the choir struggled with the “dry commentary” of “The Ballad of Don and Dan,” they “delivered an otherwise smooth performance.”     The New York Times

Dr. Betty Shabazz, a civil rights activist and the widow of slain Black Muslim leader Malcolm X, lectured on equality in the Villard Room. Shabazz urged students, “Consider your own time and your own space, and consider what you must do to make this world a better place.” The director of communications and public relations at Medgar Evers College, Shabazz made a number of pointed statements, citing blacks as “the only ones who truly understand multiculturalism” and disavowing comparisons between the situations of blacks and gays, saying, “No way, there’s no comparison… you weren’t brought over here on slave ships.”     The Miscellany News

African-American historian and activist Dr. Vincent Harding, a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke in the Chapel to commemorate Dr. King’s life and to award the Martin Luther King, Jr. awards for community service to Tyrone Forman ’92 and Shepley Orr ’92. 

The next day Dr. Harding spoke on “Hope and History: Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement for the 1990s” in the Villard Room. Among Harding’s books on the subject were There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America (1981) and Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement (1990).

Dr. Harding’s Martin Luther King, Jr., the Inconvient Hero was published in 1996.

Armenian-Canadian independent filmmaker Atom Egoyan lectured in Sanders Auditorium as a guest of the Luce Program on Cinema, Literacy and Culture. Some of Egoyan’s films were screened in the days prior to the lecture entitled “What You See is What You Beget.” 

All five residents of Town House A2 were found guilty by the College Regulations Panel of charges of illegal drug possession, aiding and abetting and interference with the public order after thirteen marijuana plants were discovered in their house during a routine inspection on January 8th. Two of the students were served with one-month suspensions, while the other three received 30 hours of drug-related community service and probation.     The Miscellany News

Vassar student leaders attended a conference at Barnard College, held by Barnard activist group Students Tackling Issues of the New Generation (STING). Vassar students organized a workshop called “Clubs Working Together on Social Issues” and attended similar workshops held by students of the 20 other Northeastern colleges in attendance. Attendees said “they wanted to dispel the notion that… today’s students, compared with those of the 60’s, are ‘just a bunch of apathetic money-grubbing yuppies.’”     The New York Times

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Edna St. Vincent Millay ’17, students from the Vassar Experimental Theater performed an original play in the Powerhouse Theater. The play, “Happy Birthday Vincent,” featured four puppets by puppeteer Amy Trompeter that “[added] a ghostly presence to crucial moments in the production” in addition to a cast of eleven human actors dressed in white.

The actors wrote the script collaboratively by dramatizing a selection of Millay’s poems, each of which “had some connection to major events in [her] life.” The students reported that “knowing that Miss Millay had been a Vassar student made it easier to relate to her,” although “they had a hard time identifying with the Vassar of 1917, where male guests, smoking and skipping chapel were all forbidden.” In the end, though. “we felt like we got her back,” said Denny Partridge, the director of Vassar’s theater.     The New York Times

Two students were attacked outside Matthew’s Mug in the early hours of a Saturday morning shortly after an employee failed to contact Security about several non-students trying to force their way into the Mug. The suspects, ten or twelve black males of high school age, called the students “Vassar fags,” then began punching and kicking the two victims. The assailants fled toward the Terrace Apartments and were not apprehended. One victim was treated for a concussion, and the other received ten stitches in the head.     The Miscellany News

Nigerian novelist, poet and critic Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart (1958), read from his works.

Conservative columnist and commentator Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and an indefatigable opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, spoke to a crowd of over 400 people on women’s needs for male protection. Campus groups including the Vassar Pro-Choice Coalition and Refuse and Resist protested the event with signs that proclaimed “Ain’t I A Woman?” and “We Will Not Buy B.S.”

“It’s about time we had a conservative speaker at Vassar,” said Mary Green ’92, editor of the conservative campus publication, The Spectator, which sponsored the talk.  Jason Ein ’94, commented, “Phyllis Schlafly is a threat to my life and livelihood. Her perspective is one of ignorance and she fostered a lot of hatred, bias and discrimination with her talk.”    The Poughkeepsie Journal

Cast members of the popular television comedy program Saturday Night Live Rob Schneider, David Spade and Adam Sandler performed in the Chapel.

A Democratic presidential debate scheduled to take place at the Chapel on March 28th was canceled after frontrunner Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton declined his invitation on the grounds that he would be “too busy” campaigning across the state. His opponent in the debate was to be former California Governor Jerry Brown. “The Democratic hopefuls were attracted to the forum by Hudson Valley’s status as the state’s fastest-growing region and by its reputation as an area of transition between Democratic-dominated New York City and overwhelmingly Republican upstate New York,” a local official said when the debate was originally announced.     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Caribbean-American novelist, short story writer and journalist Jamaica Kincaid lectured and read a chapter from her recent novel Lucy (1990). Kincaid told the audience of some 200 about her motivations for writing: “If I didn’t write, I would go insane or something, or I would bomb things. People always say I’m very angry, and they’re quite right. I often think they should be very glad I’m angry and write instead of angry and not write.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal

Jamaica Kincaid spoke at Vassar in 1986. 

Vassar professor and pianist Todd Crow debuted at Carnegie Hall as a guest artist, playing the Concerto No. 2, Op. 2 of the Scottish-born German composer Eugen D’Albert with the American Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Bard College president Leon Botstein.      The Poughkeepsie Journal

The Alumnae House Inn and Restaurant stopped serving the public after losing more than $500,000 in 1991. The college planned to continue serving faculty members and alumni at the 68-year-old facility, donated to the college in 1919 by Blanche Ferry Hooker ‘94 and her sister Queene Ferry Coonley ’96, and the inn would be opened for reunions, commencement, and parents weekend. “We cannot justify subsidizing businesses that divert resources from Vassar’s primary mission—providing an excellent education to our students,” said acting president Nancy Dye’69, explaining the decision that cost 50 employees their jobs.

“I never thought this could happen,” laid-off Alumnae House worker Debbie Walsh commented. “We basically have three weeks to relocate our lives.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a psychosexual therapist known for her radio show “Sexually Speaking,” spoke to a large audience in the Chapel about changing roles in relationships, sexual expectations, sexual practices and disorders and her experiences in hosting her radio show. She declared her support for sex education promoting safe sex rather than abstinence and answered questions from the audience.     The Miscellany News

Vassar’s varsity baseball team made its debut against John Jay College, losing 11-0 and 14-3. “Vassar history will say on opening day we played intelligently, with enthusiasm, with poise in difficult situations, and we acquitted ourselves well,” said coach Charlie Crawford. Baseball was a club sport in the eight prior seasons.     Poughkeepsie Journal

Frances Kissling, former founding President of the National Abortion Federation and  president of Catholics for Free Choice, lectured in Rockefeller Hall on “Irreconcilable Differences? Catholicism and Reproductive Freedom.” "When I understood," she said, "that the Church had no position on whether or not the fetus was a person, but that the Church surely knew that pregnant women were persons, it became difficult for me to understand why the Church valued the potentiality of fetuses more than it valuied the actual reality of women as persons."

"Ms. Kissling," wrote Emily Smith ’94 in The Miscellany News, spoke with a passion that stems from her strong religious faith and her dedication to feminism and reprodcutive freedom." A member of the Pro-Choice Coalition, Smith said Kissling “listened to and answered questions very well, especially those from the few anti-choice people,” mostly members of the Poughkeepsie community.     The Miscellany News

After three instances of trespassing, including an incident in which Security caught him showering in Main Building, a Poughkeepsie resident was arrested and charged with criminal trespass in the third degree, a misdemeanor. The man, between 45-50 years of age, was described by Security as “somewhat eccentric.”     The Miscellany News

In compliance with New York State’s new Clean Indoor Air Act, the college removed designated smoking areas from residence halls, allowing students to smoke only in their rooms with the doors closed. Some students objected to the new policy, including Dave Howard ’94, who said, “I think it’s outrageous that people can’t have cigarettes when they’re watching TV or hanging out in the lobby, as long as it doesn’t bother anyone else.” Several students complained directly to the Board of Health, which had the power to fine institutions up to $1,000 per incident for noncompliance with the Clean Indoor Air Act.     The Miscellany News

Three hundred Vassar students traveled to Washington, DC, to lobby the Supreme Court to keep abortion legal nationwide, joining a crowd of approximately 500,000. “We’re trying to send a clear message to George Bush and the other presidential candidates that a majority of people want legalized abortion and it’s a big issue in the upcoming election,” said Allison Tichy ’92.     The Poughkeepsie Journal  

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, a leader of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland since the 1970s, lectured in the Chapel after a presentation of her documentary film Off Our Knees (1988).  A former Member of Parliament, McAliskey spoke in support of the rights of political prisoners in Northern Ireland and against Britain’s shoot-to-kill policy there. “Americans could take a leading role in bringing Irish Nationalists and the British government to the bargaining table,” McAliskey said, urging her audience to pressure the Bush administration to “bring the two sides together.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal

Susan Peterson ’66, the executive vice president of Random House Inc. and an anti-censorship activist, lectured in Sanders Hall. Her lecture, “Right Livelihood: Responsibility and the Workplace,” was part of Vassar’s executive-in-residence program, established in 1982 to demonstrate the relationship between the liberal arts and the business world.

Jane Smiley ’71 won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel A Thousand Acres. Smiley, who earned an MFA and a PhD at the University of Iowa, received the prize for her “update of King Lear,” in which “an Iowa farmer decides to divide his land among his three daughters, unleashing a family tragedy.”     The New York Times


After several months of renovation and restoration the Aula reopened for student use with a “big bang,” a grand opening party that lasted from midnight until 4 A.M. and featured D.J. Stretch Armstrong from New York City as well as Doom Patrol, a Poughkeepsie dance group. “Tonight is just the beginning of what will hopefully be a successful new social option at Vassar,” said The Miscellany News, adding, “The new Aula is nothing like the old one.” 

The college announced plans to redesign the All Campus Dining Center over the coming summer at a cost of $2.5 million. The renovations aimed to alleviate problems of overcrowding and quality of service by instituting a point system in place of the buffet-style system, relocating the dishwashing stations, presently on the second floor, and the beverage dispensers, moving the card-checkers and removing dividing walls to open rooms C and E into the main dining area on the east side of the building.  

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Ani DiFranco performed in the Café for Women’s Week. She performed again at Vassar in 1993. 

Trinidadian-American author of adult and young people’s fiction Rosa Guy, one of the founders of The Harlem Writers Guild, read from her works. Guy’s fiction ranged from thoughtful considerations of race and gender to a series featuring a young detective, Imamu Jones.  Her novel, The Music of Summer, a study of the yearnings of a young African-American Julliard student, and Caribbean Carnival: Songs of the West Indies, a collection of songs for children both appeared in 1992.

An obscene caller began harassing female students, including student fellows and at least one CARES counselor. Sometimes he would identify himself as a doctor at the Poughkeepsie Mental Health Clinic or as a Town of Poughkeepsie police officer, telling the victim that he was with a friend of hers who had been sexually assaulted, and then luring her into “discussing her personal sex life in graphic detail.”

On other occasions, he disguised his voice to sound like a woman and claimed that he was raped, then described the assault in graphic detail. Pam Neimeth, director of the Resource and Education for Rape, Assault and Harrassment (REACH) office, noted that the calls were particularly troublesome because a student counselor “would feasibly get a call of this nature,” making it difficult to detect the deception.

In May, Town Police, with assistance from Vassar Security and the REACH office, arrested the caller, whom they identified as a local man arrested for similar acts in 1985.     The Miscellany News

The campus celebrated Matthew Vassar’s 200th birthday with a series of events and exhibits and the traditional visit to the his grave at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery on Founder’s Day, celebrated on April 24th.  (The celebration was moved in 1873 to the Friday closest to April 29 and at a later date to the closest Saturday.) Using a 19th century recipe supplied by College Historian Elizabeth Daniels ‘41 for ale similar to the Founder’s product, a microbrewery near Kingston supplied the brew at Ballintine Field.  The brewer, however, reduced the level of alcohol significantly from the original, saying that it was far too high for modern consumption.

Professor Daniels also mounted an exhibit in the Library, Matthew Vassar: More Than a Brewer, which detailed the Founder’s career as a Poughkeepsie citizen and businessman. A monograph of the same name was available for visitors “Vassar was a man who believed in change,” she said, and, asked if Vassar would recognize his college were he on campus now, she replied, “He’d be surprised at first by what he saw, then pleased.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal

On Vassar’s birthday actual birthday, April 29, Vice President for College Relations Dixie Massad Sheridan ’65 undertook to have a photograph taken of everyone on campus during the day.  The result appeared as A Sense of Occasion (1992).

Baldwin Health Services was forced to cancel a planned anonymous AIDS testing program due to New York State Health Department regulations that made it “virtually impossible for private health care providers to offer anonymous testing,” according to Dr. Irena Balawadjer MD, the director of the health service.  The college was forced to look into alternatives to the system they had planned—which would have allowed Baldwin to assign a number to students’ HIV/AIDS test results rather than associate them with a name—because the state would license only municipal and state-run health care providers to perform anonymous testing. 

Riots, arson and looting rocked Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four white policemen in the violent beating of a black motorist, Rodney King. At least 37 people were killed and hundreds arrested in the riots, the worst violence the city had seen since the 1965 Watts riots. Racial violence occurred in other cities, including Poughkeepsie, where a crowd of 350 vandalized storefronts, overturned at least one car and fired guns.

“People are horrified by the verdict in Los Angeles, which very quickly reveals the racial divisions in this city that we know so well,” said the Rev. David Toomey of Christ Episcopal Church.  At Vassar, “interested students discussed the riots freely, and often heatedly,” though a few students embarked on “a righteous crusade to glue door locks and scrawl messages across campus.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal, The Miscellany News

Feminist and activist in the Asian anti-violence movement Helen Zia, the executive editor of Ms. Magazine, lectured in the Villard Room, sponsored by the Asian Students Alliance and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. The lecture, “Neither Black nor White: Those Who Don’t Fit the Color Scheme,” discussed the results from a Ms. Magazine survey on race and women.     The Miscellany News

Town of Poughkeepsie Police arrested Melvin Mendleson on 14 counts of aggravated harassment for the series of obscene telephone calls he made to female students during the prior months. Mendleson, remanded to the Dutchess County Jail on $5,000 bail, faced a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 per count.     The Miscellany News

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a leading women’s rights activist and the District of Columbia’s first female Representative, spoke at Vassar’s 126th Commencement.

 “Your national legislature,” Representative Norton told the 630 members of the Class of 1992, “the Congress of the United States, of which I am a member, is down in the dumps and down in the polls. I came this morning to look on the face of a new generation to renew my faith that this country still has the capacity for self-generation….  Vassar is known as a college that looks as a college ought to look.  Vassar also is known for graduates set on making the world look like it ought to look.”

Congresswoman Norton spoke at the 1971 Commencement, and during her speech, she compared the two occasions: “At Vassar in 1971, I spoke to a college generation that graduated in the midst of social ferment and change. At Vassar in 1992, I look to a college generation to help make change happen again.”     The Poughkeepsie Journal, Press & Information Office, News

War and the Ivory Tower: Algeria and Vietnam by history professor David L. Schalk was nominated for two prestigious awards: the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award and the Free Press Association’s Mencken Award. The book compared the Algerian revolution from 1954 to 1962 with the era of American involvement in Vietnam a decade later, focusing on the roles of American and French intellectuals, artists, and academics in both periods.

The Powerhouse Theater and New York Stage and Film presented three major plays, a New Plays Reading Festival, screenings of new films and two students’ theater workshops during their eighth summer season at Vassar. The offerings included plays by Broadway playwright Jon Robin Baitz – “the hottest playwright around,” according to Beth Fargis-Lancaster, the producing director at the Powerhouse –by Pultizer Prize winner Lanford Wilson and by Eric Overmyer from the Yale Drama School.      

The Vassar Jazz Festival was held at the Outdoor Theater, featuring a “mixture of slashing jams and bittersweet ballads” from tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp and his quartet. “Buoyed primarily by Shepp and his drummer Steve McCraven, the quartet moved confidently through the music, allowing each member time enough for personal interpretation. McCraven and pianist Sam Dockery dueled regularly, resulting in a delightful tension of musical genius," reported Bennett Graebner in his review of the concert for the Miscellany News. 

The faculty instituted a new requirement for students, beginning with the Class of 1997. The quantitative analysis skills requirement, meant to allow students to “learn and improve their analytic skills,” included graphing, statistics, problem solving, calculus and computation. Former VSA academic executive Sue Tedeschi ’92 explained that a survey of the Class of 1988 showed that “approximately 20% of [Vassar] students have never taken any courses in quantitative analysis skills throughout their four years at Vassar.”  Courses that satisfied the requirement were offered in many departments.     The Miscellany News

The college announced plans to construct a $2.4 million computer center in the former facilities building, built in 1930.  The project required a complete interior reconfiguration and took nearly a year to complete. “The computer center,” said Dean of the Faculty Nancy Dye ’69, “is a place where many students spend a significant amount of time doing their most serious intellectual work. The new facility will enhance their academic experience.”     The Miscellany News

Despite coach Andy Jennings’s prediction that the season would be “a rebuilding one for his team” with a roster full of “youth and inexperience,” the Vassar men’s soccer time defeated nationally ranked Trenton State College 1-0. The strong start to the season meant that the team could potentially play for a spot in the NCAA rankings.     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Modern dance choreographer David Dorfman and his six-member company gave a performance and three master classes. Dorfman, who started out in sports and took his first dance class as a junior in college, geared the performance and classes toward athletes. “As a serious athlete who dreamt of playing professional baseball, football and basketball,” Dorfman said, “it’s the rhythm, contact and risk that drew me to dance.”  To make dance accessible to a wider audience, he explained, his work emphasized the connection between dance and the movements of daily life: “I try to get at the core of what we’re about when we go about our day’s activities. I think…people can understand that without having a big background in dance.”     The Miscellany News

The College Regulations Panel established new minimum sanctions for sexual assault and rape. A student found guilty of sexual assault would be suspended for a minimum of one semester, while a student found guilty of rape would be expelled from the College immediately.  The regulations acknowledged that college sanctions did not compromise the legal redress available to a victim.

Town of Poughkeepsie police arrested a Vassar student after he burglarized two student rooms in Main Building. The student was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, a felony charge, and was released on $5,000 bail.     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Vassar College Entertainment (ViCE) brought two computerized machines to the College Center, where students could play games in which they wore special glasses to enter a “virtual world” through a new technology, virtual reality, “an interactive, computer-driven process by which a person virtually becomes part of an elaborate 3-D world of computer-generated surroundings.”     Miscellany News

The Food Committee, comprised of student representatives and house fellows, was formed as a liaison between the student body and the campus food service, handling students’ complaints about food quality, service and the cleanliness of the facility. The committee, in cooperation with new director of campus dining services Andrew Meade, to address issues such as improving vegetarian offerings, providing nutritional values and installing a comment box for student input. “The Food Committee is a real ally,” said Meade. “Its goal is the best quality, service and product.”     Miscellany News

The women’s squash team enjoyed the best victory in its history at the CAN AM Series in Toronto, Canada. Playing the international version of the game on international-size courts, they defeated archrival Williams College and the University of Waterloo and lost to the eventual tournament champions, the University of Western Ontario. Team members Shireen Kaufman ’95 and Mishka Zaman ’93 received invitations to the elite Princeton Invitational Singles Championship, where they placed second and fifth, respectively, among the top twenty players in the nation.     Miscellany News

The men’s soccer team finished second at the East Coast Athletic Conference Finals, ending their bid to compete at the NCAA Regionals after an up-and-down season with a team that started the season with fewer than half of its starters from the previous year. “You have to take each game as it comes,” coach Andy Jennings said, “and try not to look ahead.”      Miscellany News 

The Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance (BiGALA) celebrated Pride Week with a series of lectures, discussions, and social events. In “Reclaiming the Closet,” the kickoff event, the group redecorated their newly acquired space in the Lathrop Basement; they also hosted speaker John Corvino , a graduate student in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin, who delivered a lecture called “What’s Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?” that examined some of the basic arguments against homosexuality.  Former television journalist and producer, AIDS activist and member of the Lesbian Avengers Ann Northrop ’70, who spoke on “The Politics of AIDS.”

Other events included an open mic night in the café, a Bisexual Information Discussion and a Family Dinner and Tea for Relatives of Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals. The week culminated with the annual Homo-Hop in the Villard Room. Said Andrea Roberts ’95, “We want [students] to realize most importantly that queer students on campus are reclaiming it as their own. We want it to be educational and at the same time very fun. Harassment will not be tolerated in any form by anyone.”     Miscellany News

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush.  Clinton pledged to revive the slumping U.S. economy.

Vassar students held parties across campus to watch the results on CNN, and the subsequent reaction was nearly unanimous in its support.

Natalie Friedman ’95 organized a workshop and discussion, “Ethnicity or Religion,” to discuss Jewish identities at Vassar. At the workshop, Jewish students discussed issues they faced on campus, from interactions with non-Jewish students to their relationships with the Vassar Jewish Union. “We talked about why we tolerate Jewish jokes,” Friedman said, “what it means to be Jewish, is it ethnicity, is it religion, et cetera. I thought to myself, ‘If people could only talk about this more often. We ought to do it again.’”     Miscellany News

In lieu of the traditional fall formal, a Black and White Ball was held to “serve the dual purpose of improving awareness and raising money for AIDS research and support services,” according to organizer Joel Etheridge ’93. Held in the College Center, the ball was sponsored by ViCE, the Black Commencement Committee, the Black Student Union, Raymond and Jewett Houses, Metcalf counseling services, Baldwin health services and the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Association, with all proceeds going directly to charitable organizations in the memory of Craig Harris ‘80 and all other Vassar students and alumni who suffered from the AIDS virus. “It’s time,” said organizer Marla Dansky ’94, “that the Vassar partied with a higher purpose in mind.”     The Miscellany News

A male student was assaulted outside behind the College Center around 2 A.M. Police responding to the scene found the student bleeding from an injury to the back of his head. He said one of three black males who were harassing female students as he attempted to help the women into their car pointed a revolver at him, then threw a cup of beer on him and hit him on the head with the gun. The assailants shot at the car as the students drove off, flattening a tire but injuring no one. The assailants then left campus.     The Poughkeepsie Journal 

Priscilla Bullit Collins ’42 donated $3 million to the environmental science program, to be used for faculty salaries, research funds, environmental scholarships and the construction of a new field research station. “The fund will encourage our faculty to develop integrative and interdisciplinary approaches to scientific explanations of the complex forces that connect us to the natural world,” Dean of the Faculty Nancy Dye ’69 said of the gift, which became the nucleus the Class of 1942 Fund for Environmental Sciences.     The Poughkeepsie Journal

Blanchette Ferry Hooker Rockefeller ’31 died of Alzheimer’s disease complicated by pneumonia at the age of 83. Rockefeller graduated with a degree in music, and she served on the board of trustees between 1948 and 1956. The daughter and niece of the two donors of the Alumnae House, sister of the donor of Ferry House, mother of a Vassar student and married to the grandson of one of Vassar’s greatest benefactors since the Founder, John D. Rockefeller, she held the college highly among many philanthropic interests.  Among her gifts to the college were the funds for the removal in 1959 of the Frederic Ferris Thompson Annex (“Uncle Fred’s Nose”) from the front of Main Building and the restoration of the original façade, an extraordinary collection of Asian art, another of modern art that included works by Rothko, Klee, Miro and Matisse and funds for the construction of Cesar Pelli’s entrance pavilion to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

At the time of her death, The New York Times said, “For four decades, Mrs. Rockefeller was a regal presence in philanthropy, helping to attract financial support and volunteers for causes ranging from children’s welfare to the Julliard School.  But it was for the Museum of Modern Art that was her predominant interest.  She twice served as its president, although she insisted she had no curatorial expertise.  ‘I’m not an expert on modern art,’ she once said, ‘just a person who has become interested.” 

Rick Lazio ’80 attended an orientation for newly elected Congressmen in Washington. The Republican representative from Long Island, New York noted ’I’ll be the first male from Vassar College elected to Congress,’” neglecting to mention that he also had a law degree from American University. 

While at Vassar, Lazio majored in political science, chaired the Student Advisory Comittee, wrote for the Miscellany News, and actually lost the election for senior class president. He was highly active in both student government and Republican causes and groups on campus.

Lazio served in the House until 2001 when he ran for U.S. senate, losing to Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times, The Miscellany News

Tony Rowe, conductor of the Vassar College Orchestra and director of Opera Workshop, was named assistant conductor of New York’s American Symphony Orchestra for the 1992-93 season. Rowe also conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in England on December 15.     Poughkeepsie Journal

Former professor Emile Jean Pin filed a $7 million lawsuit against the college, citing age discrimination based on the school’s policy requiring faculty members to retire at age 70. Though federal law prevented most employers from setting a mandatory retirement age, private colleges were exempted until the end of 1993. “Why at age 70 are you suddenly considered incompetent?” said Pin, who claimed that Vassar denied him the opportunity to ask the board of trustees for a one-year extension. “I can tell you I was teaching better at age 70 than I was at 50.”     Poughkeepsie Journal

Professor Pin’s suit was unsuccessful.