Remarks by the AAVC President and Trustee

Sunday, May 22, 2022
by Stephen Hankins ’85, P’13, P’17, AAVC President and Trustee

Thank you, President Bradley.

Good morning, graduates! Good morning, proud families. Good morning, esteemed faculty. And good morning to my colleagues on the Vassar College Board of Trustees.

I am here to welcome you, the graduates, to the AAVC, the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College. The AAVC was conceived 151 years ago, in 1871, by some early graduates of Vassar who wanted to stay connected with each other and who wanted to stay connected with the College.

Since then, over the next 151 years, the AAVC has grown to over 41,000 members spanning the globe. We are in every professional field—astronomers, actors, lawyers, artists, economists, teachers—you name it. You will find us in nearly every country, on every continent, many of us in large cities, and all of us one keystroke away on your phone or computer.

We stay connected with each other through Vassar clubs, Vassar’s digital presence, through mentoring programs, and through class activities including Reunion. Your reunion cohort will be here on this hill in just two short weeks—all of the graduates of Vassar in years ending in 2 or 7. And we will gather here at least every five years in June.

And we stay connected to the College, serving as trustees, admission volunteers, mentors, and of course as donors of our time, talent, and other resources.

I remember being very sentimental when I sat in your chair 37 years ago. But you should know this: while you say goodbye to Vassar, we at the AAVC say hello. And we say welcome. Vassar and its alumni will always be close by to support you. Wear your alumni hat! Please, reach out to me personally, or to any Vassar alum, as you venture forth and navigate this vast world. I assure you that this is the just the beginning of another terrific Vassar voyage and the entry point of a new phase where you will say often and proudly: “You went to Vassar? I went there too!”

Again, congratulations, and welcome to the AAVC.