Why study history at Vassar? Knowledge of history opens a window onto the past, helping us comprehend the complexities of life in remote and recent periods. At the same time history provides a vital perspective on current events and issues, illuminating the impact of the past on the world today.

The study of history at Vassar develops a range of skills that can be applied not only to further study but also to a wide variety of careers. Students learn how to track down reliable sources of information, then how to make sense of complex documents and varying viewpoints. In an age of information overload, these tools are more essential than ever. Read more


Ronald Patkus standing at a table in the Vassar Library with book shelves behind him.

For nearly 40 years, Vassar has had a College Historian to help research and document our institutional history—the most recent being Colton Johnson, Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of Studies and Dean of the College. As Ronald Patkus, Adjunct Associate Professor of History on the Frederick Weyerhaeuser Chair and Associate Director of the Libraries for Special Collections assumes the role, he promises to take an unflinching look at Vassar’s past.

Protestors in front of the Supreme Court on May 3, after a leaked draft opinion showed the court was preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade and push women's rights back by half a century.

One retired and two current Vassar professors hosted a webinar on June 29 to discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.