Olive Thurman’s Life and Legacy as one of Vassar’s First Black Students

As any college student knows, the process of coming into one’s identity and finding one’s voice as a young adult requires constant exploration of oneself and the world. For Olive Thurman, the 1948 Vassar graduate and daughter of theologian Howard Thurman, that process was made all the more visible as an openly Black student in an extremely white space.

Vassar was in the transitional period of integrating when Olive attended, so as one of the few early openly Black students, she likely stood out on campus whether she wanted to or not. If that was not enough pressure, Olive’s name was known before she even set foot on campus. Her father was a frequent guest preacher at Vassar beginning in 1928, and continued to speak while Olive was a student. Not only was she establishing herself as a Black woman in a space that historically thought less of her, but she was doing so with her father’s well-known name attached to hers. For Olive, slipping into school life without notice would have been impossible.

A painting of a person with long, straight, black hair and an orange shirt.
Portrait of Olive Thurman at Vassar, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, 1948. Oil on canvas.

It seems Olive embraced that reality and did not waste time trying to blend in. She quickly got involved in a host of different organizations on and off campus, and established her own voice on campus by frequently writing film or play reviews, opinion pieces about the college, and updates on the various clubs she was involved with for the Vassar newspapers. Issues concerning race, religion, and politics were in the background, if not at the forefront, of almost every article she wrote. Through reading both Olive’s words and the words of her classmates, I have been able to piece together a story of Olive’s time at Vassar, what mattered to her, and how she made her mark on the school. I do not intend to speak for her or over her. Often her articles speak for themselves, and any analysis of what she may have meant is my opinion.

A painting of a person with long, straight, black hair and an orange shirt.

Politics and Religion

In an article published for the newspaper The Vassar Chronicle that introduced the incoming class of 1948, there was a blurb about Olive in which her father’s name was mentioned immediately following hers: “Olive Thurman, daughter of Howard Thurman, well known to those interested in the activities of the Church, Inter-faith, and Interracial groups, is another transfer student.” 2 With this quote, Olive was introduced to the campus in relation to her father and his work. The article continued with a list of various jobs Olive held before attending Vassar, including “working this summer with young people of the junior Inter-cultural workshop,” as well as “teaching French and Spanish folk-songs and folk-dancing” and working “in San Francisco Chinatown, teaching recreation and crafts in an interdenominational daily vacation bible school for Chinese children.” 3 Though this article was written before Olive attended Vassar, it established a few points that seem to be true throughout her time at the school. For one, it is very clear that Olive Thurman is her father’s daughter. Practically, she could not escape his name and his work, but so much of the work she did while coming into her own identity echoed her father’s. Olive was clearly active in political and religious spaces before she entered Vassar, and that work continued once she got here as well.

It is worth noting that the article did not mention Olive’s race, negatively or positively, when introducing her. Choosing to avoid explicit mention of her race could be either downplaying the significance with good intention (similar to phrases such as “I don’t see color” today) or ignoring her race to avoid the topic altogether. I am inclined to believe that the choice to highlight her interracial work and her father’s interracial church meant the failure to mention that she was a Black student was poorly done with good intentions. It was likely a method of situating Vassar, a newly-integrated establishment, as a supporter of other integrated establishments.

Interfaith Group

Olive was active on campus in a few different clubs, one of which was the Interfaith Group. In 1945, she became the leader of the club, which is significant in that 1945 was her entry year into Vassar, meaning she was already passionate and involved enough to take on a leadership role within the club. In an article from The Miscellany News, Olive was noted as presiding over an Interfaith meeting in which they discussed the club’s agenda for the following semester. Olive presented the group with different examples of past discussion topics, including “‘prejudice in the church,’ ‘anti-semitism,’ ‘application of interfaith ideals to community and school,’ and ‘religion as it applies to controversies between negroes and whites.’” 4

Olive was actively carving out spaces for people like her to exist on a campus that had only just begun to welcome her.

In the meeting, the group also discussed holding a multidenominational hymn service. Even though the club was undoubtedly a faith organization, not a political one, the students clearly focused on relevant political topics of the time and how they related to the church. Olive did not mention whether or not she was influenced or inspired by her father in her Miscellany News articles, but as the leader of the club, Olive’s prior understanding of the extremely interconnected nature between religion and politics is evident in the topics they considered.

Vassar Intercultural Alliance

After a couple of years working with the Interfaith Group, Olive, along with the leaders of the Interracial Group and the International Club, decided to combine their efforts to form a new campus club, the Vassar Intercultural Association. Lucia Taft, another transfer student and the granddaughter of President Taft, 5 wrote that the VIA’s goal was to “understand and appreciate people no matter what sort of God they believe in, what shade their skin is, or what strange words they speak.” 6 It appears from the article that Olive was one of the people spearheading this merge, which means that Olive was actively carving out spaces for people like her to exist on a campus that had only just begun to welcome her. Taft wrote that the heads of the three combining groups “presented the reasons for the change at a general meeting to which the whole college was invited.” 7 So not only was Olive the leader of the Interfaith Group that became VIA, she was passionate enough about the project to get up in front of the school to defend those plans.

The newly-created club, with Olive at the helm, took on projects that worked to educate and inspire the wider student body. Under the subheading “Thurman’s Leadership,” Taft wrote that “under Olive Thurman’s leadership last term, V.I.A went ahead in working about the concept of broad intellectual understanding.” 8 The implications of “broad intellectual understanding” are educational and community-based activism, which seems consistent with Olive’s involvement on campus. As one of the only Black students in a white institution, she must have had to do a lot of work educating and working with white students, but it also seems she was interested in learning from students whose experiences she did not share. Two of the themes Taft mentioned being covered under Olive’s VIA leadership were student life pertaining to post-war experiences in Europe and Asia, and “‘Prejudice and How Various Groups Combat It.’” 9 As a Black student in an overwhelmingly white institution, Olive could have spent all her energy on combating racism. Instead, she understood the interconnections of oppression and knew that education about different students’ stories would lead to greater understanding by and for everyone. An example of this was displayed in a 1946 Miscellany News article, which named Olive as part of a seminar group chaired by the psychologist and educator Samuel Slavson. The article explained that “the group discussed various problems relating to prejudice.” 10 They discussed the goal of prejudice to target and separate minority groups from majority groups, saying how prejudice “originates in childhood and is maintained by the sanction of those in authority.” 11 This was likely a very important conversation for the students, faculty, and administration of Vassar to hear as they were beginning to integrate, and the fact that Olive was a part of that discussion meant that she must have been both passionate about the subject and well-respected by her audience.

...activism is not only the theoretical connection between religion and politics, it is also the very real, tangible relationships that are necessary for community organizing and events to take place.

One of the efforts that the VIA and Olive promoted was an emergency food conservation program on campus that ran alongside a nationwide food conservation drive to support Europe. They planned to follow a similar program instituted two years prior that had “excellent results, cutting down waste and instituting a program of voluntary rationing.” 12 Olive worked on the program as a committee member and was involved with education about food waste. She provided students with a list of ways to conserve food and was quoted in The Miscellany News saying “through the use of educational posters we hope to make people conscious of how much we have.” 13 The VIA’s efforts surrounding education of the general campus were a conscious goal of Olive’s, and the call for individual action regarding the food drive was just one example.

In what Olive called “the first in a series of VIA meetings to be devoted to the general subject of Student Life,” 14 the Minister of Education in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Elsie Solomons, spoke “about the significance of students in the public and social life of India and Ceylon.” 15 This talk was a joint effort between the VIA and a community church, and the article was written by Olive. Solomons’s trip for the talk marked “her first trip to the United States,” 16 which is notable because the VIA had only just been established that semester, and likely was still finding its footing as a club. The fact that this was a joint event means the VIA must have had relationships with organizations outside of Vassar, and that they definitely had one with a local church. It seems Olive understood that activism is not only the theoretical connection between religion and politics, it is also the very real, tangible relationships that are necessary for community organizing and events to take place.

International League for Educational Democracy

Unsurprisingly, Olive was an enthusiastic advocate for integration. There are accounts of discussions within the VIA where they said they “hope to renew the weekend exchange between Vassar and Howard University, the Negro University in Washington, D. C.,” 17 demonstrating there was some kind of ongoing relationship between Vassar and Howard students that Olive was involved with coordinating. The article did not expand on this point, but it does show, once again, the VIA’s commitment to relationships with groups outside of Vassar, this time with Black college students. Beyond this, though, Olive was active in the Intercollegiate League for Educational Democracy. She served as a delegate from Vassar on the executive board alongside other students from other colleges. In The Vassar Chronicle, ILED was described as “an organization concerned with abolishing the practice of many colleges of accepting students on a religious and racial discriminatory basis.” 18 Similar to the way in which Howard Thurman willingly spoke at Vassar even while it was segregated, his daughter used her position as a delegate from Vassar to attend a ILED conference at Princeton, where the theme was “Education in a Racial Democracy.” 19 In other words, Olive used her connections and power from Vassar to fight for the change that she wanted to see at Vassar and at every other college. That conference at Princeton brought together “delegates from 41 colleges and universities of the New York and New England regions,” 20 and as part of the schedule, attendees got to listen to guest speakers, attend discussion panels, and attend a service at the University Chapel. 21 Even in this space that was meant to fight discrimination in schools, there was a church service, providing another space in Olive’s world in which politics and religion intermingled.

After attending the conference, Olive shared her experience in a public opinion article in The Miscellany News. She wrote that “she became aware of the role which Vassar College is assuming, and in the future can assume with reference to the growth of educational democracy in American Colleges and Universities.” 22 She echoed ILED’s definition of educational democracy as “the equal and regular admission of qualified students from many racial or religious backgrounds on a non-quota basis and…the genuine integration of these students into the total life of the college.” 23 Olive then described how the VIA and the Student Liberal Association at Vassar worked to achieve that goal. She described how the VIA’s focus was primarily education-based, which was consistent with the work that she did with that group. In the piece, she characterized the VIA as “an educational group which seeks to develop broad intercultural attitudes” and the SLA as “an action group.” 24 The distinction between these two groups, both of which she was involved with, showcases Olive’s understanding of activism on multiple levels. Olive continued in the article to acknowledge both Vassar’s achievements and failures, calling Vassar “far ahead of many colleges and universities in that questions as to race and religion have no place on admission blanks. Yet the problem of receiving regular and proportional applications from students of minority groups is still an unresolved one.” 25 It seems that in Olive’s view, Vassar’s problem with race was not that they were discriminatory when people of color applied, it was that they were not working to ensure a diverse pool of applicants.

Student Liberal Association

Another organization that Olive was involved with was the Student Liberal Association, the action group that she mentioned alongside the VIA in her article about the ILED conference. One example of that action was detailed in The Miscellany News article “SLA Campaigns for Town Registration,” where the club gave their support for the American Labor Party of Poughkeepsie. Olive was named as one of the members who helped distribute leaflets to the Poughkeepsie community. The American Labor Party candidates that SLA supported were Sam Sheib and Norman Williams, Williams being the “first Negro candidate ever to be put up for city office.” 26 Both men were running for local positions, meaning Olive was involved in local Poughkeepsie elections and was actively supporting a trailblazing Black candidate.

A black and white photo of several students putting on a theatrical performance.

Art and Culture


When she was not working within political and religious spaces, Olive was involved in some theater productions that were mentioned in the Vassar newspapers. According to the articles, Olive must have learned a lot about the craft and herself by being a cast member in these shows. The Experimental Theater’s production of Peer Gynt, in which Olive was cast as a troll and an Arabian, took place over the course of two semesters, because “the five long acts, twenty-some odd scenes, and multitude of characters” made it “practically impossible to cut the play to any extent without cheating the audience, actors, and Mr. Ibsen [the playwright] himself.” 27 If nothing else, the process of preparing for that feat of a play early on in her Vassar career must have taught endurance and community, two necessary components of education-based activism.

A black and white photo of several students putting on a theatrical performance.
Olive in Back to Methuselah, back left

The following year, Olive was cast as a maiden in the play Back to Methuselah 28, and the article stated that “through long rehearsals and concentrated drilling, the members of the cast have succeeded in interpreting it with skill.” 29 Olive as a cast member was likely expected to do the “intellectual and philosophical” work necessary to tackle the show. The third play listed in The Miscellany News was the show Spook Sonata, which the 1948 article called “a powerful drama especially suited to the unspecialized theatre in so far as it affords the study of unusual dramatic technique.” 30 In essence, all the plays that Olive was recorded being a part of at Vassar were listed as requiring intense study, and each complimented the actors’ ability to execute their craft. Additionally, the Spook Sonata article had a subheading with details about the set, saying “a great deal of time and work has been put into the production and a number of difficult lighting effects have been employed.” 31 I have noticed a trend, both in the articles written about plays Olive was in and in the articles Olive wrote about films and plays, of highlighting all aspects of a production, including the set, music, or costume choices. This norm must have fostered an overall appreciation for people doing all types of work, which seems to have been the attitude Olive carried into her activism as well.

In general, Olive seems to have appreciated when all the different moving parts of theater came together to make the whole. She was attuned to details and devoted time and energy to appreciating all the aspects of her craft. Part of this could also be due to the fact that she was a student under Aline Bernstein, a Tony-winning costume designer, and thus developed a deeper understanding of behind-the-scenes work. Later in her life, when Olive was interviewed for a New York Public Library video detailing Bernstein’s life, she reflected on her time as Bernstein’s student. She recalled that Bernstein took great care in “understanding how things are made,” 32 and in teaching her students to do the same. Olive quoted Bernstein, saying “things look the way they look because they are the way they are.” 33 In the interview, she seemed to appreciate learning that perspective as a young person. In general, Bernstein’s leadership must have been invaluable for Olive as she found joy, understanding, and purpose in different levels of theater.

Her appreciation for and attention to the details of the show both on and off stage demonstrated her care for theater and her knowledge of the art form.

In addition to being a drama student, Olive wrote about theater in the newspaper. In 1948, she wrote about a faculty play that “was characterized by spontaneity and lack of self consciousness” and brought Founder’s Day to “a brilliant and hilarious conclusion.” 34 Her background in drama came through in this article as she noted details about the show, such as the “graphic use of sound, sight and movement to complement the spoken word of the actors,” 35 and gave special recognition of the satirical and comedic elements of the production. She concluded with congratulations for not only the performers and the “interesting characters which they created,” but also for the crew and committee “who saw to it that the technical aspect was well-handled.” 36 Her appreciation for and attention to the details of the show both on and off stage demonstrated her care for theater and her knowledge of the art form.

Olive’s article was light and complimentary, but it cannot be ignored that the piece was part of a larger segment that celebrated the 1948 Founder’s Day festivities. Within that segment, on the very same page, was an article that joyfully recounted the performance done by Josselyn House, “a minstrel show complete with men in black-face.” 37 The performance won Josselyn House a silver cup as a prize. In one day, and on one page of the newspaper, Vassar lifted up and rewarded minstrel shows and Blackface as a source of entertainment to “keep the audience happy for the entire afternoon,” 38 while at the same time, one of their few Black students wrote positively about the faculty play. White Vassar students were actively being praised for putting on minstrel shows with their Black classmates right next to them.

I have not found any evidence that Olive spoke out against Blackface at Vassar publicly, but it is not hard to imagine how infuriating and isolating it must have felt to experience that on her campus because Olive did use The Miscellany News to call out a different instance of hypocrisy and racism within student life. In a 1946 public opinion article, Olive, along with three other students, issued a statement of disappointment regarding a song that was played at the second year prom, “Snowball.” They expressed concern over derogatory racialized terms presented in a humorous way, as if that type of language was acceptable or funny at all. The four students wrote that “such a practice has no place in any gathering where a member of the offended group is present or not.” 39 In essence, Olive and her classmates asserted an argument that we still make so often today—that language and content matter in media, that people, organizations, and power structures such as Vassar have a responsibility to demonstrate safety and inclusion for all students, and that oppression needs to be combated even and especially in situations where the oppressed groups are not present. The group did not hold back on their criticism of Vassar students and Vassar as an institution for allowing the song to play. They wrote that to hear the song “was a great shock coming from people who consider themselves well bred and intelligent.” 40 They said it was “in the worst possible taste” and “inexcusably stupid” that the song’s “‘humor’ depends on such derogatory terms as ‘coon,’ ‘pickaninny’ and ‘snowball.’” 41 The students wished instead that “American culture develop a more mature and civilized kind of humor.” 42 The group concluded with the statement that “it is imperative that the students of Vassar College stop condoning such customs.” The scathing takedown of people’s intelligence and humor seems unlike Olive, as most of her other work showcases a general spirit of patience and understanding. However, this anger is important to the reality of what being a Black Vassar student must have been like in the 1940s. This article made it clear to her classmates that she had no tolerance for their racism, and that they were not going to have the privilege of benefitting from her usual educational approach when they displayed such blatant disrespect.

The introductory article from The Vassar Chronicle mentioned Olive’s impressive resume within political and religious spaces, but it also stated that she planned to study drama, and wanted to “use her dramatic training in community center work with children.” Before she started at Vassar, community-centered education work was Olive’s focus even in her artistic endeavors. It seems that Olive’s theater experiences at Vassar lived up to her pre-enrollment expectations, taught her valuable skills to use within her activism, and showed her the possibility of a future in both drama and politics.


Olive’s theatrical interests were not limited to the stage, she also proved herself to be a fan of films. In the agenda for the Interfaith meeting she presided over, the group discussed asking the Faculty Film Committee to provide films about “current religious problems such as Zionism to the college.” It seems that for Olive, film was another useful method of advocacy and education, and she enjoyed sharing those experiences with other students. Olive engaged with films with political themes by writing synopses and reviews for the campus in The Miscellany News. In 1946, Olive wrote an article about the French film A Nous La Liberte, a film with “vital social commentary” about “the struggle of individual human liberty to find expression in a mechanized, industrial world.” She must have been interested in the subject to be pursuing engaging avenues for thought and discussion outside of the classroom. Furthermore, she pointed out the “slapstick buffoonery” and the “hilarious comic effects,” but was also clear that the comedy contributed to, and did not distract from, the meaning of the piece. Olive wrote that “the underlying comic buoyancy of A Nous La Liberté is balanced with poignancy and pathos.” She ended the article by writing that she was inspired by the “skillful blending of original artistry and good dramatic form with social commentary, as always an effective contrast to Hollywood.” Olive’s critique of Hollywood films, as well as her clear appreciation for this one, not only showcased her love and knowledge of theater as an art form, it also spoke to a longing for good, meaningful media.

A few weeks later, Olive wrote a review for Song of Ceylon, a documentary “concerning the life and customs of the people of the Island of Ceylon.” In this article, however, she focused on the depiction of Senegalese Buddhist worship in the film. She wrote that “the sight of the moving pilgrims, the silent face and form of the statue of the Buddha, and the flight and fall of the solitary bird… captured a universal experience of worship.” However, her opinion quickly turned critical. Olive wrote that “unfortunately, this excellence of treatment was not retained… and, particularly in the case of the religious dance, became limited and circumscribed.” Olive did not expand on what was “limited and circumscribed” about the depiction of the religious dance, but when Olive wrote this article in 1946, her father had already had experiences such as meeting with Gandhi in South Asia, and she had already been involved in interdenominational and intercultural work. In other words, Olive’s religious understanding was likely much broader and more global than that of her peers, because her father was Howard Thurman.

Just one week after the Song of Ceylon film review, Olive published another article to summarize three documentaries shown by The Political Association: And Now the Peace, Defeated People, and China. She wrote that the first film “gives an explanation of the structure of the UN,” and she conceded that “as an educational film, this has instructive value.” However, she expressed “it is amazing to realize how dated it is only one year after its creation. The consistently optimistic and secure tone of the film is ironic in the light of recent historical events.” Clearly, Olive was not only an active participant in attending film-watching events, but she was also thinking critically about them in relation to her current time.

It speaks volumes that Olive would be involved with watching and writing about so many films with political or religious content, because that truly combined her biggest focuses at Vassar. Film as a medium is an inherently engaging and entertaining way to get information across, and they naturally invite community. Movies events in different halls on campus means that people gathered together to watch, and likely had discussions when they finished. Olive then took it a step further and wrote summaries of the movies, inviting the students who may not have been physically present to be involved in the conversation in some way. In other words, she was a part of making knowledge accessible, fun, and in communion with friends.

In addition to describing the political aspects of the films, Olive often highlighted dramatic techniques in her articles. She defined pantomime in A Nous La Liberte as “an original device in which spoken dialogue is minimized and subordinated to a synthesized rich facial and body pantomime…, dance-like movement, choral singing and orchestral music.” She also pointed out specific scenes in which this effect was used particularly well. Olive then drew attention to the role of music in the film, “serving not only to accompany, but also to interpret the meaning of the [action].” Olive’s theatrical talents were evident in her article about the film La Lettre and Song of Ceylon as well, calling the “distinct use of movement…evident in each of the films of the group.” She wrote La Lettre was “done almost entirely within a limited range of form, area and time, the film achieved historical sequence and accuracy, while retaining visual pleasure.” Olive’s focus on movement, music, form, and visuals in addition to the storyline and message, shows her theatrical knowledge and appreciation for film in general, as well as giving her a leg to stand on in terms of her interpretation of the films. In other words, she seems to have known what she was talking about.


The portrait of Olive at the top of the paper was painted by her friend and fellow 1948 graduate, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert. Though this is the only portrait I have seen, many more paintings of Olive have probably existed because, according to Lambert, Olive was a model for Vassar painting classes. Lambert told me she met Olive in “a painting course and she was modeling for it.” The two became friends, but Lambert was not the only one to paint beautiful portraits of Olive. In The Miscellany News, there was a 1946 article about “‘The Annual Student’s Art Exhibit’” in Taylor Hall, in which a painting of Olive was featured. The article states, “particularly striking is the electrically vibrant portrait of Olive Thurman entitled ‘Olive’ by Audrey Ann Kinney ’47.” Modeling could have been a way for Olive to earn some extra money, or it could have been another means of discovering herself through a different artistic endeavor, or both, but either way, it adds another dimension to who Olive was as a Vassar student. If nothing else, by way of her being a model, she required that students learn how to paint Black skin.


It feels significant that so much of Olive’s story that I am able to uncover comes from her own words in the Vassar newspapers. So much of her campus activism took the form of community education, and it seems that writing in the newspapers was yet another way for Olive to convey her opinions or information not just within her campus community, but also to me. The newspapers serve as a record, and whether or not she was thinking about that at the time, the truth is that with her articles she has educated me and has the potential to educate any future person who reads her writing.

According to Phyllis Lambert, Olive “was a very quiet person, and she was very modest. She was not at all somebody who would be aggressive or complain or talk strongly” I believe this characterization of Olive, and it feels consistent with the story that comes through from the Vassar newspapers. Olive was clearly passionate about so many things—politics, religion, and theater—and she was involved with all three in differently intersecting ways throughout her years. However, she did not seem to be the type to loudly and sensationally antagonize the college or her classmates regarding issues of injustice and ignorance, and as a Black woman in a newly integrated space, Olive likely knew how her approach to activism would impact her opportunities and the opportunities of future Black students. As a result, she did so much powerful and important educational work from within the institution. She worked with and led organized clubs, where she participated in both intellectual discussions and concrete actions, she went to watch parties for political films and reviewed them, she attended a conference on integration, acted in plays, sat on a discussion panel about prejudice, criticized the college, congratulated the college, posed for paintings, wrote in the newspaper, and was a student. Olive was an active member in the life of Vassar College, forcing her classmates and professors to see her as the smart, talented, Black leader she was.

It remains unclear how exactly Howard Thurman may have influenced Olive’s choices and experiences at Vassar. Phyllis Lambert told me that “she never talked to me about her father,” and Olive never wrote about him in her articles. This may have been her way of separating her identity from her father’s and stepping into her own personhood, an understandable choice for any young adult. Regardless, his voice is unmistakable in her work. Howard Thurman’s thoughtfulness, intelligence, and patience are all reflected in Olive. His willingness to give a speech on a segregated campus in 1928, then send his daughter to the same newly integrated campus in 1945, is testament to his belief in change through relationships, education, and continuing to show up. Olive exhibited those same characteristics throughout her time at Vassar, and the Vassar community—the college as an institution, Olive’s peers, and those of us who have come after—benefited from the work she was willing to do to push Vassar towards a better future.


  1. Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, Portrait of Olive Thurman at Vassar, 1948, Oil on canvas.

  2. Mac Kramer and Chris Haffner, “New Class Shows Varied Talents, Wide Experiences,” Vassar Chronicle, Vol. III, No. 2 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 8 September 1945.

  3. Kramer.

  4. “Inter-Faith Discusses Agenda For Next Term,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXX, No.14, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 5 December 1945.

  5. Kramer, “New Class Shows Varied Talents, Wide Experiences”

  6. Lucia Taft, “VIA Becomes Force on College Campus,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 20, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 26 February 1947.

  7. Taft

  8. Taft

  9. Taft

  10. “Slavson Discusses Prejudice Targets,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXX, No. 34, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 12 June

  11. “Slavson Discusses Prejudice Targets.”

  12. “V.I.A. Forms New Food Committee,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 3, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 8 October 1947.

  13. Rudd Trimble and Margo Betz, “Campus Supports Food Drive…” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 5, (Poughkeepsie, NY) 22 October 1947.

  14. Olive Thurman, “Solomons Views Social Role of Indian Student,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 5, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 9 October 1946.

  15. Thurman, “Solomons Views Social Role of Indian Student.”

  16. Thurman, “Solomons Views Social Role of Indian Student.”

  17. “Vassar Outlines Year’s Policy,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 5, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 22 October 1947.

  18. “Vassar’s Delegates to I.L.E.D. Announced,” Vassar Chronicle, Vol. V. No. 6, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 25 October 1947.

  19. “Education For Racial Democracy is the Theme of I.L.E.D. Conference,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 10, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 3 December 1947.

  20. “Education For Racial Democracy is the Theme of I.L.E.D. Conference”

  21. “Education For Racial Democracy is the Theme of I.L.E.D. Conference”

  22. Olive Thurman, “Public Opinion,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 5 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 22 October 1947.

  23. Thurman, “Public Opinion,” 1947

  24. Thurman, “Public Opinion,” 1947

  25. Thurman, “Public Opinion,” 1947

  26. “SLA Campaigns For Town Registration,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 3, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 8 October 1947.

  27. Christenberry, Helen. “D.P. Will Present Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt’ As 1st Production.” Vassar Chronicle, Vol. III, No. 8 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 20 October 1945.

  28. “D.P.’s First ’46 Production, Shaw’s ‘Back to Methuselah’ Prepares For Opening Night,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 11, 20 November 1946.

  29. “‘Back to Methuselah’”

  30. “DP Produces Symbolic Drama Combines Technique, Action,” Vassar Miscellany News, 8 April 1948.

  31. “DP Produces Symbolic Drama Combines Technique, Action.”

  32. Aline Bernstein, directed by Drew Scott Harris, written by Suzy Bezinger, narrated by Barbara Tirrell and John Schneeman, featuring Richard V. Hare and Olive Thurman Wong, New York Theatre Development Fund and the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, 2001, VHS.

  33. Aline Bernstein

  34. Olive Thurman, “Founders Day Concludes with Successful Faculty Program; Characterized by Spontaneity and Lack of Self-Consciousness,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 25, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 5 May 1948.

  35. Thurman, “Founders Day Concludes with Successful Faculty Program”

  36. Thurman, “Founders Day Concludes with Successful Faculty Program”

  37. “Freshmen Compete in the Circle with a Minstrel Show, Utopia, Beer Party, Whale,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXII, No. 25 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 5 May 1948.

  38. “Freshmen Compete in the Circle with a Minstrel Show”

  39. Olive Thurman et al, “Public Opinion,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXX, No. 23, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 6 March 1946.

  40. Thurman et al, “Public Opinion,” 1946

  41. Thurman et al, “Public Opinion,” 1946

  42. Thurman et al, “Public Opinion,” 1946

  43. Thurman et al, “Public Opinion,” 1946

  44. Kramer, “New Class Shows Varied Talents, Wide Experiences”

  45. “Inter-Faith Discusses Agenda For Next Term”

  46. Olive Thurman, “René Clair Film Artistically Combines Its Social Commentary, Symbols, and Humor,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 7 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 23 October 1946.

  47. Thurman, “René Clair Film”

  48. Thurman, “René Clair Film”

  49. Thurman, “René Clair Film”

  50. Olive Thurman, “Film Notes,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 11, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 20 November 1946.

  51. Thurman, “Film Notes.”

  52. Thurman, “Film Notes.”

  53. Olive Thurman, “Polit Shows Films on Peace Problems,” Vassar Miscellany News, Vol. XXXI, No. 12, (Poughkeepsie, NY), 27 November 1946.

  54. Thurman, “René Clair Film”

  55. Thurman, “René Clair Film”

  56. Thurman, “Film Notes.”

  57. Thurman, “Film Notes.”

  58. Phyllis Lambert, Zoom interview with author, 20 November 2023.

  59. Jesse Butler, “Speaking of Art,” Vassar Chronicle, Vol. III, No. 34 (Poughkeepsie, NY), 8 June 1946.

  60. Butler, “Speaking of Art”

  61. Phyllis Lambert, Zoom interview with author, 20 November 2023.

  62. Phyllis Lambert, Zoom interview with author, 20 November 2023.

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