The Institute for the Liberal Arts and an Inn

Dear all,

I am writing with exciting news at Vassar. In February, the Board of Trustees approved the building of an Institute for the Liberal Arts and an Inn on College Avenue, below Alumnae House. At a time when liberal arts education is under fire, Vassar is committed to demonstrating its relevance and value as a key underpinning to a pluralistic, open, and equitable society.

The Institute and Inn will allow Vassar to play an important role in fostering dialogue about higher education and contemporary challenges in the US and globally. Through its programming, inspired by faculty and students, the Institute and Inn will advance bold and wide-ranging discourse on crucial topics of local, regional, national, and global interest. We are delighted with this plan and very thankful to the generous donors who have made it possible. 

The Institute for the Liberal Arts and Inn will include 50 guest rooms, a restaurant and convening space, which we are eager to share with the many visitors to this part of the Hudson Valley. Poughkeepsie is at the beginning of a renaissance. Health Quest, the State, and several developers are investing significantly in our community. We see tremendous potential for this project to complement these investments and further contribute to Poughkeepsie’s growth.

Due to various siting concerns, the Williams House, currently home to some of our faculty, will be coming down to accommodate this project. The Board has committed to build additional faculty housing of a higher quality to replace these lost apartments. Note that Williams House, erected in 1924, has unfortunately not been maintained, is not accessible and has extremely inefficient energy use. The Board has also committed to maintaining faculty housing more mindfully going forward. Williams will continue to house faculty until June 2020; the College will assist faculty in finding alternative housing prior to the construction of the new faculty housing.

Below is a rendering of the Institute for the Liberal Arts and Inn; we hope if all goes well to break ground in July 2020 and have it operational by July 2022. I will be sharing more details as the project starts to take shape. Many thanks to the community of alumnae/i, neighbors, faculty, students, administrators, and staff who have made this possible.

Feel free to be in touch, and thank you.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604