Vassar Today

The Chapel's 100th Birthday Party

By Lindsay Dawson ’05

On November 4, 2004, the Vassar community marked its Chapel’s centennial with a celebration that featured a student procession, a dance performance, and a keynote speech. The Redhawk Dancers’ show in front of the building was followed by an eclectic parade of papier-mâché puppets, stilt walkers, and musicians. Vassar’s “Sacred Stampede” culminated with a puppet performance on the chapel steps. The celebration moved inside the building for a lecture by Vincent G. Harding, professor emeritus of religion and social transformation at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. After Harding’s remarks, the Vassar Choir and Orchestra performed Mozart’s Requiem. Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Sam Speers said, “The Chapel is a kind of lens through which we can view the ways that the intellectual life of this secular institution has changed and evolved.” In a yearlong commemoration of the centennial, Speers planned a series of programs on the role of religious life in a liberal arts context.