Vassar Today

Vassar Goes Wireless

By Emily Bernhard

No, they’re not the latest thing in smoke alarms. The white plastic boxes on the walls around campus are wireless access points, connections to the new campus-wide wireless network. With almost 400 access points, Vassar now provides wireless coverage from the benches at Sunset Lake to the lounges of Josselyn House.

“The goal is to have the entire campus lit up by the fall,” says Bret Ingerman, vice president for computing and information services, who proudly points out that Vassar will be among a very small group of top liberal arts colleges that are totally wireless.

It’s transformational technology that will untether Vassar’s computer users from hard wires, allowing people to work online seamlessly and nomadically wherever they wish on campus.

It’s also an expensive technology, made possible by an $860,000 grant from an anonymous donor. “It happened last year, a few days after I briefed a group of alumnae/i on various technology opportunities, including the benefits wireless capability could provide the campus,” recalls Ingerman. “Someone who was at the meeting later called the college because they had been struck by the opportunities this technology could provide to students, faculty, and staff, and they offered to fund it. It really shows you the supportive nature of our alumnae/i.”