Who's stepping into
Matthew's shoes?

on the cover

Meryl Streep '71 has earned a reputation for transforming herself into every character she has ever portrayed. She's played everyone from a Polish immigrant haunted by memories of a Nazi concentration camp ( Sophie's Choice ) to television chef Julia Child ( Julie & Julia ) to an aged male rabbi ( Angels in America ).

Here, Streep gives a wink and a nod to founder Matthew Vassar 150 years after the charter of his magnificent enterprise. She helps to recreate the painting "Matthew Vassar, 1861," commissioned by Vassar's nascent Board of Trustees and executed by the distinguished artist Charles Loring Elliott, upon the founding of the college.

Ms. Streep was photographed for the cover (and for this page) by acclaimed photographer Brigitte Lacombe (brigittelacombe.com), whose work has appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair , the New Yorker , the New York Times Magazine , Time , Condé Nast Traveler , and  GQ .

Back to cover