Vassar Today

Way to go, Vassar!

By Elizabeth Randolph

A Vassar First: Women’s Rugby Reaches Final Four

The Vassar women’s rugby team excelled on a national stage, finishing third at the American Collegiate Rugby Association tournament in Auburndale, FL, in December. The crew was the first rugby team to reach the Final Four in Vassar history. Though the Brewers lost to Notre Dame College (OH) 34–19 in the semifinals on December 7, they rebounded the next day to defeat Kutztown (PA) University 24–15.

The women’s rugby team after the game that earned them a place in the Final Four.
The women’s rugby team after the game that earned them a place in the Final Four.

Co-captain Dallas Robinson ’14 says she’s proud of the way the team bounced back in the consolation game on December 8. “I told my teammates finishing third was the only option—there was no way we were going home in fourth. And the way we played [against Kutztown] was a totally different game.”

While the loss to Notre Dame still stings, co-captain Margaret Kwateng ’14 says she and her teammates would always cherish what they accomplished. “At the start of the season, you never really expect to get this far,” she says. “It took a lot of mental and physical discipline to win all those games.”

Coach Tony Brown says the disappointment he and his players felt after the semifinal match was tempered by a sense of pride in their accomplishments throughout the season and in the national tourney. “We may be a small liberal arts school, but now, a lot of people know we have some wonderfully competitive athletes,” Brown says.

Professor Emeritus Glen Johnson Awarded Val-Kill Medal

Glen Johnson, Shirley Ecker Boskey Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Relations at Vassar, was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal in October 2013. The annual award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to humanitarian efforts—in their communities and around the world—in areas that were the focus of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life’s work.

In citing Johnson as a recipient, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill wrote, “Johnson devoted his entire career to the study of the importance of human rights as a building block of democratic societies as well as foreign policy and international relations. During a 40-year career as a professor of political science at Vassar College, he brought to every successive generation the insight that there is no true freedom if it is not grounded in human rights.”

Johnson served the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in various capacities, including his role as president of the Board of Directors from 1997–2001, and is the author of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A History of Its Creation and Implementation, 1948–1998 (Human Rights in Perspective), about Eleanor Roosevelt’s work in the United Nations.

New Admissions Website Wins Design Prize

Vassar’s new admissions website captured a Gold Award in the 43rd Annual University and College Designers Association (UCDA) Design Competition’s digital media category.

The UCDA Design Competition recognizes the very best design work used to promote educational institutions.

Senior Web Designer Christopher Silverman, who led the design team, accepted the award in October at the UCDA proceedings in Louisville, KY. “One of my primary goals was making the site friendly and distinctive. Applying to schools can be a complex and intimidating process, and I wanted to avoid the impersonal overtones I noticed on some other admissions sites,” Silverman says.

Cultural Contributions of Powerhouse Theater Heralded

Powerhouse Theater was awarded the Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Award for an Arts Organization at a ceremony held in October. Presented by the Dutchess County Arts Council, the honor rewards an institution that has made an important contribution to the growth of the county’s cultural life over a significant period of time.

Molly Carden and Annabella Sciorra in the Powerhouse’s Downtown Race Riot, by Seth Zvi-Rosenfeld, directed by Scott Elliott.
Molly Carden and Annabella Sciorra in the Powerhouse’s Downtown Race Riot, by Seth Zvi-Rosenfeld, directed by Scott Elliott.

Powerhouse, which completed its 29th season this past summer, is a collaboration between Vassar and New York Stage and Film. Every summer, Powerhouse presents up to 20 different projects featuring more than 250 professional artists and theater students. Performances are marked by Powerhouse’s dedication to new plays, outstanding artists, and affordable prices, making exceptional theater accessible to a broad audience.

Vassar Earns 2013 Ally Award

During the fall semester, Vassar Community Works was honored by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) Hudson Valley with an Ally Award. The awards recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts help end anti-LGBT bias and harassment in schools.

Community Works is Vassar’s annual employee and student philanthropic campaign, which has raised more than $1 million and funded over 40 institutions in the Hudson Valley since its inception in 2001.

New Field Hockey Leader Named Coach of the Year

This fall, Michael Warari finished his first season as the head coach of the Vassar field hockey team. Warari, who arrived at the college during the summer of 2013, wasted no time making a name for himself. During his first season with Vassar, he led the Brewers to an 11-win campaign, taking them to the Liberty League playoffs for the first time ever. For his efforts, Warari earned 2013 Liberty League Coach of the Year—an honor he shares with assistant coach Abigail Seward.

Warari joined the Vassar athletics staff after serving one year as an assistant coach at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

—Compiled by Elizabeth Randolph