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August 14, 1878

President John Raymond died after several months of declining health. Professor Mary W. Whitney ’68 wrote in the Vassar Alumnae Monthly, June 1911: “My impression, as I look back, is of a struggle to keep up the standard of Vassar to a fairly collegiate grade, against the unfortunate opinions prevailing in the public mind, and against the pressing pecuniary needs of the time. In this struggle the personality of the president and his teachers was the strong factor. The wise but never narrow conservatism of President Raymond combined with the enthusiastic ambition of Professor Mitchell, Dr. Avery, and many of the instructors, are the forces which moulded my Vassar loyalty. The curriculum was very scanty then, as the catalogues showed, and it was the character of our teachers that built up the early Vassar more than a definitely formed policy of education.”

The Years