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June 11, 1893

Class reunions were held by ’68, ’73, ’81, ’88 and ’91 on Class Day, as the Class of 1893 and their guests heard latest versions of traditional addresses. Class orator Adele Whitcomb ’93 explained the significance of the class motto, “Per Augusta ad Augusta,” and Eliza Cobb ’93 and Edith Neil ’93 read the class poem. At the class tree, Ethel R. Evans ’93 gave the senior charge, to which Elizabeth Gillmer ’94 gave the junior reply.

At their annual meeting, the board of trustees voted to appropriate $10,000 from the general fund to complete the $50,000 Maria Mitchell Fund. Correspondence was reported to be under way with an eminent philosopher with a view to establishing a new chair in philosophy, and a committee of five was formed, President Taylor presiding, to consider and report on whether Vassar should become a university.

“The report,” President Tayor recalled, “showed that the consensus of opinion favored the view that the better work would be done for the undergraduate where his or her interests were paramount, that greater singleness of aim would be encouraged, that the best interests of education in the country certainly did not demand that every college should aspire to be a university, and that Vassar would do well to declare itself for an independent policy and sphere. The board adopted the report, withdrew the offer of courses leading to the Ph.D. degree (1894), and deliberately declared Vassar an undergraduate college…. Perhaps with pardonable inconsistency the College continued for several years to grant scholarships to recent graduates for one year of work at Vassar. Many were thus encouraged to go on to higher studies in the universities. The results of this policy have amply justified it.”

The New York Times; James Monroe Taylor and Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, Vassar

The Years