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April 12, 1919

Social worker Ruth Crawford Mitchell ’12, national YWCA secretary for international institutes, and two classmates, Mary Hurlbutt ‘12 and Elinor Prudden ‘12, embarked for Prague, at the request of Alice Masaryk, daughter of the president of Czechoslovakia, to conduct a social survey of the city. While subsequently helping Dr. Masaryk establish Czechoslovakia’s first school of social work, the three friends proposed to her and to the college that Czech women entering the field would benefit greatly from study at Vassar.

President MacCracken agreed, funding was found and in 1920 the first five Czech exchange students began their two-year programs at Vassar. The college continued to supply at least one annual scholarship to a Czech student until 1948.

The Years