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September 23, 1935

The college began its 71st year with 1,220 students, including 317 freshmen who, The New York Times reported, came from 34 states, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Canada, France and China. Forty-one of the freshmen were Vassar daughters, and seven were Vassar granddaughters.

Scholar of ancient philosophy Gregory Vlastos preached the year’s opening sermon, and President MacCracken and Professor of Economics and Sociology Mable Newcomer—returning after a year’s study of tax systems in England and Germany—spoke at Convocation on September 23.

“I am convinced,” she told students, “that democracy need not be bungling and can be made to work, but this demands the highest level of intelligence and education…. Do not fill up your leisure with meaningless activity or with causes. Have the courage to stand aside and watch for a little while. It is more important to know where we are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.”

The New York Times

The Years