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April 1937

A new non-credit course of twelve lectures on marriage drew public attention to the college. Guest lecturers included Dr. Raymond Squier, gynecologist and obstetrician; family health pioneer Beatrice Bishop Berle MD ’23 and developmental psychologist Dr. Mary Shattuck Fisher ’20. They were joined by Vassar faculty members sociologist Joseph K. Folsom and J. Howard Howson, professor of religion and frequent lecturer on marriage and mental hygiene.

Students attended voluntarily, and most chose to stay after the hour’s talk to ask questions. In retrospect they endorsed the course, as did President MacCracken and Warden Eleanor Dodge ’25. Mary Stewart Hooke, physician’s assistant at the college said the course “will help [students] face facts realistically when they get engaged, and not go thoughtlessly to the altar in a cloud of white and orange blossoms.” The board of The Miscellany concurred; “We approve,” it stated, “the intellectual and frank approach there has been to these problems.”

Dr. Berle had lectured at Vassar in 1932 and 1933, and Dr. Fisher—later, Mary Shattuck Langmuir—returned to Vassar in the fall as professor of psychology.

The Years