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June 7, 1937

President MacCracken conferred the bachelor’s degree on 270 members of the Class of 1937 at Commencement in the Chapel. In his commencement address, the college’s longest-serving trustee, co-founder of the Institute of International Education and director of the Council on Foreign Relations Dr. Stephen P. Duggan, spoke of the power of education and of a well-developed educational system in defining and defending American institutions and the American way of life. “The Federal Government,” he said, “appropriated $1,000,000,000 this year for defense purposes, without serious protest. It appropriated $7,616,460 for education. Yet education is the best method for defending our institutions.”

The New York Times

President MacCracken announced that gifts for the year had totaled $353,000 and included a fund established by her former students—and supplemented by the Rockefeller Foundation—in honor of Grace Harriet McCurdy, who retired in 1937 after 44 years as a professor of classics at Vassar. In his annual report for 1937, President MacCracken wrote of McCurdy: “Her deep interest in the achievements of women and in their opportunities both for political and for social equality has led her studies of late into the history of Greek women. Her humor, her gaiety, and her eloquence have combined with her rare learning to bring distinction to the classical studies that have made graduates of Vassar desired in every graduate school.”

The Years