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March 18, 1960

Six hundred students signed a petition to the trustees requesting that Vassar withdraw from the National Defense Student Loan Program as a protest against its requirement that students submit a affidavit disclaiming communist ties. The trustees responded that Vassar would withdraw from the program as of June 30, 1960, unless the disclaimer clause was deleted by that time. The requirement was not deleted, and Vassar withdrew.

In 1959, Senator John F. Kennedy had introduced a bill to eliminate the loyalty oath and the non-communist affidavit from the education act, and on October 16, 1962, President Kennedy signed the bill removing the non-communist affidavit from the defense education act. In the interim, 153 colleges and universities had withdrawn from the federal loan program.

The Years