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June 21, 1963

The college announced that British-born historian Alan Simpson would succeed Sarah Gibson Blanding on July 1, 1964, when she retired from the presidency of Vassar. John Wilkie, chairman of the board of trustees, said the board endorsed Mr. Simpson‘s nomination by a committee of five trustees and five faculty members “enthusiastically and unanimously” at its meeting on June 19. Simpson, Mr. Wilkie said, was elected “with complete confidence in his profound concern with and dedication to the further enhancement of Vassar’s distinction in the world of education.” President Blanding greeted her successor’s selection, noting that he “has proved himself to be one of the outstanding educators in the country and ideally qualified to head a great college.”

Educated at Oxford, Simpson studied at Harvard as a Commonwealth Fellow from 1935 to 1937. After eight years as senior lecturer in modern British history at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland, he joined the history faculty of the University of Chicago in 1946. Mr. Simpson served as the dean of the Undergraduate College of the University of Chicago from 1946 until 1964.

In a statement, Alan Simpson said, “It is a great honor to be invited to be president of Vassar College. I have the warmest admiration for its trustees, faculty, students and alumnae. By combining a firm grasp of established standards of excellence with a vigorous readiness for constructive change, its future will be as distinguished as its past.”

The New York Times

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