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September 16, 1964

Opening Vassar’s 100th academic year, its new president, Alan Simpson, gave the address at Fall Convocation. One of his concerns was with the nature of “style.” “Style,” he told the students and faculty, “is the form imposed by art on life. A great deal of life has been and is without style: an aimless scurrying of matter, a dull scratching of itches, a wearisome struggle for survival. There is obviously no style without leisure, without exposure to good models, without a passion for improvement.

“Style is not a veneer; it is not a dressing; it is not a nice frosting on a poor cake; it is not make-up. Style has to be built into the motion of the mind by passion and practice.”

A record 1,162 students were enrolled, and the 451 freshmen included women from 21 foreign countries.

The Years