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November 11, 1964

Defending the liberal arts and praising “the educated woman” at the Washington Vassar Club, President Simpson announced that the college had met, nine months before the deadline, the $25 million goal set in 1955 for a 10-year development program. The majority of the donations came from alumnae, and of the total $16,500,000 was earmarked for the educational program, with emphasis on faculty salaries and scholarships, with the remainder intended for improvements to the physical plant.

Upholding the ideals of a liberal education against the pressing claims for a less broad and my professional curriculum, Simpson also asked, “What can the educated woman do for this world?” “Her stake in life,” he replied, “is the biggest because it’s the longest. She needs less reminders than men that we are born for purposes larger than ourselves. She is the natural conservationist of tested values; the best interpreter of change; the last generalist in our intensely specialized civilization. She can also claim a larger role for herself as explorer, manager and governor. She can be invited to study countries in which the male fortresses are more battered than they are in ours, and where some of them have been reduced to the picturesque irrelevance of a medieval castle in a modern city.”

Since the program’s inception faculty salaries were substantially improved, a new residence hall and a modern language center built and significant improvements made to Main Building, the Library and the Art Gallery. The president noted that the college was currently attempting to meet a $2.5 million 3-to-1 challenge grant from the Ford Foundation. Success in this effort would, he said, further enhance faculty salaries and academic programs as well as starting to address further physical plant needs, such as a biological sciences building, a laboratory theater, new faculty housing and residential facilities for students.

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