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December 8, 1964

Southeast Asian specialist and author Dr. Virginia Thompson Adloff ’24 gave the inaugural C. Mildred Thompson Lecture, “Unity and Disunity in the Third World: Southeast Asia and Negro Africa,” in Skinner Hall. An officer with the Office of War Information in Southeast Asia during World War II and a professor at the University of California between 1961 and 1972, Dr. Adloff and her husband, Richard Adloff, a former State Department officer, published prolifically on East Asian and African issues after the war.

The Thompson lectureship, given to the college in 1963 by an anonymous donor, honored American historian C. Mildred Thompson ’03, who taught in the history department from 1910 until 1923, when she became Vassar’s dean, a position she held until her retirement in 1948. On December 16, 1964, President Alan Simpson wrote to Dean Emeritus Thompson, who came from her home in Atlanta to attend the inaugural Thompson Lecture. “From all sides,” he said, “have come reports of the success of the first C. Mildred Thompson Lecture. Virginia Adloff did herself and you proud…. Mary [Mrs. Simpson] and I thoroughly enjoyed your visit and the opportunity of coming to know Vassar’s famous Dean Thompson—a distinquished scholar!”

Vassar Controller’s file F0006

Dean Thompson died in 1975.

The Years