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Professor of Latin Elizabeth Hazelton Haight ’94 was elected chairman of the advisory council of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome, the first woman to hold the position.

“An airplane circled over Vassar College today,” the New York Times reported, “and dropped a letter for Madeline Prentiss, a granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller. The letter was from Miss Prentiss’s father and was picked up by two students, who delivered it.” Madeline [Mary Adeline] Prentice ’29, the daughter of Alta Rockefeller Prentice, was a history major at Vassar.

Silk draperies caught fire when a freshman rushing for breakfast left an electric curling iron on a celluloid tray on her dresser in Main Building. Smoke filled two rooms and a corridor before college staff extinguished the blaze with hand-operated chemical tanks.

The next day, college authorities banned the use of curling irons in any of the college buildings, and a few days later Keene Richards, the college’s manager, had the charred curling iron framed and hung on a wall in Main “near busts and paintings of famous men and women” as an admonition to students.

The New York Times

William Rose Benét, Padraic Colum, Marguerite Wilkinson, DuBose Heyward and Leonard Bacon were among the prominent younger poets assembled by Professor of English Edward Davison—himself a poet—to discuss the effect of the modern American city on contemporary poetry. Bacon deplored the city’s tendency to encourage schools; Heyward said “the modern city has done something terrible to people trying to be artists;” Benét feared too much intellectuality, and Colum said no poet could “express the scientific advance of today—interpret the chemist and the engineer and Einstein’s work—in human terms.” But Wilkinson was more hopeful, citing Robert Frost as an example of a new ability “to produce poetry with fine local flavor, rising straight from the soil” and praising Edward Arlington Robinson’s ability “to express personality and character and to interpret them so well that some of the characters we meet in poetry are more real than chance acquaintances…in real life.” And, she noted, “We have also begun to make sincere lyrics of womanhood, telling naturally, simply and without affectation the things in the hearts of women.”

The New York Times

President MacCracken announced the completion of a $25,000 fund in honor of the most senior professor at Vassar, Lucy Maynard Salmon, the chair of the history department. After postgraduate study at her alma mater, the University of Michigan, and at Bryn Marwr, Salmon joined the Vassar faculty in 1887, charged specifically with the foundation of the history department. An innovative teacher and scholar from the outset of her long career, she pioneered in the use of statistics and the evidentiary materials of every day life in the study of social history. An early proponent of woman suffrage, she was among the faculty leaders who shaped the modern Vassar curriculum.

Professor Salmon was to have received the income from the fund during her lifetime, but she died a few days after this announcement, on February 14. The Salmon Fund was subsequently used to promote faculty research, and in the subsequent settlement of Salmon’s estate, a sum of $30,200 was bequeathed to the college for a fund to be used at the discretion of the librarian.

Eight students, representing the Vassar dramatic association Philaletheis, were among the 300 college, university, community, church and other delegates from non-professional theatrical organizations in the United States and Canada attending the National Conference on the Theatre in New Haven, sponsored by the recently established Yale department of drama and its Yale Drama School. Among the speakers on topics ranging from set design and lighting to the operation of outdoor theaters were the founder of the Cornell Dramatic Club, Alexander M. Drummond and Professor George Pierce Baker, the lengendary teacher of Harvard’s “English 47,” a course in the art of the theater, and its “47 Workshop,” a famed laboratory in play-writing, recently arrived at Yale to lead the new department.

Philaletheis presented Urfaust, translated by Mary Prentice Lillie ’27, the first translation into English and the first production of the earliest extant version of Goethe’s Faust.

The Vassar College Choir gave the first American performances of Swiss composer Arthur Honegger’s Cantique de Paques and of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ motet, O Vos Omnes.

American sculptor and teacher Lorado Taft delivered a comprehensive illustrated lecture on “American Sculpture and Sculptors.” Tracing American sculpture back to the early 18th century, Taft identified the New Jersey wax works of Patience Wright and the later work in wood by William Rush and in marble by a “gravestone man from New Jersey,” John Frazee as the beginnings of American sculpture, saying that “America in particular needs the fine arts because this country has so little background of tradition.”

Taft discussed the work of Augustus Saint Gaudens at length. Claiming Saint Gaudens as the greatest American sculptor, Taft praised most highly his memorial to Clover Adams, the Adams Memorial in Rock Creek cemetery in Washington, D. C.

“At the close of his lecture, Mr. Taft showed again the picture of Saint Gaudens’s draped figure which has symbolized so much to the different persons who have seen it, as the greated acheivement of American sculpture.”

The Miscellany News

Taft’s Modern Tendencies in Sculpture (1921), a compilation of his lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago, was a landmark survey of the medium in America and Europe in the 20th century.

After a two-year study involving faculty and student forums, the faculty adopted a new curriculum, limiting the required courses and stressing the development of a larger single major field, chosen at the end of the first year, with a stricter definition of the purpose of study.

The new process, in which students consulted members of the board of elections and sought approval of the department in which their chief interests lay, was intended to lead to concentrations that had more unity of purpose and that would hold more interest for each student.

Two members of the first graduating class, Harriet Warner Bishop ’67 and Helen Woodward ’67, joined some 15 members of the Class of 1877—celebrating the 50th anniversary of its commencement—and other alumnae at reunion.

The Rev. Dr. Henry Hallam Tweedy of the Yale Divinity School preached the sermon at baccalaureate exercises for the Class of 1927. Drawing his text from 2 Kings 18:23 “I will give you 2,000 horses—if you can put riders on them,” Rev. Tweedy compared the Biblical horses to the many future undertakings of the graduates—in the home, the community, their work, the Church and in educating others—and he urged the class to draw not only on their privileges and opportunities but also on their natural talents and capabilities in their myriad future actions. The baccalaureate hymn was composed by Alice Williams ’27, with lyrics by Alice Hubbard ’27.

A scarcity of daisies on the Vassar grounds led to a daisy chain made of thousands of New Jersey daisies for the Class of 1927’s Class Day. The New York Times reported on the annual father-daughter baseball game: “No one knew the score at the end of the game, but it was generally agreed that the fathers won.” A tableau, “The College Town of Hamelin,” was performed in the Out-of-Door Theatre, which was also the site of a production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Duenna, directed by Olivia Jenkins ‘27.

“The task of culture in the civilized world,” President MacCracken told the 248 members of the Class of 1927, the faculty and their guests in his address at Commencement, “is first to obtain a real community or commerce of thought and then to concern itself with its value.” Speaking on “One Equal Temper”—words, he confessed, “purloined from a mid-Victorian source”—MacCracken contrasted this task with the “selective” task of education, which “bears upon its shoulders the burden of the communicable past. The symbols in its treasured pack must be taken out, dusted off and exhibited before our youths, like the symbols of a tribe…. Generation by generation the symbols become more dim in meaning, and the sense of reality is transmitted into unreality.

“We have failed…in our life here with you,” he continued, “if you have not to some extent cultivated the habit of fuller communication. We shall fail more signally if in the years that succeed college life you do not resist the tendency, so common with us, of skimming on the surface.”

Helen Kenyon ’05, secretary of the board of trustees, announced that, in addition to the gift of $97,000 from Charles A. Wimpfheimer for the building and maintenance of the Mildred Rosalie Wimpfheimer Nursery School, Mary Morris Pratt ’80 had given $50,000 for the enlargement and restoration of the organ in the Chapel.

The New York Times

The Lucy Maynard Salmon Research Fund was established by friends and former students of Professor Salmon “in appreciation of her outstanding achievements here at Vassar and in the community at large.” Miss Salmon was professor of history from 1887 until 1926.

Florence Cushing ’74 died at her summer home in Norwell, MA. One of the original three alumnae trustees in 1887, she served on the board from 1887 until 1893 and from 1906 until 1912, at which time she was elected to life membership on the board. Retiring in 1923, Miss Cushing became the college’s only trustee emerita, a title created especially for her.

The revised curriculum approved in May went into effect as the college opened with 1,150 students, 330 of them freshmen. Comprehensive annual fees remained at $1,000, some $200 less than the annual per student cost of operation.

President MacCracken and Professor of Political Science Emerson D. Fite spoke at Fall Convocation. MacCracken spoke on “A New Map of Vassar,” saying the recent additions of Kendrick Hall, Wimpfheimer Nursery School, Kenyon Hall and the soon to be completed Blodgett Hall—a million cubic feet of new space—had changed Vassar’s topography.

Welcoming the Class of ’31 on behalf of the faculty, Professor Fite spoke on “Methods of Scholarship,” describing the interaction of teaching and learning at the college and the faculty’s view of students’ pursuit of knowledge. Fite said, according to The Miscellany News, “A teacher is not always necessary to an advanced student, who, having learned the proper method, can sometimes work alone.”

Cushing Hall, a freshman dormitory, was dedicated. Named in honor of Florence M. Cushing ’74, who served as alumnae trustee—1887-1894 and 1906-1912—and as a life trustee, 1913-1923, the $400,000 building designed by Allen & Collens had two dining rooms and accommodated 140 students. The campus could now accommodate 1,050 residential students.

The building was completed in September, but its dedication was deferred owing to Miss Cushing’s death on September 20. Her classmate, Laura Brownell Collier ’74, Marion Coats ’07, the president of Sarah Lawrence College, and President MacCracken spoke at the ceremony.

The Georgia A. Kendrick Hall, given to the college by Mrs. Kendrick’s sister, Myra H. Avery and designed by York and Sawyer, was dedicated. Mrs. Kendrick had lived at Vassar in 1885-85 during the acting-presidency of her husband, Rev. J. Ryland Kendrick, a Baptist minister and Vassar trustee. Rev. Kendrick died in 1889, and Mrs. Kendrick became lady principal in 1891, succeeding Abby Goodsell ’69. She retired in 1913 and died on December 14, 1922. Miss Avery’s gift—$210,000—was, she said, “a visible memorial of my sister’s…many years of devoted service.”

The faculty residence hall, an early example of off-campus housing for women faculty members, contained apartments in several configurations, housekeepers’ quarters, a central dining hall and a living room. Miss Avery, President MacCracken and Mabel Hastings Humpstone ’94, a friend of Mrs. Kendrick, spoke at the dedication.

In the first production of the Vassar College Experimental Theatre, Hallie Flanagan’s class in dramatic production presented an innovative staging of Anton Chekhov’s A Marriage Proposal, using conventional, expressionist and constructivist styles consecutively in the three acts.

The production was subsequently presented at the Yale University Theatre and again at Vassar the following March.

The Mildred Rosalie Wimpfheimer Nursery School was completed, Allen & Collens, architects. Importer Charles A. Wimpfheimer gave it in honor of his daughter’s graduation in 1927. The day nursery was opened Nov. 1 1927.

The Mostellaria of Plautus was presented in Latin by the classes in Latin comedy.

The Years