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Thirteen Vassar students participated in the “Student Turn Towards Peace” demonstration in Washington D.C., sponsored by Robert Pickus’s Turn Toward Peace organization, whose goals were to end atmospheric nuclear testing, to persuade the government to find alternatives to the arms race and to call for disarmament. The students picketed the White House, in what The Miscellany News reported was “the largest peace picket of the White House in 20 years.” The group met with Senate members, congressmen, labor leaders and foreign emissaries, conducted a march to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and held a mass rally at the Washington Monument, at which socialist leader Norman Thomas and others spoke.

A group of about “Young Americans for Freedom” carrying signs bearing slogans such as “They’re Not Red, They’re Yellow,” “Pacifism Is Cowardice” and “I Like Nike,” counter-picketed at the White House.

Violinist, Alice Smiley, cellist, Sterling Hunkins, and pianist Robert Guralnik, performed in the Philharmonic Chamber Music Concert at Vassar.

In his State of the Union address, President Kennedy said, “ It is the fate of this generation…to live with a struggle we did not start in a world we did not make…. But the pressures of life are not always distributed by choice.

Over 100 sociologists, physiologists and educators gathered at Vassar to discuss The American College.

Four Centuries of Architectural Drawings, an exhibition from the Collection of the Library of the Royal Institute of British Architects, opened at the Vassar College Art Gallery.

Speaking in the Chapel, progressive educator Harold Taylor, president emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, and William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of the conservative journal The National Review and author of God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom’ (1951), presented liberal versus conservative viewpoints on education in the year’s first event in the Student Lecture Series. Taylor held, as the first sentence of a 1961 essay in The New York Times Magazine declared, that “each generation has its own style and its own truth, having lived through a particular expanse of time which belongs to it and to no other.” “The only difference between the liberal and conservative in education,” he told his Vassar audience, according to The Miscellany News, “is that the first encorages the student to use his own intellect, the second does not.” Claiming that his main interest in Taylor was “pathological, rather than intellectual,” Buckley directed attention to the “immutable truths, which the educator has a duty to pass on to his students. He attacked any concept of academic freedom which would constrain the teacher to present all points of view at the expense of presenting one truth.”

“Tempers grew progressively shorter, and insults grew progressively longer….” The debate, said The Misc. “was originally intended to center on the liberal-conservative views on education, but soon developed into a more general squabble.” Discussion about the confrontation continued on campus for weeks to follow.

The two men were frequent disputants on the subject of education. Taylor also appeared on Buckley’s popular television program, “Firing Line.”

George M. A. Hanfmann, Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University and field director at the current excavations at the ancient city of Sardis in Turkey, lectured on “Drawing and Measure in Ancient Architecture.” Tracing the history of architectural drawing and measurement from pre-historical clay sealings and Egyptian papyri to the writings of the Roman architect Vitruvius and illustrated manuscripts of medieval surveyors, Professor Hanfmann examined the question of the extent to which the temples of ancient Greece were designed and drawn beforehand by their architects.

The Miscellany News

Columbia University sociologist Robert Merton, founder of the sociology of science, lectured on “The State of the Social Sciences in the Soviet Union.”

Welcomed with great enthusiasm by the student body, folk singer Pete Seeger performed at Vassar for freshman week. The event drew protests from the American Legion and other local organizations, who considered him a “condemned criminal.” Seeger was fighting for a retrial on charges of contempt of Congress arising from his refusal to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955.

In response to the controversy the college explained that it was the freshman class, not the college, which sponsored Seeger’s appearance—the first of Seeger’s many visits to Vassar.

An appeals court overturned Seeger’s conviction in May, 1962.

Curt J. Ducasse, professor emeritus of philosophy at Brown University, lectured on “Paranormal Phenomena, Science, and the After Life” in Skinner.

Two Vassar students were among some 400 students from 80 colleges and universities attending the First Intercollegiate Conference on Disarmament and Arms Control, organized by three seniors at Swarthmore College.

Professor Leon Dostert lectured on ‘Trends in the Teaching of Foreign Language in Europe” in Chicago Hall.

French composer and teacher Nadia Boulanger, hailed in The Miscellany News, as “the most influential individual in American music for the past forty years,” lectured, with illustrations by the Vassar Madrigals, and conducted a master class in harmonic analysis. On a two-month tour of the United States, Mlle. Boulanger visited several colleges and universities, conducted two concerts of the New York Philharmonic and dined at the White House with President Kennedy and the First Lady, with whom she enjoyed lively conversations in French.

“Nadia Boulanger arrived at Vassar,” wrote Allison Lemkauy ’63 in The Miscellany News, “as astronaut [John] Glenn was descending…from his orbital flight in space. The impact of her pressence upon the campus was comparable to that of Glenn’s achievement upon the world. For two days, any semblance of normalcy in or around the Music Department disappeared, while Mlle. Boulanger, possessing limitless energy, captivated her audiences with accounts of her many varied experiences in music and revealed during a master class in performance her dedication to young people and their education.” The mentor and powerful influence, over the years, on some 600 American composers and musicians, she counted among her students composers Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, Philip Glass and Walter Piston, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, pianist and songwriter Burt Bacharach and American mezzo-soprano Judith Malafronte ’72. Three former students, pianist and composer Robert Middleton, violist Betty Churgin and pianist Gwendolyn Hamilton, were on the Vassar faculty at the time of this visit.

Mlle. Boulanger visited Vassar in January 1925.

Rev. James H. Robinson, founder of a precursor to the Peace Corps that brought young people from North America to work alongside and know their African contemporaries, spoke on “Operation Crossroads Africa—A New Venture Beyond Boundaries.”

Richard C. Solomon, psychology professor of University of Pennsylvania, gave the Helen Gates Putnam Conservation Lecture on “Conscience and Resistance to Temptation in Dogs and Children.”

Charlotte B. Winsor, director of the division of teacher education at Bank Street College of Education, lectured on “A Developmental Approach to Education.”

A four-day conference at Vassar discussed the problem of urban decay.

Anne-Marie Stokes, editor of the Catholic Worker and a member on the board of the American Committee on Africa, lectured on “Claudel,” sponsored by the French department.

Jonathan B. Bingham, United States representative on the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, spoke on “The Free World’s Stake in the United Nations.”

In an all-campus meeting, President Sarah Gibson Blanding told the student body that premarital sex and excessive drinking would not be tolerated at Vassar. Declaring sexual promiscuity to be “indecent and immoral,” she said that disciplinary action would be taken against those who did not follow the standards of the college. The President advised those students who could not follow the rules to withdraw voluntarily from Vassar.

The speech inspired heated debate across the campus for some time. A poll of students found that 52% of the campus supported Blanding, 40% disagreed and the rest were undecided. However, 81 % of students agreed that social mores were personal issues that should only be of concern to the college when they brought its name into public disrepute. An editorial in The Miscellany News said, “The president’s statement was an articulation of a hitherto ambiguous position which accepts only one standard of personal behavior and which defines a universal moral code of ‘decent’ personal conduct.”

The students opposed to Blanding’s views felt that the college was reverting to an archaic invasion into students’ private lives by considering itself responsible for instilling in them a prescribed set of views on sexual and social activity, complaining that, “this college is the domain of tyranny.”

The Miscellany News

The Vassar College Choir, conducted by Margaret E. Cawley, and the Wesleyan University Choral society, gave a concert in the Vassar College Chapel.

Robert C. Zaehner, fellow of All Souls College and Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics, University of Oxford, lectured on “The Teaching of Zoroaster.”

A local discussion, “The American College,” took place in the Aula.

Author, editor, and literary critic Lionel Trilling, professor of English at Columbia University, lectured on “The Anti-Heroic Principle in Literature and Morality.”

Sarah Gibson Blanding, president of the college since 1946, announced that she would retire in 1964.

Thirty Vassar students travelled to West Point to hear a reading of selections from his latest book, The Reivers, by William Faulkner, Nobel Prize-winning novelist.

Historian and philosopher James Joll, Fellow and Sub-Warden of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, spoke on “Marinetti and Futurism.”

Seven Vassar students participated in a Freedom Ride to La Plata, ND, where 300 participants conducted sit-ins and picketed local restaurants as part of the Northern Student Movement.

Vassar students, faculty and city housewives demonstrated against nuclear testing in front of the Poughkeepsie courthouse and city office building for one hour.

President Blanding was one of nine people appointed to a state advisory committee to study the state’s minimum drinking age, currently 18.

A joint concert by the Vassar College Glee Club, conducted by Albert Van Ackere, and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Glee Club, under the direction of Klaus Liepman, was held in the Vassar Chapel.

Vassar President Sarah Gibson Blanding attended a dinner at the White House honoring Nobel Prize winners.

President Kennedy ordered and immediate build-up of 5,000 United States troops in Thailand.

Participants in the Walk for Peace from Hanover, New Hampshire, to Washington D.C., arrived in Poughkeepsie to take part in a public meeting held at Vassar.

Paul C. Daniels, United States representative to the cultural action committee of the Organization of American States, spoke at Vassar’s 98th Commencement.

Breaking with tradition, the Class of 1912 came to the campus two days early for its 50th reunion, so that its members discuss the permanence and variation of values over the years.

Advanced chemistry study was offered at Vassar for 15 high school students. The program was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

A six-week earth science summer institute opened at Vassar for 42 junior high and high school teachers from fifteen different states.

Faculty-freshman discussion groups met under the auspices of the faculty club, in an attempt to explore ways to improve the Freshman year.

Senate voted to repeal the Communist disclaimer clause in the program of federal loans for college students.

The Vassar-Mississippi Action Committee was formed over concerns for the safety of James Meredith.

As a part of the Student Lecture Series, Indian demographer and economist Dr. Sripati Chandrasekhar, editor of Population Review, delivered a talk entitled “Communist China and Free India.”

The Vassar College Art Gallery opened after an extensive renovation and the installation of air conditioning

Thorton Wilder’s comedy, The Matchmaker, starring film actress Sylvia Sidney, played at Vassar for the college community, sponsored by the New York Sate Council on the Arts.

In the Aula, Assistant to the President Dr. Florence Wislocki M.D. prefaced a panel for freshmen on sexual issues by noting that the meeting was meant to “supply facts” and not to “condone or condemn.”

The Vassar Inter-Club council sponsored “A dialogue on the Vatican Council.”

Dr. Jack Luin Hough, professor of geology at the University of Illinois, was the guest lecturer at the Vassar College Sigma XI club. He lectured on “The Prehistoric Great Lakes of North America.”

The board of trustees discussed the controversial bequest of Sally Baker Stanton ’97, who left to Vassar $200,000 in her will, to be used as a scholarship fund for white girls from Tarboro and Edgecombe County, NC.

In a nation-wide television announcement on all major networks President Kennedy revealed the discovery of Soviet medium range ballistic missiles in Cuba. He announced an immediate quarantine of the island republic and an unequivocal policy about the missiles:

“It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack on the United States, requiring full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.”

In the next two days, the Peoples’ Republic of China proclaimed that 650,000 Chinese men and women supported the Cuban people, and the Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced the blockade as “aggression” and said that it would be ignored.
After a tense week of threats, feints and negotiations, during which much of the world thought that war—perhaps nuclear war—would result, the Soviet government agreed to remove the armaments from Cuba in exchange for the withdrawal of United States missile from Italy and Turkey.

The Vassar College touch football team played a game against Sienna College, an all male college located in Loudonville, New York. Sienna’s eight men defeated Vassar’s eleven women, 14 to 6.
The New York Times covered the game:

“Game gets off to thrilling start as Vassar’s quarterback Betsey (Wily) Wilbur kicks off… Ball rises approximately three and one-half feet. Strategy so baffles opposition that it allows ball to roll almost to its own goal line….
“Four minutes after play begins, Siena scores first touchdown on pass interception. Two point safety follows as Vassar downs ball behind own goal line.
“Vassar regains ball. Quarterback fades back for hand-off to fullback, Priscilla (Whammo) Weston. They bump heads, fall stunned to the ground. No gain….”

Vassar’s touchdown came in the third quarter, partly as a result of quarterback Wilbur’s “devious piece of feminine strategy,” having to do with the sock, worn in the Vassar players’ right back pockets, the article to be “touched,” signifying a tackle.

“She transferred her sock from her right back pocket…to her left back pocket and darted 30 yards amid shrieks from her schoolmates. On the way she caromed off a small, sickly weeping beech planted by the class of ’63.
“As dusk settled over the playing field of Vassar someone observed that the game seemed a little long.
“’I don’t think anyone’s keeping time,’ said a substitute on the sidelines.” The New York Times

Work of prominent Hudson River School artists was exhibited in the art gallery, sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts and circulated by the American Federation of Arts.

A group of seniors found Guy Fawkes hiding in President Blanding’s cellar poised to set fire to the house.

Dr. Mary Steichen Calderone ’25, public health advocate and pioneer in sex education, was the guest speaker, along with two other doctors, at a second panel for freshmen on sexual issues, in the Aula.

Professor H. D. F. Kitto, British classicist and professor at the University of Bristol, gave the 1962 Helen Kenyon Lecture, entitled “Greek and Shakespearean Historical Tragedy.”

The Aeolian Chamber Players performed a concert of 20th century chamber music. Performing were the group’s founder, Lewis Kaplan, violin; Harold Jones, flute; Robert Listckin, clarinet and Gilbert Kalish, piano.

Mark Van Doren, scholar, Pulitzer Prize-wining poet and professor of English at Columbia University, gave a reading and spoke about his poetry as part of the Student Lecture Series.

Julia McGrew, assistant professor in the department of English, gave a lecture about the Icelandic sagas entitled “Poets and Warriors.”

Carl B. Swisher, professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University and specialist in American constitutional law and the Supreme Court, lectured on “The Supreme Court in its Modern Role.”

Robert F. Goheen, 16th president of Princeton University, delivered a lecture entitled “Liberal Education: A Plea for Reason” under the auspices of the Vassar College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa

In Vietnam the United States began “Operation Ranch Hand.”

Dr. Ellis Waterhouse, director of the Barber Institute of Art, University of Birmingham, England, gave the 1962 Dorothy Rice Marks Memorial lecture on “Sir Joshua Reynolds.”

Vivian Liebman Cadden ’38, senior editor of Redbook Magazine, spoke on “The Role of Independent School in Education.”

John Plank, professor at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts and special assistant to President Kennedy, spoke on “The Inter- American System: Ideals and Realities” in the Aula.

The Julliard String Quartet presented a concert, sponsored by the Dutchess County Musical Association.

The Vassar Glee Club, directed by Albert Van Ackere, and the Franklin and Marshall College Glee Club, under the direction of Hugh Alan Cault, performed in a joint concert at Vassar.

Lithuanian-born scholar and philosopher Harry A. Wolfson, Nathan Litauer Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard, spoke in Skinner Hall on “How Impious Philosophies Were Made Religiously Respectable.”

The Vassar College Experimental Theater presented August Strindberg’s comedy “Crimes and Crimes.”

The state Legislative Advisory Committee, of which President Sarah Gibson Blanding was a member, announced that they had voted six to three against raising the minimum drinking age from 18 to 21 in the New York State.

Specializing in items about the faculty, staff and their families, a newspaper, The Weekly Reporter, appeared on campus.

The Years