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The Miscellany News reported that students objected to the Master Planning Committee’s decision to convert College Center manager’s offices, vacant after a staff reorganization, into a Third World Lounge. The Third World Lounge was intended to fulfill the promise of a space for minority students, made upon the closing of Kendrick House.

Assistant Professor of Art Karal Ann Marling and students presented “Woodstock, An American Art Colony, 1902-1977.” The exhibition explored the link between the colony’s history and its “relationship to mainstream American art.”

Writing in The New York Times, critic Grace Glueck praised the exhibit: “Miss Marling and her students are to be commended for a useful show that pulls into focus a whole American genre and for an excellent catalogue…that, besides it documentary value, makes good reading.”

Mark Lane delivered the lecture “Who Killed Kennedy?” in the Chapel. In Rush to Judgment (1969) Lane disputed the findings of the Warren Commission’s investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In his lecture, claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the sole perpetrator of the November 22, 1963, shooting, he charged that “the American People have been deceived.”

The Miscellany News

Teresa Villardi’s contract as coordinator of Women’s Studies and assistant professor of History was not renewed, calling into question the future of the coordinator’s position.

Construction began on the Third World Lounge in the College Center.

Comedian and actor Robert Klein performed in the Chapel. A former member of Chicago’s Second City troupe, Klein starred in 1975 in the first stand-up comedy special by the fledgling cable television channel, Home Box Office (HBO).

Late in the evening an African-American member of the Class of 1978 was arrested on the New York City 125th Street and Park Avenue train platform for failing to respond to a white Conrail policeman’s questions. President Alan Simpson declared that the college would “do everything in its power to protect its students from this kind of indignity.”

In a pre-trial hearing on March 22, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John Leone dismissed the charges against the student.

The Miscellany News and The New York Times

Representative Charles C. Diggs Jr. of Michigan, chairman of the House Committee on International Resources, Food and Energy, lectured on “American Policy Toward South Africa” in Taylor Hall. Previously, Diggs had served as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Geoffrey E. Linburn, Director of Counseling Services, addressed an open letter in The Miscellany News to Vice President of Student Affairs Natalie Marshall ’51, asserting that he had been fired because of a conflict with Marshall over doctor-patient confidentiality.

The Trustees increased tuition by $275 and room and board by $150, bringing total tuition and fees to $5,700. The November 12th Coalition organized against the fee increase.

President Simpson announced that Vassar had received Mark Twain’s family papers—over 600 letters and telegrams. The materials were donated by a former trustee, Ralph Conner, and his wife Jean Connor, the great-grandniece of Mark Twain. Also accompanying Twain’s papers were those of Jean Connor’s mother, author Jean Webster McKinney ’01.

The New York Times quoted Frederick Anderson, a prominent editor of Twain’s papers, who had not previously been allowed access to this material: “It’s a great coup….This is a spectacular collection…. We’ve been trying desperately to work around the material…. I’m extremely eager to see it.” President Simpson commented, “This is Mark Twain’s second visit to Vassar, and he is here to stay.”

The American sage and humorist called his first visit to Vassar, on May 2, 1885, a “ghastly experience!”

Evangeline Armstrong ‘78 presented her original one-woman show Let Thy Will Be Done.

Two white students dressed up as members of the Ku Klux Klan harassed an African-American “friend.” They later partially removed their outfits and hassled another minority student. The College Court found the students “guilty of violating that part of the campus order regulations which refers to the ‘interest’ of other members of the community,” and President Simpson placed them on probation.

Chairman of the court Natalie Marshall ‘51 found “no particular evidence of racist intent.”

The Miscellany News

In response to the incident, 300 Vassar students rallied on March 2, demanding college legislation against racist acts.

Tom Wicker, associate editor of The New York Times, spoke on “The South and Cultural Change: A Critique” to an audience of 300 in the Chapel. Wicker, a native of North Carolina, focused on social, political, and economic conditions in the American South in the post-World War II era.

Patricia Kaurouma, assistant professor education and Africana studies and director of the Urban Center, was appointed as Dean of Freshmen, effective July 1, 1977.

She succeeded physicist Robert Stearns who planned to spend a year focusing on research.

Two works by Viennese artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser were stolen from a College Center exhibition, leading the exhibit to close three weeks ahead of schedule.

Brad G. Williams ’77 received a Fulbright-Harp Fellowship, the third Vassar student to have done so in as many years. On his Fulbright, Williams traveled to France, where he taught English conversation at high schools and teacher’s colleges.

Vassar hosted the Seven College Conference, attended by Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Radcliffe, Smith, and Wellesley.

Rita Mae Brown, American poet, novelist and civil rights and gay rights activist, lectured as the keynote speaker of the Women’s Weekend, which took place from March 25-27. Brown’s first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle (1971) dealt openly with lesbian themes, and her collections of poetry, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Songs to a Handsome Woman appeared in 1971 and 1973. She was a co-founder in 1969 of the Student Homophile League, the forerunner of the Columbia Queer Alliance.

Avant-garde composer George Crumb, winner of the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for Music, held an informal recital in Skinner Hall and visited the music composition classes.

American composer, music theorist, poet and artist John Cage performed in Skinner Hall. A pioneer of “chance music” and famous for his use of unusual objects, such as household items, as musical instruments in his compositions, was also well-known for his 1952 work, “4′33”, in which no notes were played for four minutes and 33 seconds.

A touring company of Godspell (1970) performed at Vassar. The musical—parables from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke interspersed with texts from hymns set to contemporary music—originated as a student production at Carnegie Mellon University, and it enjoyed a long off-Broadway run.

The Miscellany News reported that the Poynter Grant for programming on journalism had been renewed for an additional year.

Captain Grace Murray Hopper ’28, Vassar mathematics instructor from 1931to 1943 and one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark 1 computer (the first computer), lectured on “Future Possibilities: Hardware, Software and People.”

The Miscellany News reported that Virginia B. Smith, founding director of the Federal Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), was to succeed Alan Simpson as Vassar’s eighth president.

Science-fiction writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University Isaac Asimov lectured in the Chapel.

The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the touring company of the famous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, performed in Avery Hall.

The Miscellany News reported that a report on administrative growth and cost by a subcommittee of the Faculty Policy and Conference Committee revealed that Vassar had fewer professors but more administrators per student than ever before.

Leon H. Keyserling, economic and business counselor to the Roosevelt and Truman administrations and to congressional committees, spoke at Vassar.

A student group performed Neil Simon’s The Star-Spangled Girl in Davison Living Room.

The Duke Ellington Orchestra performed at the Spring Formal.

The Rev. Peggy Muncie, a member of Vassar’s chaplaincy, was ordained an Episcopalian priest in the Chapel. Muncie was the 70th female priest ordained.

Edward Levi, U.S. Attorney General under President Ford, spoke at Spring Convocation in honor of his close friend, outgoing President Alan Simpson.

The Miscellany News reported that Kevin Rickard ’77 was the first Vassar undergraduate to win the W.K. Rose Fellowship. All previous recipients had been graduates.

Commencement weekend highlights included a student production of Wallace Steven’s Three Travelers Watch A Sunrise and a student-faculty performance of Guys and Dolls.

Retiring President Alan Simpson and President-elect Virginia B. Smith spoke at Vassar’s 113th Commencement.

Professor of Art Emeritus Agnes Rindge Claflin died. The founding director in 1943 of the modern Vassar Art Gallery, she aided in the establishment of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and was its early assistant executive vice president.

Six Vassar students—Korola Korallus ’79, Angela Ferguson ’78, Johanne Brown ’79, Woodie Stevenson ’79, Elizabeth Soderholm ’79 and Peter Moore ’80 — appeared in the Mademoiselle college issue.

The eighth annual pre-school conference, a three-day event intended to introduce new students to faculty and upperclassmen, was held on Vassar Farm.

President-elect Virginia Smith welcomed the Class of 1981 to fall Convocation, at which Professor of History Clyde Griffen, chair of the American Culture program, spoke.

Due to over-enrollment, 24 transfer students were temporarily housed in the Alumnae House.

Vassar received 8,000 acres of Illinois farmland from the estate of former trustee Rebecca Lawrence Lowrie ’13.

The Composers String Quartet performed the world premiere of Professor Richard Wilson’s “String Quartet—1977,” commissioned by Vassar’s Mu Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the academic honor society’s founding.

A thief stole $40 worth of food from the Vassar Food Co-op, located in the Murphy Farmhouse.

Lathrop House President Joyce Vailonis ’79 called an “emergency mandatory” house meeting in response to seven instances of burnt door-mounted notepads.

Comedian Chris Rush and a rock orchestra, Ralph, performed at Vassar.

The Poynter Program sponsored the screening of two documentaries: Jim Klein and Miles Mogulescu’s Union Maids (1976) and the Theo Kamecke’s The Incredible Bread Machine Film (1975).

The directors of these two documentaries visited Vassar on October 4th and lectured on “Political Film Making.” They were joined by Willard Van Dyke and Barbara Kopple, whose documentary films “Valley Town” (1940) and “Harlan County USA” (1976) were shown on October 3rd.

The Poynter Program, given to the college by Nelson and Marion Knauss Poynter ’46, publishers of The St. Petersburg Times, was intended to increase students’ appreciation for and exposure to the media.

The Vassar Soccer team won the North Eastern Athletic Conference for the second year in a row.

Padma Bhushan M. S. Subbulakshmi, the “First Lady of Indian Music,” performed in Skinner Hall.

The Experimental Theater presented Ruth and Augustus Goetz’s The Heiress, based on Henry James’s Washington Square.

The Ultimate Frisbee team won its first-ever game, beating Williams 20-18.

Sara Ann Ketchum ‘68 lectured on “Women’s Studies, Women’s Culture and Conceptual Change: Notes toward a Philosophy of Women’s Studies.”

All the President’s Men (1976), based on Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s novel on the Watergate scandal, was shown in Skinner Hall.

Rock band NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet)—Terry Adams, piano; Joey Spampinato, bass; Al Anderson, guitar and Tom Ardolino, drums—and a student band, Naima, performed in The Students’ Building.

Vassar’s Race Relations Committee and the Intercultural Center held a festival in the College Center.

Author and New Yorker writer John McPhee lectured as part of the Poynter Program in the Josselyn living room.

An electrical fire in Cushing basement left the hall without electricity for four days.

The Proxy Review Committee, AAVC, and the religion, political science, and economics departments held a three-day conference on “Social Responsibility in Corporate America.”

Tillie Olsen, early American activist, feminist and author of the short story collection, Tell Me a Riddle (1961), lectured at Vassar.

Laura Toole ’78 directed Jean Giraudoux’s Intermezzo (1933) at the Hallie Flanagan Davis Powerhouse Theater.

Representatives from the Coalition for Aid of Battered Women in Dutchess County and Marjory D. Fields, a lawyer and social worker, spoke in Chicago Hall.

President Virginia Smith and SGA President Kathy Smith ‘78 held an open discussion of campus issues in the Green and Grey Room.

A symposium entitled “Paul Strand: An Assessment of His Career” was held in the College Center.

The Miscellany News reported that the Vassar Co-op planned to boycott Nestle’s Jarlsberg cheese because Nestle exported non-sterilized baby formula to developing countries.

George L. Mosse, an expert on Nazism and the Holocaust, gave a lecture entitled “The Acceptance of Mass Death and the Brutalization of Conscience.”

Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke (1948) was performed in Avery Hall.

Out of several thousand applicants, Connie Crawford ’81 was one of six finalists appearing on Saturday Night Live, in a contest to host the Christmas show. Other finalists included the governor of South Dakota, an ex-interior decorator at a turkey farm and a homemaker from Peoria, Illinois.

Buck Henry: …what year are you in at, uh, Vassar, Connie?

Connie Crawford: I’m just a freshman.

Buck Henry: Just a freshman, and yet you had the nerve to come down here and expose yourself, so to speak, to this depraved audience.

Exactly why do you think that you’re better qualified, or best qualified, to host the ‘Saturday Night’ show?

Connie Crawford: I’ve been a groupie for two years!

The winner of the contest was an 80-year-old grandmother from New Orleans whose introduction—“I’m Miskel Spillman. I’m old.”—immediately won over the audience.

The Mischief Mime Company, a two-woman feminist improvisational troupe, performed at the College Center.

SGA President Steve Nelson ’77 proposed a “consolidation” of the student government, recommending changes in committee structure, the SGA Executive Board, and the students-trustees relationship.

The Years