There’s just something about returning to Vassar after years away—it’s the familiar sights of campus and the familiar faces of classmates. Reunion 2018 brought more than 1,800 alumnae/i and friends to campus to celebrate their friendships and reminisce about their days at Vassar.
Approximately 140 members of the class of 1968—the 50th reunion class—arrived June 7, to engage in a full day of events before more alumnae/i started arriving on June 8 and 9. Many attended a class of 1968 lunch, featuring “The Feminine Mystique—50 Years Later,” with speakers Antoinette Chwastyk Wills ’68 and Lucinda Franks Morgenthau ’68, and professors Miriam Cohen and Barbara Olsen.
Missie Rennie Taylor ’68, whose 50th Reunion coincided with her final days as AAVC President (a new slate was ratified over the weekend), says Reunion hit all the highlights for her class. “I thought it was a major endorsement of the incredible experience my class had in the ’60s,” she says. Some classmates, she noted, had not returned to campus in 50 years. “The bonding we experienced in four days of being together was really profound—and fun.”
The Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College (AAVC) honored two alumnae from the class of 1963 at the Saturday morning Volunteer Breakfast. Susan Donahue Kuretsky, Professor of Art on the Sarah Gibson Blanding Chair, received the Outstanding Faculty or Staff Award, and Sally Lyman Rheinfrank, who has served Vassar in many roles, including trustee, received the Outstanding Service to Vassar Award. (Read more in this issue of the enewsletter.)
As always, the parade and Celebrate Vassar program afterward were highlights of Reunion. Led by more than 40 alumnae from the classes of 1948/49 and 1953, the parade ended at the Athletics and Fitness Center, where the celebration continued with the announcements of class gifts. The 50th class raised more than $5.65 million for the college, and the total Reunion gift from all classes in attendance amounted to an amazing $51.65 million!
The celebration also included words of thanks to Taylor for her service on the AAVC board and to Catherine Baer, who retired in June after serving almost 20 years as Vice President of Development, then Vice President for Alumnae/i Affairs and Development.
Other events on Saturday included Alumnae/i College lectures, receptions, a Vassar Devils dessert stand on the Quad, and an alumnae/i author meet-and-greet at the Vassar College Store. That night, each class had its own dinner at locations throughout campus—from the Bridge for Laboratory Services to Alumnae House—followed by an all-class, late night party attended by hundreds.
President Elizabeth Bradley stopped by as many events as possible to meet and talk to alumnae/i. "It was a beautiful and inspiring Reunion weekend in many ways, from the lovely weather to the bright smiles on the faces of our amazing and enthusiastic alumnae/i,” she says. “It was my first Vassar reunion, and as such, it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Reunion came to and end after the Sunday Service of Remembrance, which honored alumnae/i who passed away in the previous few years.