It was an exciting Reunion 2019 as the class of 1969, in celebration of its 50th reunion, gave Vassar the single largest class gift in the college’s history—$16.3 million. The more than 200 members of the class—the last all-female class—received a standing ovation when the figure was announced and the class’s fundraising chairs challenged future classes to break their new record.
“We were absolutely determined that we would make the record,” said class of 1969 reunion co-chair Gig Babson.
The class of 1951, which has held the class gift record since its 50th reunion in 2001, sent two members to pass the torch to the class of 1969. The total amount from all class gifts totaled almost $22.7 million.
Reunion 2019 was a resounding success as more than 2,000 alumnae/i, family members, and friends from six continents and 40 states arrived on campus beginning Thursday, June 6, and celebrated throughout the weekend. Some of the festivities included the Shakespeare Garden dedication, which was professionally redesigned and constructed as a gift from the class of 1969; the annual parade; and dozens of receptions, dinners, and get-togethers.
This year, six classes—including 2009, 1999, 1984, 1969, 1964, and 1944—broke attendance records for classes attending their 10th, 20th, 35th, 50th, 55th, and 75th reunions, respectively. The class of 1944 broke the 75th reunion record when five members of the class attended. They received a standing ovation when their class gift was announced—26 members of the class gave a total of $349,675.
This year, Geraldine Bond Laybourne ’69, P’93 was presented with the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College’s Outstanding Service Award during the AAVC’s Saturday breakfast to honor class volunteers. Laybourne, a college trustee, was recognized for her extraordinary commitment, leadership, and service in promoting the goals and interests of Vassar College and the AAVC. Along with two terms as a college trustee, she’s the former president of the AAVC, and she served on the committee to select Elizabeth Bradley Vassar’s 11th president.
Reunion 2019 had many highlights including the gorgeous weather, AAVC President Steve Hankins’ ’85, P’13, ’17 stint serving Vassar Devils dressed as Matthew Vassar, the dedication of the newly renovated Shakespeare Garden, the annual parade, the Friday night fireworks, and concerts by the Night Owls and John Wolfe ’09.