A letter from the President
I’m hard-pressed to consider a time when the values we teach at Vassar – intellectual rigor, honest and informed discussion, exploration of different points of view and appreciation for diversity – have been more important to the success of our students, our communities and our world. That’s why I’m asking for your help.
Our mission to bring the best and the brightest students to Vassar, regardless of their means, is part of who we are, and what we have always stood for. The increased diversity we are creating in our student body, whether regionally, internationally, culturally, racially or socioeconomically, serves to enhance the richness and relevance of a Vassar education. Our students learn best by being exposed to opinions different from their own and by learning to consider, evaluate and respect other points of view. That is the essence of a Vassar education.
In the 21st century, we must prepare our students to be true global citizens. They must be able to think critically, and to apply their knowledge to a broad range of increasingly complex issues. An understanding of science is an absolute requirement. Many of the most challenging problems our students will inherit – the state of the environment and matters of public health, for example – can only be effectively addressed if we are a scientifically literate society. We need science majors, yes, but also citizens who are able to knowledgeably engage in important policy debates.
In the wake of our celebration of the College’s 150th birthday, it’s important that we pay tribute to our wonderful past. But Vassar has never been about resting on our laurels. Not ever, and especially not now. The goals of the Vassar 150: World Changing campaign are closely aligned with our history and consistent with our mission. And our goals also represent an ambitious vision of what our College can be, and what our graduates will do, well into the next 150 years.
Thank you for joining me in this important and extraordinary effort.
President, Vassar College