Our past, our present - and our future

Matthew Vassar seemed the unlikeliest of revolutionaries – an English immigrant who had built his fortune in the brewery business – but a revolutionary he was. By founding a college based upon the premise that women were entitled to get the very same top-notch education available to men, he was directly challenging the conventional wisdom of his day. The graduates of his college have continued to question received wisdom ever since. And higher education in America has never been quite the same.

Today's Vassar looks decidedly different from the Vassar of 1861; yet there is also a profound sense of continuity. In defining the priorities of our Vassar 150: World Changing campaign, we affirm that the same principles and ideals which informed our founding are ever-present in today’s Vassar, and remain central to our future.

About our campaign name

We’re calling our campaign
Vassar 150: World Changing

Why? Because we think this name resonates on so many levels: Vassar changed the world when it first admitted women in 1861; Vassar changes the world of each student who attends; Vassar graduates leave the college to go out and change the world; and finally, the world itself is changing, and Vassar needs the resources to continue providing an excellent education in this environment.

It’s all about participation

We’re all in this together.

We know. The $400 million goal for our Vassar 150: World Changing campaign can be awe-inspiring. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s appropriate that Vassar’s goal should be ambitious, because that’s entirely in keeping with our past and our future. There is no denying the vital importance of large gifts in helping us to achieve that goal. But many a potential donor to Vassar might feel that her or his gift is not significant enough to matter.

And that, quite simply, isn’t true. To reach our monetary goal, Vassar needs gifts of every size. Every gift counts. And so our Vassar 150: World Changing campaign has participation goals in addition to monetary benchmarks. New participation goals will be announced as our campaign continues.

Our Vassar 150: World Changing campaign represents all of the College’s alumnae/i, parents and friends coming together to give back. It’s our opportunity to do our part in helping to propel Vassar into the next century and a half.