1957, Jan. 14

Earl Clement Attlee, British postwar Prime Minister, lectures on "Today's World."

1957, Feb.

The Department of Mathematics, with the cooperation of IBM, inaugurated a teaching program in electronic computing.

1957, Feb.

The faculty authorized the appointment of a Coordinating Committee on Educational Policy, succeeding its Assessment Committee. A twoyear study of the college as a whole was made, with emphasis on Vassar's educational objectives and the implications of a residential college.

1957, Feb. 5

An exhibition of paintings by Wendell Jones, 1899-1956, opened in Taylor Hall. The artist was a member of the Art Department from 1948 until his death in 1956.

1957, Mar. 1

Barbara Ward, member of the Editorial Board of The Economist, gave the fourteenth Helen Kenyon Lecture on "Asia and the Atlantic Community."

1957, Mar. 7-9

The Vassar Political Association held a conference on "The Changing South." Speakers were Hodding Carter, editor and publisher, Carl B. Swisher of Johns Hopkins University, Hugh D. Comer of Avondale Mills, Benjamin D. Segal of the American Federation of Teachers, and Sterling A. Brown and E. Franklin Frazier of Howard University.

1957, Mar. 26

General Carlos P. Romulo, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, lectured on "The New Strategy of Communism in Asia."


"Human Longing and Fulfillment" was the theme of a lecture series given under the auspices of the Community Religious Association and the Chaplain. Lecturers in November were Dr. W. Norman Pittenger, Professor of Christian Apologetics, General Theological Seminary and Sterling Power Lamprecht, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Amherst College. Panelists were Dr. Pittenger, Professor Lamprecht and Dr. Robert E. Terwilliger, Rector of Christ Church, Poughkeepsie. In February, Father Gustav Weigel, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Md., was the speaker. In April, Rabbi John Cohen of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, lectured.

1957, Oct. 4

The first manmade satellite, Sputnik I, was launched by Soviet scientists. The 184 pound sphere circled the earth about every 11/2 hours at an altitude of 140 to 560 miles above the earth.

1957, Oct. 14

Dame Ninette de Valois, Director of the Royal Ballet, gave the fifteenth Helen Kenyon Lecture on "History of the Royal Ballet."

1957, Oct. 31

Vladimir Nabokov, Professor of Comparative and Russian Literature, Cornell University, lectured on "The Art of Translation."

1957, Nov. 1-2

The Anthropology Club held a conference on "Changing Patterns in the Caribbean." Lecturers were Sidney W. Mintz of Yale University, and Maya Deren, author and film director. A panel discussion was held with John Murra of the Department of Anthropology as chairman. The program ended with a Calypso Dance under the direction of Percy Borde of the Pearl Primus Company.

1957, Nov. 7

Emily C. Brown, Professor of Economics, spoke on "A Vassar Economist's Research in Russia on Soviet Labor Relations." This was the first of a series of Vassar College faculty Scholars' Lectures. The other lecturers were: Inez Scott Ryberg, Professor of Classics, "Art and Ideas in the Service of World Empire;" Mildred Campbell, Professor of History, "The FirstComers a Study in American Origins;" H. Marjorie Crawford, Professor of Chemistry, "A Journey into Space;" Adolf Katzenellenbogen, Professor of Art, "The Personification of the Church in Mediaeval Art;" A. Scott Warthin, Professor of Geology, "Dissolving Islands and Other Impossibilities;" Maria Piccirilli, Professor of Italian, "Dante's Mysterious Lady;" Mary Giffin, Professor of English, "King Arthur and the Round Table in Poetry and Politics;" L. Joseph Stone, Professor of Child Study, "The Deaf Child."

1957, Dec. 6-7

"The Partnership of Man and Nature", a conference sponsored by the Helen Gates Putnam Division of Conservation, included lectures by Paul B. Sears, Chairman of the Yale University Conservation Program, M.L. Trytten of the National Research Council, Eli Ginzberg of the National Manpower Council, Columbia University, W.A. Albrecht, University of Missouri, Gordon R. Ayer of the U.S. Geological Survey, Cornelia C. Cameron of the U.S. Geological Survey and New York State Assemblyman R. Watson Pomeroy.


Ferrell House, a residence for the chaplain, was completed, Goldstone & Dearborn, architects. It was given by Nellie Ferrell Cushing, '97, in honor of her mother, Mary E. Brown Ferrell and her sisters, Lucy Ferrell Johnson, '89, and Mary Estelle Ferrell, '94.

1958, Feb. 1218

Joseph Szigeti, Hungarian violinist, gave three recitals featuring twelve sonatas of the twentieth century.

1958, Feb. 19

The Phi Beta Kappa lecture, "The Geophysical Year and International Cooperation," was given by Kirtley F. Mather, Professor Emeritus of Geology, Harvard University.

1958, Feb. 25

Lionel Trilling, Professor of English, Columbia University, lectured on "English Literature and American Education."

1958, Mar.

The first steps in the reorganization of the College Government Association were taken. After referendum, Senate and Legislative were disbanded; interim Committees took charge March 24.

1958, Mar. 2

Billy Graham, evangelist, lectured on "A Vital Faith for Today."

1958, Mar. 7-8

A conference on "The Nuclear Age: Its Effect on Aspects of Our Culture" was held under the auspices of the Political Association. On the program were William Laurence, Science Editor, New York Times, J.V. Langmead Casserley, General Theological Seminary, Harry B. Williams of the National Research Council, Benjamin Haggott Beckhart of Columbia University, Colonel G. Lincoln, West Point, Thomas P. Whitney, News Analyst, Associated Press, Max Ascoli, Editor of The Reporter, Dennis Flanagan, Editor of The Scientific American, Professor Monica Healea and Professor Emeritus Helen D. Lockwood of Vassar College.

1958, Mar. 20

The first performance in America of To Damascus, an adaptation by Leon Katz based on August Strindberg's trilogy, was presented by the Experimental Theatre. It was directed by George B. Dowell with designs by John Kurten.

1958, Apr. 27

A concert was presented in memory of E. Harold Geer, Professor of Music, 1916-1952, Director of the Vassar College Choir, 19201950, Chairman of the Department of Music, 19441950. A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms was performed by the Vassar College Choir and the Wesleyan University Choral Society, under Donald M. Pearson, Director, with an orchestra of students from the Juilliard School of Music.

1958, May 8

The Experimental Theatre presented the first American performance of Franz Kafka's Amerika, dramatized by Leon Katz. It was directed by George Brendan Dowell.

1958, May 16-17

The seventh annual New York State Science Congress was held at Vassar. It was sponsored by the New York State Science Teachers' Association. Thirtynine high school students attended.

1958, July 2-30

The Vassar Summer Institute, founded in 1926 as the Institute of Euthenics, held its last session. It was discontinued for financial reasons.


Yale, Vassar and Smith began a cooperative experimental teacher training program, enrolling not more than five juniors from Vassar to do their fourth year of work for the Vassar degree at Yale. The work included graduate courses in the subject to be taught, a senior seminar and a special interdepartmental course in philosophy and social history of American education. The fifth year consisted of full time paid teaching in public high schools in the vicinity of New Haven, supervised by members of the Yale faculty and cooperating master teachers, accompanied by a seminar at Yale in which actual teaching problems served as the basis of instruction. The degree of Master of Arts in teaching was given at the end of the fifth year.

1958, Sept.

The annual fee for tuition and residence was increased to $2500.

1958, Oct. 11

Emma Hartman Noyes House, residence hall, was dedicated, Eero Saarinen, architect. The building was made possible through gifts of Katharine F. Noyes, '08, and Nicholas H. and Hansen Noyes in memory of their mother, a member of the Class of 1880.

1958, Oct. 29

J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, gave the sixteenth Helen Kenyon Lecture, "Knowledge and the Structure of Culture." The lecture was published by the college.

1958, Nov. 14

Mrs. Alla Butrov, staff member of the Washington Embassy of the USSR, lectured on "The Status of Women in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."

1958, Nov. 17-20

W.H. Auden, English poet, visited the college under the auspices of the Departments of English and Religion and gave two lectures, "The Things that Are Caesar's" and "The Hero in Modern Poetry." He visited classes, held informal discussions and gave a poetry reading.

1958, Nov. 25

The Eloise Ellery Chair of History was established by gifts of former students, in honor of Eloise Ellery, '97, a member of the Department of History, 19001939. It was first held by Mildred Campbell, who had joined the faculty in 1932.

1959, Mar. 6-8

The faculty and students joined in a Baroque Symposium. Addresses were given by Henri Peyre, Sterling Professor of French at Yale, on "Classicism and the Baroque in 17th Century French Literature;" Rudolph Wittkower of the Department of Art, Columbia University, on "Decorum and Allegory in Dynastic Monuments of the Baroque;" Henry Guerlac, Professor of the History of Science at Cornell University on "Reason and Unreason in 17th Century Science;" and George B. Williams, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Harvard Divinity School, on "Paradise or Wasteland? " Milton's The Masque of Comus was presented by the Experimental Theatre, directed by George Brendan Dowell, with designs by John Kurten. Special exhibitions in Taylor Hall included The Baroque Illusion, from the Cooper Union Collections, circulated by the American Federation of Arts, and Rembrandt Etchings from the Vassar College Collection given by Mrs. Felix Warburg.

1959, Mar. 16

Davison House, dormitory, was damaged by fire, with an estimated loss of $151,000.

1959, Apr. 5-30

Models of Leonardo da Vinci, lent by International Business Machines, were displayed in Taylor Hall.

1959, Apr. 11

The reorganization of the College Government Association was completed with the election of officers. The Community Religious Association became the InterClub Council.

1959, Apr. 24

Chicago Hall, language house, was dedicated, Winston Elting and Paul Schweikher, architects. Harold B. Hoskins of the Department of State spoke. Building funds were raised by alumnae of the Chicago area, under the leadership of Marion Musser Lloyd, '32.

1959, May 3

The Rev. Mary Ely Lyman, Union Theological Seminary, formerly on the Vassar faculty, preached in chapel on "Into All the World."

1959, May 14

Sigma XI Club was inaugurated at Vassar College as the first step toward establishing a Chapter of Sigma XI, an honorary scientific fraternity, open to faculty members with associate membership for outstanding students.

1959, June 24

The remodeling of the Main Building was started, Goldstone & Dearborn, architects. Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, '31, donated funds to start this work. The project included the rearrangement and enlargement of administrative quarters. Originally Main Building housed the entire college; later it was reserved for freshmen and seniors; then it was restricted to seniors.

1959, Sept. 17

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands visited Vassar. The Library had a special exhibition in honor of the 350th anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River, as part of the HudsonChamplain Celebration.

1959, Nov. 18

The Schiller Bicentennial was observed by a special program including a lecture by Professor Walter Silz of Columbia University, under the auspices of the German Club, and scenes from Don Carlos, Maria Stuart and Die Jungfrau von Orleans by the Experimental Theatre, directed by Norris Houghton.

1959, Dec. 9

Robert Frost, American poet, visited the college for two and a half days and lectured on "The Peril of Newness." He also talked informally with the majors in the Department of English. He had previously lectured at Vassar in 1925 and 1952.

1959, Dec. 19

Dean Marion Tait announced the new curriculum, for the next academic year. It introduced an experimental program "in depth" for superior students after the freshman year, and an honors program for qualified juniors and seniors. Changes in admission requirements and in distribution and concentration requirements were also included. "The purpose of Vassar College is to educate young women of superior ability, interest and achievement." M. Tait in the Vassar Alumnae Magazine, Mar. 1960.


Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library renovated again. North and south courts, formed by wings added in 1918, were made into stack areas with access from each floor.

1960, Jan. 8

Twentieth century paintings from the collection of Governor Nelson Rockefeller were displayed in Taylor Hall. The paintings included examples of the Fauves and early Cubists and were chosen for the advanced course in modern painting.

1960, Jan. 22

A dance concert was given by Jose Limon and Company under the auspices of the Department of Physical Education.

1960, Feb.

Elizabeth Bowen, Irish novelist, was appointed Distinguished Professor in the Department of English for the second semester, 1959/60.

1960, Mar.

"Alumnae have responded enthusiastically to Vassar's new program of 'traveling seminars'." Vassar News Letter, Mar. 1960. The seminar may be either a series of weekly lectures by members of the Vassar faculty or a day devoted to lectures by three faculty members.

1960, Mar. 7 - 29

"Uncle Fred's Nose," the addition to the Main Building erected in 1893 for a library, was demolished by the Campbell Building Company, Inc. as part of the plan for restoring the Main Building. The Class of 1960 took part in a brief ceremony when the first blow was struck by President Blanding. Mrs. Martha Wyman, '18, and Professor C. Gordon Post impersonated Mrs. J. Ryland Kendrick, Lady Principal, and "Uncle Fred" Thompson.

1960, Mar. 7

Cecily Veronica Wedgewood, British historian, lectured on "Literature and Politics in the English Civil War."

1960, Mar. 15

The students held a Civil Rights Rally with Herbert Hill, Labor Secretary of the NAACP, and Paul Dubrul. Two days later a hundred Vassar students picketed the Poughkeepsie Woolworth store in protest against discrimination in the south.

1960, Apr. 89

East and West, an intramural symposium, was held under the auspices of the Department of History. The guest speaker was Professor Donald F. Lach of the University of Chicago.

1960, Apr . 18

The Hon. Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of the State of New York, and father of Mary Rockefeller, '60, spoke on "Survival in a Nuclear Attack."

1960, May 1

The Right Reverend Johannes Lilje, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hannover, Germany, preached on "The Good Shepherd."

1960, June 30

The total received for the Twenty-Five Million Dollar Development Program was $13,824,235.

1960, July 6 - Aug. 17

A Workshop in American History for high school teachers of advanced placement courses was offered by Vassar College in cooperation with the New York State Education Department.

1960, July 23

President Blanding announced that gifts to Vassar College during the fiscal year 1959/60 have set a new record, with a total of $4,245,000. The alumnae provided $2,927,375 in bequests and $750,825 through the annual Alumnae Fund.

1960, Sept.

1,471 students registered from forty-six states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and twentysix foreign countries.

1960, Sept. 14

Dean Emeritus C. Mildred Thompson, '03, spoke at the Centennial Convocation on "Vassar: Its Tradition and Its Future."

1960, Sept. 30

Eileen Farrell, soprano, gave the ninth Barbara Woods Morgan Memorial Concert.

1960, Oct. 6

Brendan Behan, Irish playwright, talked informally under the auspices of the Department of Drama, addressing his audience as "faculty members, madonnas and escorts."

1960, Oct. 19

The Young Republicans sponsored an afternoon lecture on "The Issues of the Campaigner" by Assemblyman R. Watson Pomeroy of the New York State Legislature. In the evening the Young Democrats and Students for Kennedy and Johnson sponsored a lecture by James MacGregor Burns, Professor of Political Science, Williams College, on "Kennedy and the 1960 's. "

1960, Oct. 26

Helen Hewitt, '21, Professor of Music, North Texas State College, lectured on "Musical and Literary Form and Style in the 'Odhecaton' of Petrucci."

1960, Nov. 3

In the mock election of students, faculty and staff the Democrats won over the Republicans by a margin of five votes.

1960, Nov. 4-5

As part of the centennial celebration, Science and Society, a conference on the natural and social sciences was held. Speakers included Bentley Glass, Professor of Biology, Johns Hopkins University: "The Growing Political Role of the Academic Scientist;" Ernest C. Pollard, Professor of BioPhysics, Yale University: "The Advance of Physical Science into the Biological and Social Sciences;" Ernest Nagel, John Dewey Professor of Natural and Social Sciences; Donald W. Taylor, Professor of Psychology, Yale University: "Creative Thinking among Scientists."

1960, Nov. 9

The Collegium Musicum of the University of Illinois gave a program of 13th17th century music. George Hunter was director; taking part were Jantina Noorman, mezzosoprano and portative organ; Uni Thomas, vielle and rebec; James Bailey, tenor and percussion; Robert Smith, recorders and krummhorn; George Hunter, lute and viola da gamba.

1960, Nov. 20

In the television quiz program "College Bowl" Vassar's team defeated Vanderbilt University. The following week Vassar lost to Boston University. The $ 2,000 won by the team was donated to the Scholarship Fund.

1960, Dec. 7-10

In recognition of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Chekov, the Experimental Theatre presented The Cherry Orchard. The production honored Professor Catherine Wolkonsky, Chairman of the Department of Russian, 19461961.

1960, Dec. 9

John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor of Economics at Harvard, lectured on "Modern Industrialism, East and West." He also met with economics majors.

1960, Dec. 18

The Christmas concert was given by the Vassar College Choir and the West Point Glee Club.

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Last updated: 10 November, 1999, by Jeremy R. Linden, '00.