First Words

New Executive Director at AAVC

In 1989, Pat Duane Lichtenberg ’90 climbed to the roof of Main along with other juniors, and took her turn at ringing the bell to signify her impending transition to senior. The difference with Lichtenberg was that, in a nontraditional embrace of tradition, she made the climb while clutching her infant daughter to her breast. 

In March, the returning student came back to Vassar, to serve as executive director of the alumnae/i association. In her new role, Lichtenberg aims to “articulate a vision for the future and keep that vision out front and crisp.” She wants “Vassar” to be part of the everyday vocabulary of each alumna and alumnus.

Lichtenberg comes to AAVC after years of working as a public relations and development consultant. From 1992–94 she worked as executive director of the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in Hyde Park, where she continues to serve on the board of directors. She is regional liaison to the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives and a member of the steering committee of the President’s Interagency Council on Women.

AAVC President Susan McCallum Bledsoe ’64 praises Lichtenberg’s professional and board experiences and adds, “Pat’s creative energy and thinking, her outgoing yet gentle personality, her obvious comfort working with all kinds of people will make her an outstanding executive director.”

Originally from Manhattan, Lichtenberg entered Vassar in 1985, studied English with a concentration in writing, earned the Helen Kate Furness Prize for a critical essay, and graduated with general and departmental honors. She takes over the top position at AAVC from Terri O’Shea ’76, another returning student, who retired in March.