Vassar Today

Campus Miscellany

A Grant for Science
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the nation’s largest private supporter of science education, has granted $1.3 million to Vassar for the development and support of undergraduate biological science programs that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of science and research, the growing role of computers, and the increasing need for students to consider careers other than research, such as teaching. Additionally, the college will use the funding to expand and update laboratories, recruit new faculty members, and provide research opportunities for undergraduates, including members of minority groups underrepresented in sciences.

Nobel Poet Visits
Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate in poetry, visited campus in October. Heaney gave a reading of his work as part of the Elizabeth Bishop Poetry Series. The poetry series is made possible through the gift of Priscilla Huffard Rockwell ’47 and H. P. Davis Rockwell.

Embodied Learning

Vassar recently became the beneficiary of a $1 million gift from Carolyn Grant Fay ’36. Fay, a dance movement therapist, is the cofounder of the C.G. Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas (see related story in the Winter 1998 VQ). The endowment fund is intended to promote the study of expressive arts and the human imagination and to develop the relationship of mind, body, and spirit by integrating the expressive arts, experiential processes, and other kinds of embodied learning both inside and outside the classroom.

Health Education, Full Time
William Kernan, appointed last spring on a part-time basis to serve as the college’s first health educator (see Summer 2000 VQ) is now in the position full time. Kernan works to help students make better decisions about their health and wellness through programming, counseling, and by providing educational information via pamphlets and bulletin boards.

New at the Bookstore
Expanded general, academic, and reference sections, a wider selection of used and less expensive textbooks, a college bookstore Website, and an expanded selection of computer software and other products are in the offing at Vassar, thanks to a new arrangement between the Vassar College Bookstore and Barnes and Noble College Booksellers, Inc. The corporation has been contracted to manage the store, which will retain its Vassar College name, so don’t expect to see B&N’s familiar white and green storefront on your next visit to campus. “It’s not a Barnes and Noble superstore that happens to be on the Vassar campus,” says Stephen Dahnert, assistant to the vice president and director of campus communications. “It’s the Vassar College Bookstore that happens to be managed by Barnes and Noble.” For years the college has similarly contracted management of food service operations to the Campus Services division of Aramark and facilities operations to Aramark Facility Services, Inc.


Award to the Observatory
The Class of 1951 Observatory received an Award of Merit from the 2000 American Institute of Architects New York State Design Awards Program. Roth and Moore Architects of New Haven, CT, designed the building, which opened in 1997. The observatory houses three telescopes: a 32-inch telescope, one of the two largest in New York State; a 20-inch teaching telescope; and an eight-inch refracting telescope for naked-eye observations.