Vassar Today

Newsworthy Notes

Beverly Named Chairman of NCAA Division III Nominating Committee

Director of Athletics & Physical Education Sharon Beverly has been named chairman of the NCAA’s prestigious Division III Nominating Committee. The committee coordinates nominations for the Division III Management Council, all general committees that report to the Management Council, all Division III sports committees, and all Division III positions on the association-wide and common committees. Beverly has been involved in intercollegiate athletics for more than 25 years and is one of a select few African-American women athletic directors in the country. She joined Vassar in 2002. Visit for more information.

Vassar College to Prohibit Investments Tied to Sudan

In light of the convincing evidence that the government of Sudan is both committing and supporting genocide against the people of its Darfur region, the Vassar College Board of Trustees has approved the prohibition of direct investment by the college in companies either owned by the government of Sudan or whose business activities support the country’s reprehensible policies. Vassar has also written to managers of commingled funds in which the college invests, urging divestment and/or prohibition of investment from these unsuitable companies. In an October resolution, the college’s trustees said, “Vassar College is committed to the promotion and protection of human rights both locally and globally. Consistent with this commitment, the college takes measures to avoid investments in the securities of companies linked with gross human rights abuses.”

Laptop Photo
Laptop Photo
Inauguration Webcast Captures Viewers Around the Globe

The inauguration and installation of Vassar’s 10th president was available live on Vassar’s website.

A total of 405 visitors viewed the webcast from 11 countries (U.S., U.K., Spain, Netherlands, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Germany, Bahamas, Italy, and Argentina). The webcast and a gallery of photos from the inaugural events can be viewed at

Education Professor to Become New Dean of Studies

This July, Professor of Economics Alexander (Sandy) Thompson will step down as dean of studies after serving two five-year terms. Thompson will be on sabbatical during the 2007–08 academic year. Associate Professor of Education Christopher Roellke will succeed Thompson. Roellke earned his B.A. in political science from Wesleyan University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in educational administration from Cornell University. His research interests are in the politics and economics of education, teacher education, and secondary school reform. He recently completed a multi-state study of teacher recruitment and retention policy funded by the Economic Policy Institute and the MetLife Foundation. Roellke is president of the American Education Finance Association (AEFA) and serves as Vassar’s director of academic facilities development and director of the Ford Scholars Program (both through the Office of the Dean of the Faculty). He is also the founding director of the Vassar College Urban Education Initiative (VCUEI), an urban education outreach and professional development project funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Image of Apple
Image of Apple
Farm-to-College Program Brings Local Produce to Vassar

Ken Oldehoff, Vassar’s associate director of campus dining, has been a tireless promoter of developing connections between Vassar and Hudson Valley farms. In 2002, thanks to a Cornell University-funded program, Vassar researched ways to build relationships with these local farmers. Produce and dairy consortia, such as the Rondout Valley Growers Association and Hudson Valley Fresh, credit Vassar, and Oldehoff and Director of Campus Dining Maureen King specifically, for its proactive role in this initiative. “Our philosophy is that buying foods from the place that you live preserves the rural nature of the area, keeps pesticides use to a minimum, keeps money in the local economy, and allows us to offer better and fresher food,” says Oldehoff. Since the program’s inception, on-campus eateries now offer a greater variety of food choices; Vassar’s national food service, Aramark, has accepted local farms as authorized vendors; and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) named Vassar to its list of the top 10 vegetarian- and vegan-friendly colleges and universities.

2007 Commencement Speaker Named

Terry Gross, NPR Commentator
Terry Gross, NPR Commentator
Terry Gross, the host of National Public Radio’s Fresh Air, will speak at Vassar's 143rd commencement on May 27, 2007. Born in Brooklyn and a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Gross started her radio career as a host for several public radio programs in Buffalo before becoming the host and producer of Fresh Air in Philadelphia in 1975. Then a local program, NPR began distributing Fresh Air nationally in 1985. Now airing on 160 stations, Gross has earned national acclaim, winning the Peabody Award in 1994 and being recognized for her probing but respectful attitude in her more than 10,000 interviews.