History of Vassar College

Although disparaged in Vassar’s 1864 Prospectus as “not feminine accomplishments” to be encouraged, debate and oratory at the college flourished from its earliest days, as the self-assurance of the 1914 debate team, seated in the new Students’ Building, makes clear. Read about Vassar’s first intercollegiate competition, the 1902 debate with Wellesley.

The Vassar Encyclopedia project is an online work in progress under the direction of Vassar's College Historian, Dean Emeritus of the College and Professor Emeritus of English Colton Johnson. The project's goal is to present lively, accurate, and informative articles relating to the college and its history, of varying length and on diverse topics, written by a wide array of authors. Information about the project is available in the Preface and in the Guide to the Encyclopedia.