“What’s Mind the Gap Day?” you may ask. And, some believe that is precisely the point.
“The best thing that can happen leading up to Mind the Gap is to have someone ask, ‘What’s this all about?’” says Cathy Lunn, director of alumnae/i affairs.
To answer the question, Mind the Gap Day recognizes the point in the academic year at which tuition and room and board fees no longer cover the cost of a Vassar student’s education. At this time, gifts from alumnae/i, parents, and friends begin to mind the gap for current and future students.
Each Mind the Gap Day, the Council for Alumnae/i and Student Advancement (CASA) honors the generosity of the Vassar community by inviting them to return to campus to experience a day in the life of a Vassar student.
This year’s Mind the Gap Day is February 21. While on campus, alumnae/i will dine with students and enjoy informal discussions with faculty during a reception. They’ll also have the opportunity to attend classes and informational sessions. Among the offerings are student docent-led tours of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and a late afternoon opportunity for an insider’s look into plans to update Vassar’s science facilities.
Leading up to this event, students on the CASA committee educated their peers about Mind the Gap Day during events like the celebratory “Thanksgiving” meal in ACDC and campus-wide “Thankathon” stations, where students composed thank you notes to alumnae/i.
Some area alumnae/i, like Gail Burger ’60, make it a point to attend Mind the Gap. The religious studies major, now residing in nearby Staatsburg, New York, has watched the campus evolve throughout the years as she has returned for reunions, her daughter’s 1987 commencement, and special events, like Mind the Gap. This year, she will attend her fifth Mind the Gap program.
Staffers like Lunn have continued to expand awareness about an important reality: Tuition and room and board make up roughly half of the cost of a Vassar education. And, it’s catching on. Attendance for the on-campus Mind the Gap Day has continued to grow, and Vassar has increased giving from its most recent graduates by 11 percent in three years.
That’s a good direction in which to go!