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Highlights from AAAVC’s 2018 Triennial

On the weekend of April 13, the African American Alumnae/i of Vassar College (AAAVC), in conjunction with the Office of Alumnae/i Affairs and Development, presented Triennial XII, welcoming more than 100 alumnae/i and guests to campus.

View a gallery of images from Triennial XII.

This year, the theme was “Celebrating the Contributions of African American Alumnae/i, Students, Faculty, Administrators, and Staff of Vassar College,” which reflected the spirit of Buildings and Belonging: Mapping the African American Experience at Vassar College Since 1861, a new multi-pronged, campus-wide initiative launched that weekend.

Buildings and Belonging illuminates the enduring contributions and presence of blacks on campus by focusing on a growing selection of campus sites with historical significance. Thirteen buildings were initially highlighted, but others will later be added. Alumnae/i, students, administrators, staff, and faculty from around the college collaborated to bring the project to fruition, creating placards for the building sites, a printed walking tour guide, and a website.

Karen Clopton ’80, P’19 ’22, led a tour of the Reflections exhibition at the Art Center.

Triennial attendees learned more about the Buildings and Belonging project during a panel presentation. Afterward, alumnae/i discussed their experiences on campus—particularly as they related to Kendrick House, which had served as a residence hall and cultural center, primarily for black students, from 1969 to 1975.

Alumnae/i also attended the opening of Reflections: Portrayals of and by African Americans, a related exhibition at the Art Center featuring collected works by black artists.

Among those returning to campus for Triennial weekend was former Vassar history professor Milfred Fierce, who had been the first director of the Black Studies program (now Africana Studies). Fierce shared memories of his time at Vassar during a dinner Saturday night, and admiring former students shared humorous stories about him.

Milfred Fierce, first director of Black Studies at Vassar.

In addition, AAAVC hosted a networking breakfast with students; a book signing and meet-and-greet with alumnae/i and faculty authors; a presentation by Kleaver Cruz ’11, creator of The Black Joy Project; a discussion between renowned actor Harry Lennix (The BlacklistThe Five Heartbeats) and Shona Tucker, Associate Professor and Chair of Drama; and academic lectures by faculty members.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, April 30, 2018