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Alumnae/i College Lectures

There will be a broad array of alumnae/i college programs offered during Reunion weekend. Click or tap on a heading to expand its contents and learn more about each program.

All events are taking place in Eastern Daylight Time.

Friday 6/11, 3pm–4pm
New Planetary Visions (Presented by the Class of 1956)
“Silent Cove” by Mira Tager Lehr ’56, donated to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.
Presenters: Mira Tager Lehr ’56; Jeanne Rejaunier ’56; Bart Thurber, The Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and Lecturer in Art; Mary-Kay Lombino, Curator and Deputy Director
New Planetary Visions emphasizes the need for everyone to remain focused on a shared, united vision for the planet and solutions to challenges (compromised environments and the global pandemic among them) that impact us all.

Join Mira Tager Lehr ’56, Jeanne Rejaunier ’56, and Mary-Kay Lombino, Curator and Deputy Director of the Loeb Art Center, for a discussion and celebration of Mira’s extraordinary gift to the FLLAC. With introductions by Bart Thurber, The Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and Lecturer in Art.
Friday 6/11, 3pm–4pm
The Gender Wage Gap: Why do Women Still Earn Less than Men?
Professor Sarah Pearlman
Presenter: Sarah Pearlman, Associate Professor of Economics
In the U.S. in 2019, working women earned 85%—on average—of what working men earned. Professor Pearlman will discuss current explanations for the persistence of the gender wage gap, including occupational choice, family responsibilities, discrimination, and preferences surrounding risk and competition.

Chart showing how the gender earnings ratio has changed between 1960 and 2018 for US workers. Source: “Women and the Economy” by Saul D. Hoffman and Susan L. Averett.
Friday 6/11, 3pm–4pm
Historical Perspective on Vassar College: A Virtual Architectural Tour of the Campus
James Russiello ’06
Presenter: James Russiello ’06, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Join James for a brief overview of the buildings and architectural influences of Matthew Vassar, Maria Mitchell, and the campus designers James Renwick Jr., Frederick Law Olmsted, Allen & Collens, York & Sawyer, Hunt & Hunt, Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, César Pelli, and many others.

Vassar College – Main Building. Courtesy of Archives & Special Collections, Vassar College Libraries.
Friday 6/11, 4:30pm–5:30pm
COVID-19 Response: Faculty Research and Pivoting
Professor Miriam Rossi

Professor Catherine Do Tan
Presenters: Miriam Rossi, Professor of Chemistry on the Mary Landon Sague Chair and Catherine D. Tan, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Faculty members will speak about the impact that COVID-19 has had on their research.

Professor Miriam Rossi and her husband, Francesco Caruso, collaborated this year with two Italian chemists in an analysis of a plant-based compound that they determined could help in the treatment of COVID-19. And it was the travel ban triggered by the pandemic itself that provided the four scientists with the opportunity to conduct their research.

The research that Catherine Tan has done with her colleague Dr. Janani Umamheswar (George Mason University) examines perceived risk and experiences with confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic. She will present on their first published paper, which argues that care work responsibilities largely account for why women participants expressed greater concerns and anxieties about COVID-19 and its transmission.
Friday 6/11, 4:30pm–5:30pm
Pratt House: The New Home for Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices
Rev. Samuel Speers

Rabbi Bryan Mann

Nora Zaki
Presenters: Rev. Samuel Speers, Associate Dean Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices, Rabbi Bryan Mann, Rachlin Director for Jewish Student Life and Assistant Director, RSLCP and Nora Naki, Advisor for Muslim Student Life at Vassar College and Muslim Chaplain at Bard College.
Join the RSLCP team for an overview of the design process that led to the renovation of Pratt House, as well as a discussion of existing and future programming that provides students with experiences of respite, gathering, and contemplative practices.

Pratt House
Friday 6/11, 4:30pm–6pm
Launcher of Feminists: Remembering Linda Nochlin (1931-2017)
Linda Nochlin ’51 teaching class in 1959.
Presenters: Frances Beatty ’70, Barbara (Suzy) Buenger ’70, Susan Casteras ’71, Alison Hilton ’70, Ann Northrup ’70, and faculty members Molly Nesbit (Professor of Art on the Mary Conover Mellon Chair) and Carol Ockman (Professor of Art at Williams College)
Whether they were Art History majors or encountered her in other courses, seminars, discussions, lectures, gallery openings or political rallies, students found Linda Nochlin ’51 a woman of incredible dynamism, warmth and erudition. A forceful teacher and a generous mentor who inspired generations of students into action, she remained a prolific and influential critic and scholar of the social history of art her entire life. She was an authority on many different artists and areas of modern and contemporary art and a fomenter and founder of feminist art history in particular. Colleagues and members of the spring 1970 seminar on women will invite audience members to participate in a discussion and exchange personal recollections of the stellar Nochlin, her impact, and studying women and art at Vassar at large.
Saturday 6/12, 3:30pm–4:30pm
Vassar and Poughkeepsie
John Bradley

Lisa Kaul

Jennifer Rubbo
Presenters: John Bradley, Executive Director of the Vassar Urban Education Initiative, Lisa Kaul, Director of Community Engaged Learning and Jennifer Rubbo, Director of The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns.
Ever since Matthew Vassar started the College, Vassar has been an important part of the Poughkeepsie region. Join us for a session to hear about how Vassar is currently connected to the City and region through education outreach, experiential learning, and environmental initiatives. Presenters will talk about the opportunities and challenges in developing authentic community partnerships.

Vassar students assisting with local clean up day.
Saturday 6/12, 3:30pm–4:30pm
Understanding Pronouns and Why They Matter
AC Dumlao ’13

Danushi Fernando
Presenters: AC Dumlao ’13, Program Manager, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Danushi Fernando, Director of the Vassar LGBTQ+ and Women’s Centers, Rowen Brooker ’23 and Kareena Rudra ’24
Join us for a discussion of the importance of pronoun use in our daily lives. Presenters will address concerns, questions, and anxieties that may arise around pronoun usage and will also provide information about terminology and resources (both on and off campus). We hope participants will leave the session with a deeper level of empathy and understanding, as well as tangible skills relating to gender, gender identity, gender expression, and equity.
Saturday 6/12, 3:30pm–5pm
Reflections and Insights on the 2020 Presidential Election
Natasha Bertrand ’14

Professor Richard Born

Jasmine Brown ’10

Professor Sid Plotkin
Presenters:
Natasha Bertrand ’14
,
White House Correspondent, Politico: “Disinformation and Domestic Terrorism: The Capitol Insurrection and its Aftermath”
Richard Born, Professor of Political Science: “Anti-Majoritarianism in the U.S. Electoral System: 2020 and Beyond”
Jasmine Brown ’10, Producer, ABC News Nightline: “Racial Reckonings and the Race Beat: One Year After George Floyd”
Sid Plotkin, Professor of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair: “The 2020 Election: Democracy on the Edge”
Distinguished Vassar faculty and alumnae/i discuss topics leading up to the election and beyond.

Saturday 6/12, 5pm–6pm
New Directions at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
T. Barton Thurber

Susan Kuretsky ’63 in the art gallery
Presenter: T. Barton Thurber, The Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and Lecturer in Art. With introductions by Susan Kuretsky ’63, Professor Emerita of Art.
Since arriving at Vassar College in August 2019 as the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Bart Thurber has—in spite of the pandemic—helped to enhance campus engagement and community outreach efforts. With support from administrators, faculty, students, and local organizations, the Loeb staff have continued to diversify its collections and to make its exhibitions and other programs more inclusive. At the same time, donations from a number of alumnae/i have led to additional student internships and the creation of new post-baccalaureate fellowships for recent graduates. As a result, the Loeb remains a vital and vibrant resource to study and to enjoy art both onsite and online.

Tony Smith sculpture
Saturday 6/12, 5pm–6pm
Reflecting on the Legacy of Toni Morrison
Professor Eve Dunbar

Priscilla Gilman P’21

Joshunda Sanders ’00
Presenters: Eve Dunbar, Associate Professor of English; Priscilla Gilman P’21, former professor of English literature at Vassar College and author; Joshunda Sanders '00, author & educator
Panelists will discuss the role that Toni Morrison and her work have played in their personal, creative, and intellectual lives. Additionally, they will consider the lasting legacy of Morrison on contemporary Arts and Letters.

Toni Morrison and a quote from her work.
Saturday 6/12, 5pm–6pm
The Times They Are A-Changin’: Social Change through Group Action, Then and Now
Professor Robert Brigham

Professor Katherine Hite

Assistant Professor Justin Patch

Professor Emeritus David Schalk
Presenters:
Robert Brigham, Professor of History on the Shirley Ecker Boskey Chair
Katherine Hite, Professor of Political Science on the F. Thompson Chair and Director of Research Development
Justin Patch, Assistant Professor of Music
David Schalk, Professor Emeritus of History (1968–2002)
Anti-War protesters in the early 1970s.
During the 1960s, many students took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam or to voice their support for women’s rights, gay rights, Black power, and environmental protection. Those who did not still experienced the reverberations of this forceful anti-establishment spirit. By 1970, such efforts had begun to have an impact on public policies and public opinions. Though the soundtrack has changed, the last two decades have seen a resurgence of group action related to foreign wars, climate change, immigration reform and women's reproductive and workplace rights. Former and current Vassar faculty members will join in to discuss how the turmoil of these movements affected alumnae/i, a half century ago and perhaps to this day.