Campaign Update

June 2024

Fearlessly Consequential: A Campaign for Our Collective Future has surpassed $330 million toward its goal of $500 million by 2027. I’m excited to provide you with an update on the projects and initiatives that are already underway and a status on campaign focus areas.

TOTAL PROGRESS TO $500M CAMPAIGN GOAL

A custom progress meter

Vassar’s Main Building fills up as we move closer to our overall campaign goal.

Following the public launch of the campaign in October 2022, Vassar’s President Elizabeth Bradley and a traveling group of faculty, students, trustees, and volunteers completed celebratory tours of 13 major cities worldwide, with its final stop at BAFTA London in March 2024. The sold-out events hosted over 3,000 alums and parents to share the College’s vision for the future and to celebrate all things Vassar.

A group of people facing away from the viewer watch Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley, a person in a blue jacket, speak at a podium with Vassar and Fearlessly Consequential logos displayed on the walls behind the President.
President Elizabeth Bradley speaks at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in London to alums and parents about the Fearlessly Consequential campaign.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the campaign, including those who gave through the Vassar Fund, and to everyone who joined us.

 

Focusing On the Priorities

 

The Vassar Fund is the single most common point of entry for alums and parents to support the campaign. Nearly 20,000 donors have participated in the Vassar Fund since the public launch, totaling nearly $50 million so far. Learn more about the Vassar Fund and how it prepares our campus community to make a positive impact on the world.

 

A large group of people wearing caps and gowns sit in chairs on a grassy slope, with a lake and trees in the background.
Students, alums, families, and friends gather for the 160th Vassar College Commencement Ceremony. The Vassar Fund plays a critical part in keeping the College a leading liberal arts institution by supporting financial aid, career education, faculty research, and more.

The campaign has a goal of $100 million toward student financial aid. Alums, parents, and other members of the Vassar community have donated over $51 million thus far, enabling Vassar to award more than $70 million in student aid annually. Vassar remains committed to making admission decisions without regard to a family’s ability to pay and meet 100 percent of fully demonstrated need. Two-thirds of our students receive aid. This is powerful.

 


“I chose Vassar because of its incredible financial aid and the spectacular opportunities offered, made possible because of donor generosity. As a second-year, low-income, and first-generation student, I aspire to become a doctor to help people from similar backgrounds. Vassar’s liberal arts education has broadened my horizons. Without donor support, my Vassar experience wouldn’t be possible and I’m very appreciative.”

 

—Gordon Zhang ʼ26


Vassar’s commitment to faculty scholarship, research, and teaching is a key part of this campaign. These funds give our faculty new opportunities within the classroom and beyond to innovate and keep pace with the times while attracting the very best in the field. Start-up funds for new faculty are essential and Vassar needs to invest more here to remain competitive in the academic marketplace. Small-scale, student-faculty-conceived Intensives are in need of additional funds to support fieldwork and other special offerings in the curriculum. So far in the campaign, we have established new endowed professorships in Media Studies, Neuroscience and Behavior, English, and Mathematics. We continue to seek endowed chairs in a number of other fields.

 


Vassar’s faculty is an amazing and diverse community of scholars, artists, writers, scientists, musicians, and thinkers. They are attracted to the College because of its reputation as one of the nation’s top liberal arts institutions, the opportunity to engage with talented and highly motivated students, and the cross-disciplinary collaborations that Vassar fosters.

Vassar has committed about $50 million to support Career Education through the new Center for Admission and Career Education building ($27 million) and investments in programming and staffing. Vassar’s Career Education staff is considerably smaller than its peers and needs to expand its reach to more students and alums.

 

Investments in campus health, wellness, and athletics help make Vassar a campus that promotes healthy habits and fosters a caring culture where students can feel comfortable being themselves. Support for students with mental health challenges has become paramount on college campuses, and Vassar is no exception. We seek major investments in emergency and acute mental health responsiveness through endowment gifts. Vassar also must focus efforts on our indoor athletic facilities. Walker Field House needs major improvements, including a bigger swimming and diving pool.

 

A large sign saying Vassar College Walker Field House stands in front of a large building.
Walker Field House, built in 1982, is in need of improvements that will create a space that will meet the requirements of the Brewers teams and the local community, and ensure the longevity of the facility.

Upcoming in the campaign is a new and innovative Center for Multidisciplinary Study. Vassar has long been a pioneer in the area of multidisciplinary studies, or multis, representing the very core of our liberal arts approach. Vassar’s multidisciplinary and interdepartmental studies account for one-third of all majors offered and encompass 17 programs, including media studies; Africana studies; science, technology, and society; and medieval and renaissance studies. Unlike our other departments, the multis do not have a home base. LTL architects have been retained to re-envision Baldwin Hall as their new home in the center of campus. We will share plans for this exciting renovation project soon.

 

Two renderings of a three-story wood and glass building. Left: view of several floors of the interior of the building showing hallways and stairwells. Right: an exterior view of the two wings of the building connected by a central entrance with three stories of glass windows.
Renderings from LTL Architects for the future Center for Multidisciplinary Study at Vassar College.

Upcoming Campaign Happenings

 

In June 2024, we broke ground on The Dede Thompson Bartlett Center for Admission and Career Education. This stunning energy-efficient building will bring the Office of Admission into a more accessible and welcoming area of campus while also giving our Career Education Center a home to grow and flourish. See what’s planned for this vibrant and innovative center.

 

Soon, we will celebrate the opening of The Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts and Heartwood Inn. See how construction is going and learn more about The Vassar Institute and Heartwood Inn.

 

A wide-angle view of two buildings, one a two-story glass building and the other a three-story dark wood building, connected by a one-story transept.
The Vassar Institute for the Liberal Arts as of May 2024.

With your help, Vassar remains a vital advocate for the power of the liberal arts. I know you believe in that power…and in Vassar. Thank you to the many of you who have already joined this important campaign for Vassar’s future.

 

Tim Kane

Vice President for Advancement

tkane@vassar.edu