Professor and student walking and talking.
Male student with brown curly hair playing a violin.
Male student with brown curly hair playing a violin.
fueling impassioned discourse
the power of the
liberal arts
At Vassar we know one can reshape the world with a liberal arts education. With the confidence to question everything and embrace difference, our students are equipped to ensure peace and democracy can thrive despite complex societal challenges.

projects & initiatives

  • The College’s faculty are in equal measure accomplished classroom teachers and renowned scholars. It is paramount that Vassar continue to attract, recruit, and retain the best faculty. Their research, which is at the core of their scholarship, requires funds for proper equipment, travel, professional conferences, technology, and paid student assistants. Potential areas of support include Faculty Research Committee funds, a Dean’s Discretionary Fund for Research and Travel, and a President’s Discretionary Fund for Faculty.

  • Recognizing one of Vassar’s most important resources—our tenured faculty—with named endowed chairs provides financial resources that enhance compensation while conferring recognition and providing additional research funds to the chair holder. A robust slate of endowed chairs helps us effectively recruit and retain the very best faculty. Among the many areas of study that could benefit from such chairs are Urban Studies, Cognitive Science, Anthropology, Computer Science, and Africana Studies.


  • Multidisciplinary programs have been a hallmark of a Vassar education for decades, as the College has pioneered new and multilayered approaches to complex subjects through programs such as Environmental Studies, Media Studies, and our new Data Science and Society program. Bringing faculty from across the College together to address the issues of our time has never been more relevant. A Center for Multidisciplinary Study permanently housed in Baldwin Hall would provide a much-needed space for Vassar’s 17 collaborative and cross-disciplinary programs to convene in a central location on campus.

  • One of Vassar’s most deeply held values is reflected in its commitment to sustain the rich diversity of our student body at one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country. Significantly increasing endowment funds for financial aid to support and retain our students will address the considerable and rising cost of supporting a student body that is 20% Pell Grant-eligible (full-need) and 15% first-generation/low-income.

  • We have successfully piloted our Summer Immersion in the Liberal Arts and our four-year Transitions Program to provide our first-generation/low-income students with opportunities to hit the ground running at Vassar and become our next generation of campus leaders. In order to continue and expand these programs, as well as augment our emergency funds for extraordinary expenses, we seek to endow and support them through new gifts.

  • A highly competitive recruitment environment is now drawing nearly 20,000 visitors to campus annually, and we expect these numbers to grow. It is essential that we are able to welcome and accommodate prospective families appropriately. Our Career Education program has outgrown its current space and is in need of a larger and more appropriately designed home for its work. In order to accommodate this reality, we will construct a state-of-the-art, green Center in North Campus along Collegeview Avenue, providing dedicated gathering space for large-group sessions and ample parking in a more accessible location close to the Arlington business district.

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    Dede Thompson Bartlett ’65. Photo credit: Kelly Marsh.
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  • The College has boldly rebalanced its curriculum to provide students and faculty more opportunity to delve deeply into important topics in a small-group environment, through classes known as Intensives that feature considerable independent work and incorporate innovative avenues of learning. Additional funds are vital to sustain this and other curricular innovations. We also envision a new Learning, Teaching & Research Center in Thompson Library to allow faculty to learn from each other and hone their teaching skills.

  • To remain state-of-the-art, Vassar’s Libraries constantly need upgrades to the physical plant, technology, and services. Plans for the Libraries include greater public visibility for our extraordinary special collections, upgrades to our digital collections and archives, a Faculty Collaborative, and more efficient study and research spaces that better meet the needs of our students.

  • Nothing changes more rapidly or frequently than technology. Across campus, Vassar’s classrooms and public spaces are in continual need of upgrades to high-speed data transfer, video streaming capabilities, acoustical enhancements, and other tools for 21st century learning.

Four female students of various ethnicities and one male student studying at a large table on the second floor of the Vassar library.
Four female students of various ethnicities and one male student studying at a large table on the second floor of the Vassar library.
Across physical, mental, and social health—overall wellness is how we can connect most to the Vassar community. With your help, we will create the necessary spaces, places, and programs that promote a sense of belonging and well-being for our student body.


  • Our refocused campus health and wellness program aims to bring heightened awareness, new programs, additional human resources, and modern athletics and wellness facilities to Vassar for students, staff, and the entire College community. Of particular significance, Vassar plans to enhance our existing mental and health care facilities and services. Recognizing that mental health and wellness issues have reached a critical stage in the younger generation across the country, our faculty and administration are supportive of this commitment.

  • The Walker Field House has exceeded its useful life. With more than 22% of Vassar students playing on 29 intercollegiate athletic teams, 25% of our student body utilizing our fitness center, and more than 100 hours per week of physical education courses, fitness classes, and intramurals, we are in need of a more modern and functional facility. This will include: a 200-meter competition track to have a three-season track program, new indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an improved swimming pool, locker rooms, a sports medicine hub, and additional multipurpose space. Currently one of the most energy-inefficient buildings on campus, a new field house would meet our Green Building Standards.


  • Vassar’s system of House Fellows and House Advisors has played a key role in solidifying and strengthening our residential community. While we have made important investments recently in Residential Life, we now need to secure these advances for the future. Funding to help support our House Fellows/Advisors program, to make ongoing upgrades and improvements to the dorms and apartments, and to maintain and improve the residential and public student spaces in Main Building are all part of this initiative.

  • Barriers to accessibility come in many forms: attitudinal, organizational or systemic, architectural or physical, informational or communicational, and technological. Vassar will invest in educational programs, consultation, and campus infrastructure improvements with a goal of eliminating all of these barriers.

  • Vassar has been piloting a campus-wide Engaged Pluralism Initiative that helps students, faculty, administrators, and staff work across difference and diversity of opinion, learn how to solve problems together, and bring these skills out into the world. In our divisive and polarized times, these skills are essential to healing, collaborating, and leading. With our Mellon Foundation seed funding coming to an end in August 2023, we are committed to maintaining and expanding these programs.

Three students, two men and one woman, look on as another female student looks through a microscope in a science lab while another woman looks on.
Three students, two men and one woman, look on as another female student looks through a microscope in a science lab while another woman looks on.
Vassar students and grads are wired differently. Their approach to solving society’s most pressing issues is a result of practicing liberal arts at the highest level. The need for this next generation of leaders to apply what they’ve learned and face these critical times has never been more important.


  • The Dan Mindich ’87 Teacher Training Program and Urban Education Initiative places students interested in teaching careers into the Poughkeepsie Public Schools, to the mutual benefit of both Vassar and Poughkeepsie students. The Mindich family has offered a $1.25 million, one-to-one matching challenge to help keep the Urban Education Initiative running for the next eight to 10 years.

  • The Office of Community-Engaged Learning offers our students an experiential educational opportunity that combines work in a non-profit organization, a government agency, or a business with academic work. From health and legal services to media and cultural organizations, hundreds of Vassar students are bringing their skills and energy to the Mid-Hudson Valley through these programs. New funds are required to meet current demand, and to expand opportunities throughout the region.

  • Funds for additional resources, staffing, internships, travel, programming, and fellowships have helped sustain Vassar’s Center for Career Education, which has developed award-winning programs with students and alums. To take this work to the next level will require additional endowments and expendable funds.

  • A new initiative to help keep Vassar students in the Mid-Hudson region after graduation, this fellowship program would help cover living expenses and augment salaries for students who choose to spend their first post-graduate year working and living in the area. 

  • The Vassar Board of Trustees has approved a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The blueprint calls for the conversion of our central heating plant to biofuels, a comprehensive review and renovation plan for building envelopes, and striving to remove fossil fuels from each new or fully renovated facility over the long term. 

  • Vassar’s Institute for the Liberal Arts will provide a state-of-the-art center to highlight the power and relevance of the liberal arts in the 21st Century by addressing local, regional, and global issues, attracting thought leaders from around the world. A 50-bed Inn will offer modern accommodations to visitors to Vassar and the Mid-Hudson Valley. 

  • Vassar is a global campus with a global reach. We have established partnerships with the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, University of Edinburgh, and IIT Bombay to advance higher education in the liberal arts through knowledge exchange, convenings, and co-development of novel educational programming.


Young female studying at home during pandemic times
Young female studying at home during pandemic times
Consequential for Life
With your help, we can expedite and elevate all of the campaign’s objectives. This is why we’re asking the entire Vassar community to be part of this important moment with a gift to help continue to engage deeply with issues and goals that extend well beyond the College.


  • The Vassar Fund provides over $10 million of unrestricted operating funds annually, the equivalent of a $200 million endowment. The Vassar Fund is an essential ingredient to our balanced budget, ensuring that the necessary funds are available to operate the full range of Vassar’s programs.

  • Gifts to the endowment can be dedicated to specific programs to provide support in perpetuity. Gifts of unrestricted endowment can be used most flexibly, as they reduce the dependence on tuition to meet costs. These funds provide long-term support for all aspects of Vassar’s operating budget.

  • Gift planning through trusts and estates is a powerful means to leave a perpetual legacy to Vassar. These deferred gifts can be for unrestricted support to the College, for faculty support, student support, or a number of other areas of interest.


  • Katrine “Cage” Ames ’69


    Katrine “Cage” Ames ’69

  • Katherine “Gig” Babson, Jr. ’69


    Katherine “Gig” Babson, Jr. ’69

  • Jason Blum ’91


    Jason Blum ’91

  • Leslie Jackson Chihuly ’83, photo by Scott Mitchell Lee


    Leslie Jackson Chihuly ’83

  • Brian Farkas ’10


    Brian Farkas ’10

  • Stephanie Hyacinth ’84


    Stephanie Hyacinth ’84

  • Elias Kim ’16


    Elias Kim ’16

  • Carol Ostrow ’77, P’09, P’15


    Carol Ostrow ’77, P ’09, P ’15

  • Cynthia M. Patton ’83


    Cynthia M. Patton ’83