For example, last year it was undeniably exciting to welcome the first Vassar Veterans Posse to campus. But to truly build a bridge between our College and the young men and women who have borne the brunt of America’s recent wars requires an effort far more systematic than the one-time admission of an outstanding group of scholar-veterans. The arrival of the second Vassar Veterans Posse and the selection process for the third is a signal that our College is committed to diversifying our student body to include veterans over the long run. Equally important, as the article that begins on the Expanding Diversity page indicates, this program is but one component of our long-term commitment to the creation of a campus that reflects the diversity of 21st-century America through retention as well as recruitment, listening as well as learning.
Our commitment to building bridges can take unlikely forms, and can take us to unlikely places. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris might seem to have nothing more in common with Vassar than beautiful architecture, until an innovative and talented professor uses the most modern of methods to explain the intricacies of constructing glorious Gothic design to 21st-century students (Reconstructing Architecture's Past). A still more unexpected, and unexpectedly joyous, connection can arise when members of the Vassar choir perform in Japan with young people from that country and from Uganda (Creating a Home in the World). Closer to home, the accomplishments of our scholar-athletes have united the campus with pride in their achievements ( Inspiring Champions).
It is my hope that, as you read these stories and this entire report, the importance and the value of building bridges in all of these ways and more will become self-evident.
Catharine B. Hill
President, Vassar College