President Hill's letter on the Hardship Fund

July 21, 2009

Dear members of the Vassar Community,

I am writing to update you on the work of the Hardship Fund committee.  As you know the college established the Hardship Fund, prompted by the concerns of a group of students, in response to the effects of the global economic situation on Vassar College employees.  Generous contributions from members of the VC community have made it possible to provide support to applicants whose income was less than $42,500 in 2008 and who have been affected by the smaller number of summer work opportunities due to the economic situation.

The committee has dispersed $62,700 in grants to employees for basic needs.  I am very grateful for the care and thoughtfulness of the committee, whose members are Sam Speers, Rebecca Edwards, Tanhena Pacheco Dunn, Royce Drake and Maureen Lashlee from the Community Action Partnership.  I am also grateful to those who have made contributions to the fund; their generosity has brought the fund close to the amount required to meet applicants' needs.  If you haven't contributed yet and would like to do so, your contribution will help to fill the gap that remains and will be most appreciated.

The committee will accept applications for assistance until July 31, 2009.  However, between now and July 31, 2009 applicants will need to consult first with Community Action Partnership of Dutchess County (CAP) before submitting their application to the Hardship Fund committee. CAP works with families and individuals to find solutions to a range of financial and personal challenges.  CAP Client Advocates and staff are knowledgeable about an array of resources, some of which provide far more extensive and long-term support than the Hardship Fund can provide.  We also encourage all those who have already been assisted by the Hardship Fund to contact CAP for additional support.  Please contact Tanhena Pacheco Dunn in Human Resources, if you would like assistance in setting up an appointment at the Community Action Partnership. The committee will consider applications until July 31st in cases where the Community Action Partnership has not been able to provide needed support.

Please direct any questions you may have to a member of the committee or to Rachel Kitzinger (X7972,

Catharine Hill

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, July 21, 2009