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Free walking tours of Vassar College history to be offered on two October Saturdays (October 19, 26)

Free public walking tours of the historic Vassar College campus will be held on Saturdays October 19 and 26, with tours beginning each day at 10:00am and 1:00pm.  The tour leaders will be: Chris Smart, a chemistry professor and Vassar alumnus (10/19, 10:00am); Sabrina Pape, Director of the Vassar Libraries (10/19, 1:00pm); and Colton Johnson, Dean Emeritus of the College and Professor Emeritus of English (10/26, 10:00am and 1:00pm).  All tours are approximately 90 minutes; they begin from the front entrance to the college’s Main Building, and are held rain or shine. All ages are invited, and to sign-up or for more information contact the Office of Communications at (845) 437-7400.

Highlights will include Main Building and the Judith Loeb Chiara ’49 Center at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, both of which are National Historic Monuments. The Vassar campus is also a designated arboretum home to more than 200 varieties of trees and thousands of trees all told, so fall foliage colors will abound during the tours.

Main was the largest building in the United Sates when the college opened its doors for classes in 1865, and the Tuilleries Palace in Paris inspired its design. The observatory was completed in 1864 for the preeminent astronomer Maria Mitchell, the first faculty member Vassar hired. The tours will also include the Vassar Chapel and the college's Thompson Memorial Library, consistently named one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. The building is a leading example of collegiate gothic architecture, and its massive stained glass window depicts the first woman to receive a doctorate, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, defending her dissertation in 1678.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, October 9, 2013