Vassar Stories and Events During Women's History Month, March 2015

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Princess Oyama, who graduated magna cum laude from Vassar in 1882, was the first Japanese woman to receive a college degree. Read more about this distinguished alumna.
Vera Cooper Rubin '48, as an astronomy student at Vassar. Rubin is renowned for her formulation of the concept of ''dark matter.'' Read more.
In 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey, Class of 1907, was the first woman to cross the continent in an automobile. The journey of 3,800 miles took 41 days and 11 spare tires. Read more.
Among her many accomplishments, Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson ’27 was hired by Edward R. Murrow to be the first female news correspondent for the CBS World News Roundup during WWII. Read more about this fascinating pioneer.
Inez Milholland, class of 1909, was a famous champion of the disenfranchised. Here she's seen in 1913 when she led a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. Read more.
Pictured here with Sir Alexander Fleming, microbiologist Gladys Hobby, Vassar class of 1931, brewed the first batch of penicillin tested on humans. Read more.
During WWII, Nancy Harkness Love was the first woman pilot to fly for the Air Force and the director of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, a predecessor of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). Read more.
Jumping hurdles during Field Day, 1918. The first women's field day in the U.S. was held on Vassar campus in 1895 (where Noyes circle is currently). Read more about the first women's field day.
Beatrix McCleary Hamburg ’44 (bottom right), the first African American student knowingly admitted to Vassar, went on to become the first African American woman admitted to Yale School of Medicine. Read more in the VQ archives about this pioneer.
This 1930 graduate, Elizabeth Bentley, known as the “Red Spy Queen,” was a double agent whose testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1948 is said to have fueled the Communist witch hunt. Read on.
Patricia Goldman-Rakic ‘59 revolutionized our understanding of the brain through her work on the prefrontal cortex and the neocortex. Read more about this brilliant neuroscientist.
Louise Laroque Serpa ’46 was the first woman accredited by the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association to shoot photographs inside the arena. Read more about this gutsy cowgirl. Photo: Will Seberger and the Tucson Sentinel
Grace Murray Hopper ’28 standing in a mainframe room, c.1950s. Hopper was a renowned computer pioneer and dedicated teacher. Read more about her…
So many firsts for this influential feminist, Crystal Eastman, class of 1903! She drafted the first workers’ compensation law in the nation…coauthored the Equal Rights Amendment…cofounded the National Civil Liberties Bureau (now the ACLU)…read on!
Did you know that the first known reference to women playing baseball is in a letter from a Vassar student in 1866? Find out more.
A pivotal figure in Vassar’s LGBTQ history, Anne MacKay ’49 was the first alumna to break the silence on what it was like to be a lesbian at Vassar. MacKay was also one of the founders of Vassar’s first lesbian and gay alumnae/i group. Read more. Photo courtesy of the Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College.

Posted by Office of Communications Sunday, March 1, 2015