Vassar Quarterly - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
A Fond Farewell, Franny!
Clockwise, from top: Roger Mastroianni / Daily Record / Courtesy Aileen Casanave / Gap Inc.
Frances "Franny" Prindle Taft '42-one of Vassar's most reliable, active, and influential
volunteers and friends-died on May 14.
Though Taft built her career as an art historian and educator at the Cleveland Institute
of Art and shared in the parenting of four children with her beloved husband, Seth, she still
found time for leadership roles on the college's Board of Trustees, Friends of the Frances
Lehman Loeb Art Center, the Development Leadership Council, the Vassar New Haven and
Cleveland clubs, and with her class.
She considered 1965 to 1971-the years she served as president of Vassar's Alumnae
Association-to be the toughest. Controversy loomed as Vassar wrestled with the decision to
either merge with Yale University or go coed, but Taft magnanimously guided alumnae
through that tumultuous time.
For her steadfast support of the college, its alumnae/i, and students, Taft received two
Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (AAVC) awards for Outstanding Service, but, above
all, she earned the love and admiration of generations of Vassar alumnae/i.
Mark Breitbard '90 joined Banana
Republic, a division of Gap Inc., as
President and Chief Executive Officer in
May. Most recently, he served as chief
executive officer at The Gymboree
Corporation. From 2010 to 2013, he held
leadership positions across Gap North
America, where he was instrumental in
delivering the resurgence of Gap's North
American business. He had held positions
at Old Navy, Levi Strauss & Co., and
Abercrombie & Fitch earlier in his career.
After Vassar, Breitbard earned a master's
in business administration from the Haas
School of Business at the University of
Since 1996, the Maryland Daily Record has
recognized outstanding achievements by
women who demonstrate professional
accomplishments, community leadership,
and mentoring. This year, Maryland State
Senator Cheryl C. Kagan '83-who serves
the Rockville and Gaithersburg districts-
was inducted into the Daily Record's Circle
of Excellence after being named one of
Maryland's Top 100 Women for a third time.
Kagan shares the honor with 10 other
women chosen from among 435 nominees
by past award winners and a panel of
Aileen Casanave '81 received a Black Legend
Award in the category of Law and Justice
from the Black Legend Organization, which
consists of representatives from three of
the oldest African American organizations
in Silicon Valley: the Joyner/Payne Youth
Services Agency, Inc., the Silicon Valley
Black Chamber of Commerce, and the
African American Community Service
Agency (AACSA). Casanave, Deputy General
Counsel for Jiff, Inc., was recognized for her
service to legal, nonprofit, and community
service agencies in San Jose, Santa Clara,
San Francisco, and Oakland, CA.
VA S S A R Q u A R T E R LY