Vassar Quarterly - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
ore than 1,000 well-wishers flocked to
the campus on May 28 for Vassar's 153rd
Commencement Ceremony. Deborah
Bial, founder and president of the Posse
Foundation, delivered the Commencement address, encouraging the 616 graduates to think about themselves as part
of a collective and to stand up and work together to create
a more just and equitable society. "We have made progress.
We have come a long way. But, a long way is not enough,"
The graduating class included the first group of veterans
brought to Vassar through a collaboration with the Posse
Foundation, which matches underrepresented students with
top colleges and offers financial and social support. Bial
made a point to congratulate the group, thanking them for
their military service and for inspiring other veterans to
pursue higher education.
Other featured speakers included Interim President
Jonathan Chenette; William Plapinger '74, P'10, Chair of the
Board of Trustees; and Senior Class President Aleena Zara
Malik '17. Lucy Olivia Balcezak '17 and Karen Ann Crook '17,
Senior Class Gift co-chairs, announced the creation of the Class
of 2017 Scholarship Fund, seeded with a class gift of $4,552.
During the ceremony, Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar
College (AAVC) President Milbrey "Missie" Rennie Taylor '68
was on hand to assure the graduates that the alumnae/i
association, a global network 39,000 members strong, would
be there for them throughout their lifetimes. After the
degrees were conferred, AAVC presented the graduates with
specially designed VC17 caps that read "AAVC: Vassar for a
Lifetime," then the newest alumnae/i made their way to a
reception near the President's House, where AAVC welcomed
them with an arch of maroon and gray balloons and congratulatory banners.
Read the Commencement speeches and see videos and photos
from the ceremony at commencement.vassar.edu.