Virginia B. Smith, who served as president of Vassar from 1977 to 1986 died last Friday. She was 87 years old.
Cappy announced the sad news in an all-campus email today at 12:32pm. "I am very sorry to announce that Virginia B. Smith, Vassar's eighth president, serving from 1977 to 1986, passed away on Friday," Cappy wrote in a brief message. Cappy says that she will speak more about Smith in her speech during Convocation tomorrow. There will also be a moment of silence to commemorate Smith's "life of service to higher education and to Vassar."
Smith was Vassar's second female president. During her time at Vassar, she led a $100 million fundraising effort, improved our transfer student program, and acquired significant works for Special Collections.
Like Cappy, Smith was an economist. Change magazine named her one of the most influential leaders in American higher education. Among other positions, Smith served in a top position for the U.S. Department of Health during the Nixon administration.
Smith is survived by her sister, brother, and life partner.
Click here for Vassar's official press release on Smith's death.
Mid-Hudson News coverage here.