March 19, 2011

Mayor Isn't First Person To Lie About Vassar Degree

It turns out that Boulder, Colorado mayor Susan Osborne isn't the first public figure to lie about getting a Vassar degree. Back in 1981, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer Prize for what turned out to be a fake story. Not only did she lie about the supposedly true story, but Cooke also claimed to have graduated from Vassar, even though she had dropped out after one year. It ended up being Vassar that notified the Pulitzer committee of the lie and they withdrew the award. Soon after, Cooke resigned from the Post.

Although Vassar was quick to go public about a fake graduate in the '80s, the only school representative to comment on the current scandal is the Executive Director of AAVC, who defended the mayor. Victoria Balfour '77, who first broke the story about the mayor, has since criticized the AAVC for its defense.

We're waiting to hear back from College Relations for an official comment.


Anonymous said...

Whoa. You've got fails, and then you've got failures. The mayor was definitely being a little shady, but this one...

Anonymous said...

Though it was quite some time ago. She may never live it down, but I hope she's since changed. It's saddening, really, when talent is misused.

Trapellar said...

So does the Vassar alum association also consider Janet Cooke an alum?

Will Vassar also step up and claim Cooke as one of their own?

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