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To the Class of 2021

In a few short weeks, you will join a college community of other students, faculty, and administrators who are eager to welcome you to Vassar. Countless alumni and alumnae have called their student experiences at Vassar some of the best years of their lives. We hope that you will be able to say the same in a few short years. Much will depend on the choices you make and how you handle the academic and personal challenges that you will face. Your decisions regarding your approach to both the curriculum and out-of-class engagements will be vitally important—these spheres of activity are inextricably woven into what we consider to be the whole student experience. Certainly you cannot anticipate everything, but you can plan for the expected and talk through the unexpected with any number of people who are here to do exactly that with you.

No doubt you have already begun reflecting on your own intellectual and personal goals. To be prepared to meet them, you will need to think through, plan, and carry out an academic program grounded in the broad tradition of liberal education. Our responsibility is to assist you in these tasks. Thus, the materials in this book are intended to help you make good use of the time between now and when you arrive on campus on August 21, 2017.

Recognizing that it is difficult to plan and prepare for a complex experience, we have worked carefully to assemble information in this book that will help you begin that process thoughtfully, with originality, and with confidence. You will find in these pages general statements and guidelines about the first year at Vassar and very specific statements about the philosophies and policies of all the academic departments and programs.

You will also find instructions for pre-registering for your fall semester courses. Please read and consider this material carefully. We encourage you to think about it while pre-registering for classes and preparing the Statement of Academic Interests, which the dean of first-year students has requested you send before you arrive on campus. Your understanding of the materials here, the Vassar College catalogue, and your Statement of Academic Interests will provide the basis for the important discussions that you will have with your faculty pre-major advisor, your house fellow, and the dean of first-year students when you arrive on campus in August.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus and to facilitating your smooth and enjoyable transition into the Vassar community. Personally, I look forward to working with you and the entire Vassar College Class of 2021.

Christopher Roellke
Dean of the College and Professor of Education