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Vassar College Offers Walking Tours Of Historic Campus

Vassar psychology professor Randy Cornelius, left, conducts a tour of the college's campus in Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Vassar College
A tour group admires the stained-glass window at Vassar College's library in Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Vassar College
Vassar College historian Colton Johnson, center, talks to a group touring the school's historic Poughkeepsie campus. Photo Credit: Vassar College

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Vassar College’s campus in Poughkeepsie boasts many architectural gems, including its gothic stone library and a chapel graced with Tiffany stained-glass windows.

Those and other historic structures will be featured in upcoming walking tours at Vassar.

The free tours will be held on Saturday, April 30, and Saturday, May 14.

Tour leaders will be Colton Johnson, the college’s dean emeritus and professor emeritus of English, and Leslie Offutt, associate professor of history.

Tours begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the front entrance of the college’s Main Building and run for about 90 minutes.

With a design inspired by the Tuileries Palace in Paris, the college’s main building was the largest in the United States when the college opened in 1865. It is now a National Historic Landmark.

Thompson Memorial Library, a leading example of collegiate gothic architecture, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, Vassar says.

Its large stained-glass window depicts the first woman to receive a doctorate, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, as she defended her dissertation in 1678.

Besides its Tiffany windows, the chapel has an angel-headed hammerbeam ceiling and a massive Gress-Miles pipe organ.

Tours are held rain or shine, and all ages are invited.

Registration is limited.

To sign up for the tours, or for more information, contact the Office of Communications at (845)-437-7400.

To go on the tour, individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance.

The office is open Mondays to Fridays.

To reach the office, call (845)-437-5370.

For more information about accessibility, or directions, visit Vassar's homepage by clicking here .

Vassar College is at 124 Raymond Ave.

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