Victoria Thompson Winterer '65
I was a Modern European History major at Vassar. Evalyn Clark was my thesis advisor and I took as many of her classes as I could schedule as my father had told me when I went off to college that the teacher was far more important than the subject. The perfect example of his advice happened the first day after classes resumed following President Kennedy's assassination. The assassination happened on a Friday afternoon and we heard about it after my classes for the week had ended. Everyone was immobilized but I somehow managed to find a ride to Williams College to visit a beau and was thus able to attend James MacGregor Burns' memorial service in the Thompson Chapel in Williamstown before returning to routine life and classes in Poughkeepsie.
The next day in my 20th century European history class, Miss Clark said "girls, you have just lived through an historic moment and I want you to learn from another one." She then spent the rest of the class period playing 78 rpm recordings of Edward R. Murrow's radio broadcasts from London during the Blitz. We all experienced WW II first hand and quickly put the JFK crisis in a historical context. It was a lesson I have never forgotten. I was a History major Class if 1967. I also worked in the History office while at school. Although I understand the excitement about the new Swift I will always have fond memories of sitting in classes where the floor sloped and waiting to see my senior thesis advisor Carl Degler sitting happily in a corridor.
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