Skip to contentSkip to site navigation

IX. Lectures and Special Events

Vassar has a very rich tradition of lectures and special events, sometimes conflicting with one another. The over-arching purpose of Dean sponsored lectures is to promote a lively campus culture of intellectual and creative exchange featuring events of outstanding interest that are appealing and accessible to a wide spectrum of the Vassar community. Highest priority for funding will go to events most in accord with this purpose. For specific guidelines and instructions see the Dean of the Faculty website.

Lectures and other special events are scheduled through the Office of Campus Activities. The office also maintains the College Calendar found on the college website. When planning or scheduling a lecture or special event it is inherent that one first consult the college calendar, well in advance as possible, to be sure there are no conflicting events.

Lectures and similar events are normally scheduled at 5:30, 7:00, or 8:30 p.m. Certain special “all College” events may be scheduled at 8:00 p.m. Complete details about campus events scheduling procedures are in the “Programming Resource Guide” available from Campus Activities.

Select from the following to jump down the page:

A. Publicity

A brief description – name of speaker, sponsoring organization, title, time, and place posted to the Infosite and the Calendar at should be sent to Anastasia Galli,, for the online calendar. Information may also be sent to one week prior to the event. 

It is important that event planners make individuals with disabilities aware that they make requests for disability related accommodations in order to attend events sponsored by Vassar College on or off campus. It is also important that event planners be given sufficient advance notice so that they can respond effectively to requests for accommodations. Please include the following statement on all notices of public meetings and on all invitations, brochures, pamphlets or flyers announcing public performances.

"Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact the Campus Activities Office, 845-437-5370 [or event planner’s name & contact number]"

Event planners should also include a similar statement on registration forms for conferences, workshops, or other events that require advance registration.

Special equipment arrangements, such as microphones, projection equipment, film, slide or digital, are made through Media Resources also at the calendar website.

Notice of an upcoming event should be sent for inclusion in the INFOsite on the college web.  Send detailed information to

The Office of Communications also sends out press releases for lectures and special events through their Media Relations Office. If you have any activities you'd like to have publicized off-campus for the fall (or spring) semester, please let the Media Relations Office know as soon as possible to meet advance deadlines of regional publications.

Among other things, media relations would like to know is if your event(s) will be part of a semester-long series. If so, the best way to publicize this would be in one comprehensive release, which would provide the best possible advance notice to the media as well as helping the Media Relations office work more efficiently. 

Even if you do not have all the information for your event(s) available at this time, please send media relations what you can. In this way they can "mark their calendars," while waiting for the additional information. Please note that the more notice you are able to provide well in advance, the greater chance that media relations will be able to promote your event successfully.

Narrative and biographical text (no CVs) should be provided in a Word attachment as well as the event details (time, place, title, sponsor(s)), contact information, or in the body of an email, and digital images must be provided as high-resolution files (jpg format, 300 dpi).  Check with Emily Darrow at x7690 for assistance.  For inclusion in the following, please note the guidelines for dates:  4 weeks for Poughkeepsie Journal, 5-6 weeks for broadcasters such as WAMC Public Radio; 6-8 weeks for magazines such as Chronogram; 10-12 weeks minimum for magazines such as Hudson Valley.

If your department, office, or program is planning a major conference or event that you feel would be of interest beyond the region, please contact media relations as soon as possible. To properly promote events such as these to major media outlets, we should begin work with you six months in advance of the event if possible.

Checklist for press release information:

Here is a checklist of what we need to prepare and disseminate a press release (send information pasted into the body of an email or as an attached MSWord document):

  • Event details (time, place, title, sponsor(s))
  • Speaker / performer biographies
  • Appropriate contact information within your department for additional information and/or provide a brief quote for the press release
  • Speaker / performer availability in advance for media interviews
  • High quality photos of speakers/performers (NB: Images extracted from a website are not scaled at a resolution high enough for media usage.)
  • File Size: 1.5 - 2mb (minimum)
  • Dots Per Inch: 300 DPI (image resolution)
  • Actual Size: 8 inches (on the longest side)
  • File Format: TIFF / JPEG
  • Color Space: RGB

Posters are also designed and produced by the Publications Office a 3-4 week lead-time is necessary.  Again, the necessary information to design and produce posters, the office needs the event details, digital images in high resolution files (jpg format, 300 dpi), contact information, and a budget number.


B. Accommodations

Alumnae House is an Inn administered by the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College.  For reservations or more information, call x7100.  There are rooms for overnight guests as well as rooms that are available for special events, lectures, or dinner parties.   Separate charges are applied to the function rooms.  For information or room reservations call x7100.  For special events and use of the first floor, call the Innkeeper at 845-437-7150.  Charges are not taxable when paid for by a college budget number.  Charges paid with a credit card, with cash or a check are taxable.


C. Catering

The Living Room, Terrace, Dining Room, Library, and Pub are available for special events.  There is a room charge and catering services are arranged with the Alumnae House caterer. 

The Gordon Commons provides catering for special events. For menus, prices, and scheduling, contact the Catering Office at x5833. Informal catering is also available through “The Retreat” by calling x7170. Catering can be ordered online.

Catering is also available through outside vendors. Some are:

  • Main Course – 845-255-2600
  • Twisted Soul – (845) 705-5381, (845) 454-2770
  • BabyCakes – (845) 485-8411

D. Lecture Proposal Deadlines and Guidelines

Vassar College academic lectures supported by the
Office of Dean of the Faculty – 2019-2020
Priority deadline for spring 2019 lectures is November 15
and for fall 2019 lectures is May 30

The over-arching purpose of Dean-sponsored lectures is to promote a lively campus culture of intellectual and creative exchange featuring events of outstanding interest that are appealing and accessible to a wide spectrum of the Vassar community. Highest priority for funding will go to events most in accord with this purpose.


  • The Dean’s office will not ordinarily support more than one event in a single day nor two events in a single week nor twelve events per semester.
  • Considerations weighing in favor of a proposal:
    • eminence and excellence of proposed speaker
    • multiple confirmed co-sponsors and broad appeal
    • opportunities for speaker to interact informally with students and faculty outside the immediate context of the lecture
    • timely submission of proposal by May 30 (Fall) and November 15 for (winter/spring).
    • Four slots will be reserved for proposals received after the priority deadlines. Proposals received after the priority deadline will receive a response by September 7th for fall 2019 and January Proposals submitted less than three weeks in advance of the event are ineligible for DoF office funding.
    • balance and equity
      Lectures funded, as a whole, should cover a wide range of disciplines and topics. Departments or programs with endowed lecture funds should draw on those funds before seeking additional funding from the DoF office.
  • Funding and scheduling:
    • Honoraria ordinarily range from $100 to $1,500. Requests for honoraria of $1,500 or more should include substantial evidence of the prominence, broad appeal, and effectiveness of the proposed speaker.

      Suggested honoraria:

      Top person in field $1,500
      Well-established scholar $800
      Early in career and nearby $100
      Graduate student ineligible for funding.
    • Transportation expenses should include round-trip airfare, tolls, and ground transportation at current rates (58.5 cents per mile for car).
    • Lodging should be at Alumnae/I House at current rates ($99/night).
    • Hospitality may include modest meal expenses for the guest and selected members of the Vassar campus community. Gatherings should be small enough to allow everyone to interact informally with the guest. Suggested budget guidelines: $10 per person for lunches, $20 per person for dinners.
    • Lectures should ordinarily take place at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at times with few or no conflicting or contiguous public events on the campus calendar. Lectures scheduled for regular class meeting times are ineligible for lecture funding, although faculty may contact the Dean’s office for modest honoraria, travel, and hospitality amounts for classroom visitors.
  • Proposals should address the considerations above and accompany the “Request for Lecture Funds” form available at the Dean of the Faculty website and in the print version of the Faculty Handbook. Email approval of funding from a member of the Dean of the Faculty staff is required before making commitments to speakers or arrangements for publicity.