Letter from an Alum: Finding Vassar Wherever Summer Takes You

If someone asks Vassar’s size, students will reflexively reply “2,400.” That number is more than an admissions statistic. The Vassar experience is defined by purposeful intimacy.

But the truth is, Vassar is far larger than 2,400. Over 40,000 alumni live in all 50 states and scores of countries around the world. They’re leaders in every industry and community you can imagine.

Leaving Poughkeepsie this summer feels like jumping into a great unknown. You may be moving to an unfamiliar city, nervous that you’ll have no friends, or uncertain about your first professional step.

Fear not. Your Vassar family is waiting wherever you land. Since the 1870s, Vassar alumni have formed clubs around the world. These clubs exist nearly everywhere – New York, Boston, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago, to name just a handful. You can find all the locations (and names of the leaders) at https://alums.vassar.edu/community/club/.

What do these clubs do? Clubs host a wide range of innovative programs throughout the year. For example, alumni in New York recently organized an enormous masquerade ball. Alumni in San Francisco recently organized wine tastings in a beautiful Sonoma vineyard. Alumni in DC recently organized a visit to a performance at the Washington National Opera. Beyond these social activities, clubs also host career discussions with alumni leaders in various industries, providing valuable professional development opportunities.

In short, clubs are like regional VSAs, helping you find community, meet new friends, and grow your career.

This summer, contact the leaders of the club wherever you are. Send them an e-mail. Follow the club’s Facebook page. Ask the club’s president what events they have scheduled, and if they have time for coffee.

If you’re 2021, 2020 or 2019, you might be interning in a new city. This is a perfect opportunity to begin making connections. Virtually all club events are open to current students, and alumni are beyond thrilled when you attend.

If you’re 2018… I feel for you. You’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster these past few months. You’ve felt just about every feeling a human can feel, from a deep sense of belonging to an unmitigated sense of loss. This summer, if your class is anything like mine, you’ll experience another emotion: a nagging, quiet sense of loneliness. Clubs will provide you with an automatic Vassar family – bar nights, lectures, and networking opportunities – all designed to help you make new friends and launch impactful careers.

Here’s the magic of Vassar. As you read these words, there are 40,000 people around the world who love you without ever having met you. They love you regardless of major and regardless of GPA. They love you regardless of whether your dream job is known or unknown. They love you regardless of who you were before Vassar. They love you unconditionally.

Right now, there are 40,000 people anxiously waiting for you to e-mail them with the subject line “Vassar – Time for Coffee?” We’re thrilled to welcome you into the longest chapter of your Vassar life.

Brian Farkas ’10 sits on the Board of Directors of the Alumnae/i Association and is Chair of the Clubs Committee. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the 142nd Volume of The Miscellany News.

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