Frances Daly Fergusson ’65 is President and Professor of Art at Vassar College. In 1996, she led Vassar to the successful completion of a $206 million fundraising campaign, the largest for a liberal arts college at that time. President Fergusson was instrumental in the creation of Vassar's "Exploring Transfer" program, designed to identify and help gifted community college students transfer to elite colleges across the country. She has also overseen the addition of several important buildings on the Vassar campus, including the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the Class of 1951 Observatory, the Martha Rivers and E. Bronson Ingram Library, and a new athletic center.
Before beginning her term as Vassar's president in 1986, Fergusson was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bucknell University and assistant chancellor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. With a Ph.D. in art history from Harvard University, Fergusson is also a highly regarded art history professor. She has taught at Newton College/Boston College, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Bucknell University, and Vassar College.
In 1999, she was honored by Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with its Centennial Medal. Fergusson has also been elected an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, and she received the Eleanor Roosevelt at Val-Kill Award for Humanitarian Service in 1998. Among her many leading volunteer roles, Fergusson serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation and has been chair of the Board of Trustees of the Mayo Foundation since 1998.
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