This is a timeline of important events throughout the history of Sarah Lawrence College. Compiled by Abby Lester, July 2007.
Click on the photos to view a larger version.
William Van Duzer Lawrence approaches Henry Noble MacCracken, President of Vassar College, regarding the founding of a junior college for women in honor of his wife, Sarah Bates Lawrence.
William Van Duzer Lawrence writes the Letter of Instruction regarding the founding of the College.
Marion Coats, Principal of Bradford Academy, is hired as President-Designate of Sarah Lawrence College for Women. She begins her term as the first President (1926-1929).
May 7 - Sarah Bates Lawrence dies.
December - Provisional charter granted to incorporate Sarah Lawrence College for Women.
May 16 - William Van Duzer Lawrence dies.
May 25 - Affiliation with Vassar College Ratified.
June 1 - By-Laws adopted by the Board of Trustees.
June - Bates Hall (originally called Tower Hall) completed.
Beatrice Doerschuk begins term as Director of Education (1928-1946).
October - First three dormitories (now known as the “Old Dorms”) are completed.
October - The College welcomes its first students.
Perkin's House (9 Mead Way) purchased.
Wayside Cottage (7 Mead Way), later named Warren House, purchased. Served as the President’s House from 1929 to 1947.
June - First commencement with one graduate, Ruth Wilmot '29.
Constance Warren begins term as second President (1929-1945).
June - First graduating class (117) receives the diploma.
November - MacCracken Hall completed.
September 10 - Absolute charter to grant B.A. degree awarded.
Affiliation with Vassar College terminated with proviso that the President of Vassar College remain an ex-officio member of the Sarah Lawrence College Board of Trustees.
June - First Bachelor of Arts degree awarded to Isabella Hayes at Commencement.
Robinson House purchased (2 Meadway).
May - Andrews House purchased.
December 9 - Charter Day is celebrated signifying the 10th anniversary of the granting of the provisional charter.
December 9 - Affiliation between the Board of Trustees of Vassar College and Sarah Lawrence College terminated. At the termination of the affiliation, Henry Noble MacCracken resigns from the Board of Trustees.
Nursery School, predecessor to the Early Childhood Center, opens on campus.
Morris House purchased (8 Meadway).
Harold Taylor begins term as third President (1945-1959).
First men are admitted as undergraduate students under the G.I. Bill.
Esther Raushenbush appointed Dean of the College (1946-1957).
February 28 - Name of the College officially changed from Sarah Lawrence College for Women to Sarah Lawrence College.
May - Second President’s House (24 Brook Road) purchased. (Demolished in 1953 to build Sprain Brook Parkway).
July 15 - Amendment approved by Regents to grant M.A. degree. The College introduces programs leading to individualized M.A. degrees.
First M.A. degrees granted (2 to men, 2 to women).
Kober House purchased.
The last of the men on the G.I. Bill graduate.
Third President’s House (935 Kimball Avenue) with attached Morrill House purchased.
Tweed House purchased.
Laura Bornholdt appointed Dean of the College (1957-1959).
May - Marshall Field House purchased.
Gerard Fountain appointed Acting Dean and then Dean of the College (1959-1961).
Harrison Tweed appointed Acting President for 1959-60.
Paul Ward begins term as fifth President (1960-1965).
Marjorie Downing appointed Dean of the College (1961-1964).
Center for Continuing Education established as the first full-scale undergraduate program in the country designed for returning adult students.
Mansell House (10 Meadway) purchased.
May - Lynd House purchased.
Esther Raushenbush appointed Acting Dean of the College (1964-1965).
August - Brebner House purchased.
Jacquelyn Mattfeld appointed Dean of the College (1965-1971).
Esther Raushenbush begins term as sixth President (1965-1969).
North Building completed.
The College becomes coeducational.
Slonim House purchased.
April 25 - Charter amended to grant M.F.A. degree in the performing arts and creative writing.
The Human Genetics Graduate Program is established as the first graduate-level genetic counselor training program in the U.S.
Charles DeCarlo begins term as seventh President (1969-1981).
Swinford House purchased.
Lyles House purchased.
Robert Wagner appointed Dean of the College (1971-1977).
Women’s History Graduate Program established as the first M.A. program of its kind.
Performing Arts Center completed.
Esther Raushenbush Library completed. (Dedicated as Esther Raushenbush Library in 1980).
Slonim Woods completed.
Alison Baker appointed Dean of the College (1977-1980).
Health Advocacy Graduate Program established.
Ilja Wachs appointed Dean of the College (1980-1985).
Alice Stone Ilchman begins term as eighth President (1981-1998).
Purchase of Faculty House (161 Hampshire Road).
Art of Teaching Graduate Program established.
Barbara Kaplan appointed Dean of the College (1985-2007).
Child Development Institute established and housed in the newly acquired 123 Boulder Trail.
Fall - Andrews Court completed.
Schmidt House (6 Mead Way) purchased.
Science Center completed.
Campbell Sports Center completed.
Michele Tolela Myers begins term as ninth President (1998-2007).
Hill House purchased.
Heimbold Visual Arts Center completed.
45 Wrexham purchased.
Pauline Watts appointed Interim Dean of the College (2007-2009).
Karen Lawrence begins term as tenth President (2007- ).
Jerrilynn Dodds appointed Dean of the College (2009- ).