Vassar Female College was founded in 1861 by Matthew Vassar. It opened in 1865 when the Main Building, pictured here, was completed. The building, which housed the entire college—classrooms, dormitories, dining hall, administrative offices, and library—was designed by James Renwick, and is one of the finest Second Empire buildings in America.
Vassar, which soon dropped "Female" from its name, was the first higher educational institution to offer degrees to women in the United States.
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