Vassar, Matthew(văs`ər), 1792–1868, American philanthropist, founder of Vassar CollegeVassar College
, at Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; coeducational; chartered 1861 by Matthew Vassar, opened 1865 as Vassar Female College, renamed 1867. A leading institution of higher education for women, it pioneered in music and physical education and had the first department of
..... Click the link for more information. , b. England. He emigrated to the United States with his father in 1796. In 1811, after his father's successful brewery in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., had burned, the son opened another, which in time became immensely prosperous. In 1861 he founded Vassar Female College, to which he gave more than $800,000; he also contributed to local charities and churches.
See his autobiography and letters (ed. by E. H. Haight, 1916).
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