Rosemary Park Anastos
Editorial reprinted with permission from The Day, New London, CT
April 22, 2004
Rosemary Park Anastos was the second of three strong presidents at Connecticut College who, beginning in the 1930s, built the institution into the nationally-recognized liberal arts college it is today. The first of these was Katharine Blunt, who raised the money during the Great Depression for a massive building program. Mrs. Anastos carried on that expansion into the 1950s. And Charles E. Shain led in making the women's college coeducational.
Mrs. Anastos, who died Saturday at the age of 97, was president of what was then Connecticut College for Women from 1947 to 1962. During that time, the campus took the shape it appears today. She presided over the construction of numerous buildings, including the Crozier-Williams Student Center. The plans to make the college coeducational were developed during her administration, and carried out by Dr. Shain. She brought national attention to the New London campus by helping to make the college the home of the American Dance Festival. She also helped build the college's reputation for academic excellence.
She brought to her work a pedigree in higher education. Both her father and brother were college presidents. She also brought to New London her considerable talents as a scholar. She carried on both these pursuits after she left New London in 1961, going on to become president of Barnard College and then vice chancellor at the University of California at Los Angeles. She remained a popular lecturer on such issues as the position of women in the university.
New London and Connecticut College were fortunate to have shared her leadership and scholarly talents for 15 years.