Photo: ©Vassar College/John Abbott

This week we will be hearing from senior student docents before they graduate on Sunday. Today’s post comes from Sarah Harshman.  Sarah has been a docent at the Art Center for the past year.

The day I moved in to Vassar as a freshman was hot. Very hot. 90+ degrees and humid. Oh, and stressful. There were boxes to be carried, roommates to meet, and thousands (it seemed) or forms to fill out. The heat, the stress, and the sleepless night the evening before made for one very cranky (and somewhat terrified) new Vassar girl. When my parents asked me to accompany them on a walking tour of campus during a break in the day’s schedule, I admit that it was only with much heel-dragging on my part that I joined them.

The last stop on our mini tour was the art center, a quiet and peaceful place filled with more artistic gems than I thought was possible to find on a small college campus. And it was cool. From our first steps inside, that blissful A/C rushed to greet us, cooling both sweaty brows and rising tempers. Wandering the galleries that day was a much-needed escape from the hectic events of the day and the space’s impact on me was not forgotten.

More than simply a cool and quiet building, the Loeb has been for me a place of growth, discovery, fun, and, as it was that first day, a haven from the more chaotic parts of my life at Vassar. As a freshman, I built friendships around the Loeb’s Late Night events, stopping in on the way home after choir rehearsals with the upperclassmen in the ensemble. During my sophomore and junior years, I spent more time in the galleries with classes and became better acquainted with the amazing staff that gives life to the collection every day. It has been a great pleasure to give something back to the Loeb this year in my position as a docent. Finally being a friendly face welcoming newcomers to my favorite haven seems the perfect conclusion to my 4-year relationship with the art center. I have no doubt at all that it will continue to grow and thrive, standing as a rich resource and a unique retreat for another 150 years of Vassar students.

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