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Clyde Griffen

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Clyde Griffen

Griffen, Clyde Chesterman, on March 5, 2015 in Mitchellville, Maryland. Born in 1929 in Sioux City, Iowa, Clyde taught American History at Vassar College for 35 years as the Lucy Maynard Salmon Professor. He earned his B.A. from the University of Iowa and his M.A. and Ph.D from Columbia University. At Vassar, he taught courses in American History and American Culture. In the mid-1960s Professor Griffen served as Dean of Freshmen, member of the Vassar-Yale Study staff and coauthor of the Report on the Education of Men at Vassar.

He married his beloved wife Sally in 1959. They have three children, John, Sarah, and Rob, two daughters-in law Anne Zaldastani and Laura, and six grandchildren: Bailey and Winslow; Mateo and Maritza; Sonia and Henry.

Clyde and Sally investigated occupational mobility in the labor force of Poughkeepsie, 1850- 1880, resulting in Natives and Newcomers: The Ordering of Opportunity in Mid-Nineteenth Century Poughkeepsie (Harvard University Press, 1978). The book led the University of Auckland to invite the Griffens to New Zealand on a Fulbright to examine local archives and suggest projects in Auckland's social history. Other publications include: co-editing Meanings for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian America (University of Chicago, 1990); co-authoring Full Steam Ahead in Poughkeepsie: The Story of Coeducation at Vassar, 1966-1974 (Vassar College, 2000); and co-authoring Main Street to Main Frames: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie (SUNY Press, 2010).

He loved to swim and hike in the Adirondacks where the Griffens had a summer home. He and Sally moved to Collington Life Care Community near Washington DC in 2007. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the Vassar community of which he was such an integral member.

A private remembrance will be planned for later this spring at Vassar College.

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Mar. 11, 2015
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