This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photos © Vassar College / Buck Lewis.

Borowitz Delivers Krieger Lecture

Opening this year’s Alex Krieger ’95 Memorial Lecture, satirist Andy Borowitz placed his considerable achievements into perspective: “If you can make it on the second floor of the Vassar Students’ Building,” he noted, “you can make it anywhere.”

All jokes aside, Borowitz has clearly already made it. The humorist began his career as president of the Harvard Lampoon during his undergraduate days at the university, going on to create the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, author numerous politically-oriented humor collections, and win the first National Press Club award for humor for his work in publications including the New Yorker. He also maintains a popular Twitter account, which ranked No. 1 in a recent Time magazine poll of readers’ favorite Twitter feeds, and publishes an Onion-style current events satire on his website,

In keeping with the political nature of his work, Borowitz’s lecture took aim largely at current events. He gave a scathing critique of both sides of political the aisle, firing comedic shots across the bow of television news networks such as FOX and MSNBC.

Andy Borowitz and Dean Chris Roelke

The question of whether he might one day take up political office remained up in the air. Borowitz initially demurred, describing himself as “part of the problem,” but went on to suggest that Dean of the College Chris Roellke (pictured) could join his ticket as the vice presidential candidate, garnering laughter and enthusiastic applause from the audience.

This annual lecture series is given each spring in memory of Vassar student Alex Krieger, who was killed in an automobile accident during the spring of his freshman year. One of Krieger’s keenest interests was distinguished American writing that incorporates humor as a primary element. In consultation with his family, Vassar has invited outstanding American writers and humorists to deliver the annual speech. The varied and impressive list of writers and public personas includes David Sedaris, Ira Glass, and John Irving. Borowitz praised the series for its “unusual” tendency to put a value on humor in a college lecture: “Compared to the alternative—you know, despondency—laughter is a good thing."

–Cynthea Ballard ’13

March 2012

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