Vernon Court Junior College Collection, 1964 – 1971

Historical Note
Vernon Court Junior College in operation from September 1963 to January 1972. It occupied the mansions Vernon Court, Fairlawn, and Stoneacre, as well as other mansions in the Ruggles Avenue area. It was associated with The Hatch Preparatory School for Boys, which had occupied Vernon Court since 1956. In January 1972 the College faced financial difficulties that forced it to close. At the time of closure the school had 157 enrolled students and 80 employees.

All three school buildings were eventually sold, including Stoneacre Field, a 3.75 acre plot, for $61,000 to local plumbing contractor, D. Dixon Donovan. Stoneacre, the former W. Goadby Loew villa, had been demolished to make room for new dormitories, which were never built. Donovan bought other former Vernon Court properties along Ruggles Avenue as well. When the Vernon Court mansion was sold, the property was put back on the tax rolls. Fairlawn is now The Pell Center of Salve Regina University. After passing through several owners, it was acquired by Laurence and Judy Cutler in 1998 and is home to the National Museum of American Illustration. Stoneacre is now the site of Cutler’s “Olmstead Park.”

The actress Joan Crawford received an honorary Associate in Arts degree from the school in 1966, when her identical twin daughters, Cathy and Cynthia Crawford, graduated.

Lippincott, Bert. (2013 March). Vernon Court Junior College. Newport Historical Society, Newport, RI.

Scope and Content
This collection contains materials relating to Vernon Court Junior College. It contains publications from the College including the Court Crier, the school’s newsletter and the Alumnae Journal. Also included are memorandums, letters, and other communications from administration to both students and parents regarding school events, policies, and development efforts. Course registration information detailing course offerings and their schedules, as well as final examination schedules are available.

Memorabilia from the school including adhesive patches, window decals and the lyrics of the Vernon Court Junior College Alma Mater are included. Student Handbooks as well as a Viewbook for the academic year 1964-1965, give a very detailed view of student life and academic expectations.