Smith College

private women's liberal arts college in Massachusetts

Smith College is a women's college in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States. It is a private, independent, liberal arts college. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters group of colleges. In 2013, it was number 18 on U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges.[6]

Smith College
MottoἘν τῇ ἀρετῇ τὴν γνῶσιν (Greek)
Motto in English
In Virtue [One Gains] Knowledge
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Women's college
Established1871 (opened 1875)
Endowment$1.875 billion (2018)[1]
PresidentKathleen McCartney
Academic staff
Students2,903 (Fall 2018)[3]
Undergraduates2,502 (Fall 2018)[3]
Postgraduates401 (Fall 2018)[3]
Location, ,
United States

42°19′05″N 72°38′17″W / 42.318119°N 72.638139°W / 42.318119; -72.638139
ColorsBlue with gold trim    [4]
Five Colleges
Seven Sisters
Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group

Smith is a member of the Five Colleges group.[7] That means its students can go to classes at four other schools: Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[8]


Lt. Harriet Ida Pickens and Ens. Frances Wills, first African-American Waves to be commissioned. They were members of the final graduating class at USNR Midshipmen's School (WR) Northampton, Massachusetts on December 21, 1944.

Smith College was started in 1871 using money left by Sophia Smith. She left money in her will to start a women's college after her death. In her will, she said:

"I hereby make the following provisions for the establishment and maintenance of an Institution for the higher education of young women, with the design to furnish for my own sex means and facilities for education equal to those which are afforded now in our colleges to young men."[9]

When Smith College opened in 1875, it had 14 students and six faculty.[10] By 1915–16, there were 1,724 students and 163 faculty.

The Smith campus covers 147 acres (0.6 km2). It has more than 1,200 varieties of trees and shrubs.

The United States Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, was a training ground for junior officers of the Women's Reserve of the U.S. Naval Reserve (WAVES). It was nicknamed "USS Northampton." On August 28, 1942, 120 women went to the school for training.[11]

Smith has had 10 presidents and two acting presidents. (An acting president is someone who does the work of a president when there is no president or the president is not available to do the work.) Elizabeth Cutter Morrow was the first acting president of Smith College and the first female head of the college, but she did not use the title of president. For the 1975 centennial, the college had its first woman president, Jill Ker Conway. Since her term, all Smith presidents but one have been women.

On December 10, 2012, the Board of Trustees announced that Kathleen McCartney would be the president of Smith College starting on July 1, 2013. Her official inauguration was planned for October 2013.[12]

Notable students


Many Smith students have become notable. They include:

  1. As of June 30, 2018. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2017 to FY 2018" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2018. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  2. Just the Facts Archived 2005-05-12 at the Wayback Machine, Smith College website.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Common Data Set 2018–2019" (PDF). Smith College. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-27.
  4. "Smith College:Visual Identity Program". Smith College. 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  5. NAICU – Member Directory Archived 2015-11-09 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Smith College - Best College - Education - US News". 2010-08-17. Archived from the original on 2010-09-09. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  7. "Five Colleges, Incorporated: Home". Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  8. [1] Five College Consortium website. "Accessed July 9, 2009"
  9. [2] Archived 2009-02-26 at the Wayback Machine Smith College Web site
  10. "Sophia Smith: Smith College's Founder" Archived 2007-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, Smith College website.
  11. "Naval History - August 28". Lake Minnetonka Liberty, 2011. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  12. "The 11th President of Smith". Smith College, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2013.



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