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Smith College
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Motto Ἐν τῇ ἀρετῇ τὴν γνῶσιν (Greek)
Motto in English
In Virtue [One Gains] Knowledge
Type Private liberal arts college
Women's college
Established 1871 (opened 1875)
Endowment $1.875 billion (2018)
President Kathleen McCartney
Academic staff
Students 2,903 (Fall 2018)
Undergraduates 2,502 (Fall 2018)
Postgraduates 401 (Fall 2018)
Location , ,
United States

42°19′05″N 72°38′17″W / 42.318119°N 72.638139°W / 42.318119; -72.638139
Campus Small-town
Colors Blue with gold trim          
Athletics NCAA Division III – NEWMAC
Nickname Pioneers
Affiliations NAICU
Five Colleges
Seven Sisters
Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group

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.

Smith is a member of the Five Colleges group. 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.


"Lt.(jg.) Harriet Ida Pickens and Ens. Frances Wills, first Negro Waves to be commissioned. They were members of the fin - NARA - 520670
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.

When Smith College opened in 1875, it had 14 students and six faculty. 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.

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.

Notable students

Many Smith students have become notable. They include:

  • Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1993 (2nd edition).

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