The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Smith College

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

SMITH COLLEGE, located at Northampton, Mass. It was founded by Sophia Smith, who bequeathed $393,105 for “an institution of learning for the higher education of young women, with the design to furnish them means and facilities for education equal to those which are afforded in the colleges for young men.” The college was incorporated in 1871 and opened to students in 1875; it is unsectarian in its management and instruction. The college confers the three degrees of A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. The course includes a year's work in eight required subjects, including Bible study, a major study consisting of related courses in the junior and senior years, two three-hour courses in the junior and senior years, one of which must be in a department entirely different from the major study, and free electives to complete the required number of hours. The curriculum includes music and art, and a certain amount of technical work in each department when combined with theoretical courses counts toward the degree. Formerly the departments of music and art were organized as separate schools, but in 1902 were co-ordinated with the other collegiate studies. The college was among the first to recognize music and art among the qualifications for the degree. A number of scholarships are provided, the largest of which has a fund of $10,000; there are also fellowships for advanced work in philosophy and psychology, botany and zoology; and the college aids in the support of the American women's table at the zoological station at Naples, entitling graduates to appointment to this station. Likewise two tables are maintained at the seaside laboratories for the advanced study of zoology and botany. Physical training is required of students, and much interest is also taken in outdoor sports. The college has a large and beautiful campus, including the botanical gardens; the buildings (in 1904) are College Hall, Seelye Hall, the John M. Greene Hall. Lilly Hall of Science, Chemistry Hall, the Library, the Observatory, Music Hall, the Hellyer Art Gallery, the Alumnæ Gymnasium, the Infirmary, the Lyman Plant House, the Botanic Garden, the Students' Building, the centre of the students' social life, with a large hall, rooms for clubs, etc., and a reading-room, and 18 dwelling-houses. "The library contains about 70,000 volumes, and the Northampton Public Library and the Forbes Library are also open to students. The productive funds in 1917 amounted to $2,242,591, the students numbered 1,946 and the faculty 205. In the European War, Smith College sent a body of students to do reconstruction and canteen work in France; and maintained courses of instruction for laboratory assistants, and a two years' course for training assistants, in neurological hospitals for the treatment of nervous debility and shell shock among returned soldiers.