SMITH COLLEGE, an American institution for the higher education of women, at Northampton, Massachusetts. It was founded by the will of Sophia Smith (1796-1870) of Hatfield, who gave money to Smith Academy in Northampton and to Andover Theological Seminary, and who left about $365,000 “for the establishment and maintenance of an institution 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 our colleges for young men”; she chose Northampton as the site of the college and selected the trustees. The college was chartered in 1871 and was opened in 1875.
On the college campus in the central part of Northampton are College Hall, with administrative offices, an assembly hall, and lecture rooms; Seelye Hall, with department offices and recitation rooms; a library, completed in 1910 and containing 30,000 volumes in that year; an auditorium, with a large organ and a seating capacity of 2500; the Lilly Hall of Science; Chemistry Hall; an astronomical observatory; Music Hall; the Hillyer Art Gallery, with an endowment of $50,000 for the increase of its collections; the Students' Building for the social life of the students; the Lyman Plant House and the Botanic Garden; the Alumnae Gymnasium; the Allen Recreation Field; sixteen (in 1910) dwelling-houses for the student on the plan of private homes, not dormitories; an infirmary; and Sunnyside, a home for convalescents. Entrance requirements differ little from those of the College Entrance Examination Board. All undergraduate courses are largely elective and lead to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Graduate courses lead to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, the latter degree being rarely conferred and “only in recognition of high scholarly attainment and of ability to carry on original research.” In 1909-1910 there were 104 teachers and 1635 students (of whom 8 were graduate students), and the college had an endowment of about $1,300,000 The annual tuition charge was $100 until 1909, when it became $150. There are six fellowships, of $500 each, which are granted for graduate research; and there are many undergraduate scholarships, and loan are made to needy students by the Smith Students' Aid Society (1897). The College contributes to the American Classical Schools at Athens and Rome, to the Zoological Station at Naples, and to the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The first president of the college from 1873 to September 1910 was Lawrenus Clark Seelye (b. 1837), a graduate of Union College and of Andover Theological Seminary.