The college recognizes the importance of making financial and in-kind donations to the community. Recent contributions to the city and local projects include:
The college donates used computer equipment to area nonprofit organizations, and municipal departments. From July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, the college donated a total of 98 Windows PCs and 29 Apple computers and two printers. In total 129 machines were donated. The original purchase price of these totaled almost $210,000. Significant donations of equipment were made to Safe Passage, Northampton Public Schools, Hatfield Public Schools, Academy of Music, Springfield Public Schools, Dakin Animal Shelter, Community and Economic Development Office and a number of family service agencies in the Pioneer Valley.
Smith contributes $86,140 (plus $33,000 from the Student Government Association) of the $588,500 given by Five Colleges, Inc., in support of the PVTA (Pioneer Valley Transit Authority) bus service between Northampton and Amherst. The bus system, which carries nearly a million passengers annually, also opens the Northampton housing market to University of Massachusetts students, thus helping to promote full use of the city’s rental housing.
The president of Smith serves as an ex-officio member of the Academy of Music board of trustees and designates another member of the Smith community to serve on the board. Over the years, the college has contributed computer hardware and software to the academy as well as funds for renovating and upgrading this historic building.
Through Five Colleges, Smith helps provide 168 hours a week of music, information and cultural programming on New England Public Radio.
College facilities are available to external groups to host meetings, conferences or other events for a modest rental fee plus direct costs and insurance. Smith College also provides rent-free use of its facilities to local public high schools for their graduation rehearsals and ceremonies. In recent years, Smith has provided rain locations for graduation ceremonies of the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, Hampshire Regional High School, Northampton High School and the Collaborative for Educational Services. See the guidelines for use of college facilities by external organizations at the website above.
Local school and community groups often use the Smith athletic facilities for practices or competitions. The Northampton High School indoor track, field hockey, tennis and lacrosse teams and the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference track league host events at Smith throughout the season. Youth groups such as Baystate Swimming, NOMADS field hockey teams, Sugarloaf Youth Track club events, tryouts for local softball and baseball teams, Northampton Area Swimming, Pioneer Valley Swim Leagues and Northampton Rowing also use the facilities for their sporting events. Facilities are provided for free or on a fee-for-expenses basis. The Indoor Track and Tennis facility’s track is open daily from 6 to 8 a.m. from January to March for indoor walking for members of the community. Community members can purchase summer tennis passes and year-round squash membership passes to use the Smith courts. Faculty and student teachers provide sports instruction to local children in various sports throughout the year.
The Smith College Conference Center is available for rental to the community for private and professional events. Local businesses and residents use the center for weddings, conferences, meetings and other occasions. Overlooking Paradise Pond and offering flexible catering options (including Smith College Catering); the center is an attractive and centrally located venue for groups of all sizes.
Smith libraries hold more than 1.6 million items—books, periodicals, CDs, DVDs, music, manuscripts and more. The William Allan Neilson Library is the college’s main library for the humanities and social sciences, supplemented by three branch libraries: the Anita O’K. and Robert R. Young Science Library, the Werner Josten Performing Arts Library, and the Hillyer Art Library for fine arts and architecture. Special collections include the Mortimer Rare Book Room, the Sophia Smith Collection (women’s history) and the College Archives. All libraries are open to the public, who may use most materials and computer databases on-site at no charge. Members of the Smith, Five College and Smith alumnae communities may borrow from the libraries with an authorized borrowing card. For a modest fee, library cards are also available to adult residents of Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin counties. These cards allow holders to borrow books from Neilson and the Young Science libraries.
Community members are encouraged to attend lectures, films, poetry readings, concerts, vespers and interterm activities at Smith, most of which are free. Many concerts and plays are also open to the public for a modest fee (www.smith.edu/smitharts/calendar.php).