The origins of Rally Day can be traced to a series of annual celebrations of George Washington's birthday, the first of which was held at Smith College in February 1876. Over time, these celebrations evolved from essentially social dinners or receptions into daylong college events. The addition of a "rally" to the day in 1894 was eventually reflected in the name Rally Day, first used in 1906. The celebration is now held annually on the third Wednesday in February.
When Kathy Zieja, director of dining services, sought to add some authentic spices to international dining nights in response to student requests, she brought in the experts. Esther Hong '11, whose parents are from Korea, assisted with Korean cuisine; Martin Carrera, owner of La Veracruzana restaurant in Northampton, consulted on recipes of Latin America.
"Smith College has traditionally emphasized the importance of dynamic, diverse and interactive teaching in imparting the principles of the sciences and liberal arts to its high-achieving students," says President Carol T. Christ. "The college considers the teaching of its students to be among its most essential objectives as a leading institution of women's education." The Kathleen Compton Sherrerd '54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching is a visible symbol of Smith's commitment and dedication to superior pedagogy.
The Noteables celebrate Mountain Day a capella style.
The tradition of Friday afternoon tea, where students mark the end of a busy week with snacks and tea, stretches back more than 100 years. Nanci Young, Smith College archivist, has been delivering tea talks about the history of the student houses since 1998, when she first arrived at Smith.
Experience the exhilaration of students as they play the new game of bastketball and participate in the first women's collegiate basketball championship — between Smith sophomores and freshman — more than a century ago.
Smithies on Smith.
I applied to Smith and was admitted but decided instead to attend a university in Washington, D.C. I didn't think that a women's college was for me. After a year, though, I wanted something different and applied to Smith as a transfer student. As soon as I arrived, I knew I had made the right decision.
I'm interested in many different aspects of the natural sciences, and Smith has helped fund field work in both the Bahamas and Death Valley. Then, over the summer, I spent three weeks in Newfoundland as part of an internship with Assistant Professor Sara Pruss, whose expertise is invertebrate paleontology. That was great; it was a hands-on way to try out the field.
What I appreciate the most about Smith is that the college provides so many different opportunities for students to learn. Whether it's a visiting professor coming in to give a lunch talk or a paid internship doing real research, doors to learning are always being opened.
One of the best things at Smith is that undergraduates can do substantive research. Not only does it familiarize you with a research-lab environment, but it makes you a more attractive prospect to a future employer or grad school. Last summer I was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study thermodynamic stability in 15-mer DNA with Sp lesion.
I helped found the Smith chapter of Technology & Education Connecting Cultures, an international nonprofit student organization that promotes cultural exchange through technology and education. We organize a variety of projects, such as recruiting volunteers to go to rural China to teach English to middle school teachers.
Smith is an intellectually supercharged environment. When I try to explain to people what it’s like to be at Smith, I tell them that each Smithie has her own shining point. When you talk to a Smithie, she always has something that makes her special, whether it’s a sport, or an issue she’s passionate about or a research topic.
I am from Nigeria but lived for the past seven years in Botswana. I wanted to leave home for college and applied to schools in the United States. The deciding factor in choosing Smith was its academic reputation.
The orientation for international students was wonderful. Instead of having to jump in, it allows you to ease your way in nicely.
I plan to attend medical school and then specialize in neurosurgery. Still, I am taking a range of classes, from biology and chemistry to French and Kung-Fu. My mom believes in being rounded and so do I. I really want a broad education. My life back home was very sheltered. Smith is letting me get to know the world in little bits and pieces. I love it.