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Campaign co-chair and President Emerita Jill Ker Conway with President Carol Christ.

On Saturday, October 13, Smith College announced an ambitious $450 million campaign titled “Women for the World: The Campaign for Smith,” an initiative with the critical goal of increasing access to a Smith education through financial aid.

“With a larger financial aid endowment, we can lower the economic barriers to higher education for middle- and low-income families from around the world,” said Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard, class of 1969, chair of the college’s board of trustees. “That’s a critical step toward making Smith an even more global and diverse campus — and community — than it is today.”

By increasing its endowed financial aid funds by $200 million, the college can invest an additional $10 million annually in direct assistance to students and families. Fifty-seven percent of Smith’s first-year class receives need-based aid, with an average award of $33,000. Twenty-two percent of Smith students are eligible to receive federal Pell grants, making the college a consistently celebrated leader in low-income and first-generation access to education.

“Through more competitive financial aid packages, we can lessen the burden on middle-class families, and recruit greater numbers of outstanding students, both international and domestic,” explained Smith President Carol T. Christ.

Joining Eveillard and Christ on stage for the announcement were honorary campaign co-chairs Jill Ker Conway, who served as Smith’s president from 1975 to 1985, and Rochelle “Shelly” Braff Lazarus, Smith class of 1968, chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather and former chair of the Smith board.

In addition to financial aid, the campaign will focus on a range of investments under the broad theme of reimagining the liberal arts. Campaign funds will support named faculty positions, curricular and research funds, expanded internships in the U.S. and abroad, enhanced opportunities for language study, environmental education, leadership programming, and development of the college’s unique collections and resources, including the Smith College Museum of Art.

Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard ’69, chair of the college’s board of trustees, with President Emerita Mary Maples Dunn.