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Steady Giving to the Smith Fund Pays Off for Everyone
N’Goundo Magassa ’02 of Robbinsville, New Jersey, knew she wanted to attend Smith as soon as she visited campus. “I knew I would have the opportunity to work with faculty members on research projects and would join a strong network of alumnae,” she says.
Once on campus, she was an active member of the Smith African Students’ Association (SASA), now known as the Smith African and Caribbean Students’ Association, and held roles of increasing responsibility. “The SASA community allowed me to learn about other cultures and obtain experience executing various events,” she says. She was also a member of the student judicial committee, now known as College Conduct Board. “Serving on this board was a privilege. As a member of the board, I worked with a team to ensure we upheld the college’s rules and regulations while treating the student who appeared before the board with respect.”
“Since I am the first person in my family to go to college and I received financial assistance to attend Smith, I truly believe it is important that I contribute to the fundraising efforts and help the college support other students.”
Those opportunities working with faculty members on research projects paid off. “My biochemistry lab courses and summer research supported by the Summer Research Fellowship Program (SURF) at Smith helped me secure my first role after college. I worked as a lab technician for a scientist at the Immune Disease Institute and used the molecular biology techniques I learned at Smith in my daily work.” She went on to earn her doctorate degree in biology and biomedical sciences with a focus on molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2015, she completed an MBA at Washington University in St. Louis and joined the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
N’Goundo has stayed actively involved with Smith. “Smith has provided me with lifelong friendships. We are all connected and cherish the experiences we shared at Smith and beyond. In fact, during my 15-year reunion in May 2017, my classmates elected me to serve as class president.”
Prior to that, N’Goundo served as class secretary from 2002–07 and helped create her class website. As a member of her class board, she provided input on their two-year and five-year reunions. She also joined the board of the Smith College Club of St. Louis in 2003, holding multiple roles including secretary, treasurer, young alumnae chair and club president.
N’Goundo understands the importance of regular giving to the Smith Fund in order to support the college’s key priorities, including scholarships, faculty, programming and campus upkeep. “As a graduate of Smith, I have donated to the annual fundraising every year including the year I graduated. Since I am the first person in my family to go to college and I received financial assistance to attend Smith, I truly believe it is important that I contribute to the fundraising efforts and help the college support other students who are attending Smith. This is what inspires me to give," N'Goundo says.
"By donating to Smith, you are providing the financial support needed to ensure the college has the funding to continue to provide scholarships and recruit top talent to the faculty ranks. Smith provides young women the opportunity to explore their interests and develop critical thinking and leadership skills,” she says.