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Clay Ballantine

Smith Staff

Clay Ballantine at the Grand Canyon

Office of Alumnae Relations and Development

Senior Philanthropic Advisor

How long have you worked at Smith?
I joined the Smith team in the summer of 2019.

How would you describe what you do here at Smith?
As a member of Smith College’s senior philanthropic team, I support the president, senior vice president, members of the board of trustees and alum volunteers in realizing the college’s highest priorities. My scope is national and international. Smith’s alums, parents and friends are uniquely generous in pursuing the goals of the college and its mission to educate women of promise for lives of distinction and purpose.

Please share something you are proud of about the impact of your work at the college. 
I take great pride in helping align a donor’s goals and aspirations with the priorities of Smith College. Helping to make Smith affordable and making it possible for our students to access a debt-free education is a great privilege.

What’s a project you are passionate about?
Smith’s Here for Every Voice initiative inspires me every day as it makes such a difference in the lives of Smith students today and in the future.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I love the large, comfy chairs on the Neilson Library balcony overlooking the first floor of the atrium and oculus. It is a beautiful space and it’s fun to watch the comings and goings of the library and the Compass café.

How has your background prepared you for your current job at Smith?
I have worked in higher education fundraising for over 20 years, including at Amherst and Hampshire Colleges. 

When you’re not working or traveling for Smith, what are you most likely to be found doing?
I love being outside exploring the many trails and waterways of the region.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I want to hike more of the great long-distance trails of the world from the Pacific Crest Trail to New Zealand’s famous hiking trails.

What’s a fun fact about you?
My sister is a proud Smithie, Class of 1999. 

Favorite Smith tradition?
Mountain Day, because it is a great reason to get outside.

Which do you prefer: Bulb Show or Mum Show?
Bulb Show

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
I would dine with Julia Child at La Pitchoune in Southern France over Filet de Sole Meunière and a bottle of fine French wine.

Which one: Campus Café or Compass café?
Campus Café

About Clay

Pronouns: he/him