Smith College Grécourt Gate
Smith College Grécourt Gate

'Making Space': Smith's Landscape Through the Years

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A new exhibit at the Lyman Plant House captures the unique chronology of the campus landscape while connecting past, present and future. “Making Space: The Changing Landscape of Smith College,” on display in the Church Exhibition Gallery through the end of spring semester, illustrates how Smith’s landscape has evolved from an initial 13 acres in 1871 to 147 acres today.

Domestic Workers’ Rights Activist Ai-jen Poo Will Deliver Smith College Commencement Address

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Ai-jen Poo — an activist and social innovator whose groundbreaking leadership on domestic workers’ rights and family care advocacy earned her the MacArthur “genius” grant—will deliver the commencement address at Smith College’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 19. Poo will receive an honorary degree at commencement. Honorary degrees will also  be awarded to Elizabeth Alexander, poet, scholar, educator, memoirist, and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Drew Gilpin Faust, president emerita and Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University; Yvonne Freccero, advocate for people who are homeless in Hampshire County; Nicola “Niki” Sauvage Tsongas ’68, former congresswoman representing the 3rd District of Massachusetts.

'Together for Smith' Giving Challenge

Beginning this month, in honor of Rally Day on Feb. 20, Smith is launching a community-wide participation initiative to increase engagement in college activities, events and philanthropy. The initiative, Together for Smith, kicked off on Feb. 1 with a monthlong challenge to secure 2,019 gifts to The Smith Fund in honor of the class of 2019. The Board of Trustees has pledged a collective gift of $325,000 for student scholarship support if the participation goal is met by Feb. 28.

New Neilson Library Takes Shape

By the end of March, the structure of a new Neilson Library will become more visible, as steel beams and brick masonry are installed on the site. “We will be working one floor at a time, north to south,” says Charlie Conant, senior project manager in Facilities Management. “By the time students are here next fall, we’ll be installing the roofing on the new building.” The construction of a new Neilson—Smith’s largest capital project in more than a decade—remains on schedule for the fall of 2020.

Daniel Hect Appointed Chief of Police for Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges

Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges have announced the appointment of Daniel Hect as the new chief of the campuses’ shared police department. Hect’s appointment is effective February 18, 2019.

Smith Responds to Proposed Changes in Title IX

In November 2018, the U.S. Department of Education proposed changes to Title IX, the landmark civil rights law that prohibits sex and gender discrimination. These proposed changes would, among other things, significantly alter how schools respond to sexual misconduct. Amy Hunter, the college’s institutional equity officer and Title IX coordinator, says that after thoughtful study, Smith has gone on record with concerns about some of the proposed changes. She further notes that the proposed regulations will not alter Smith’s commitment to supporting sexual-assault survivors.

Meet the 2019 Smith College Medalists

Four extraordinary alumnae will receive the Smith College Medal at Rally Day, in recognition of their contributions to their communities and the world. This year’s medalists, who will be celebrated on Wednesday, Feb. 20, are Congresswoman Nicola “Niki” Sauvage Tsongas ’68; university chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon ’72; television and film producer Lydia Tenaglia-Collins ’88; and conductor Carolyn Kuan ’99.

Smithies Stand Out at Physics Conference

Each year in the United States, some 8,500 people receive undergraduate degrees in physics—but only about 2,000 of those degrees are awarded to women. Smith faculty, students and alumnae are working to change that. A dozen Smithies, along with eight faculty and staff, were key organizers and presenters last month at the American Physical Society Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics— a gathering designed to provide students with networking opportunities and information about careers in physics.