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   Date: 7/2/09 Bookmark and Share

Three Generations at Smith (and counting)

By the time Amanda Anderson ’09J decided to attend Smith, she knew the college more intimately than most prospective students.

After all, her mother, Beth Powell, lecturer in psychology, attended Smith, too, graduating in 1978. And her mother before her, Anne Marie Hall, graduated with the class of 1950.

The Hall-Powell-Anderson Smith legacy covers more than six decades.

“The best part of being in a Smith legacy is that we have a lot of fun comparing times, eras and experiences,” said Powell, who has taught at Smith for 29 years. “We all have a common love for the beautiful campus.”

  Amanda Anderson '09J
Amanda Anderson '09J

Four years ago, Smith was a logical fit for Anderson. She had “grown up at Smith,” remarked Powell, having spent her days as a baby in the college’s infant center, elementary years at the Campus School, nights through the years with Smith student babysitters and “a lot of time in Mom’s office.”

Anderson also worked at the Botanical Garden during her high school and college summers. “She knew Smith inside and out,” Powell added. (See page 2 of the Botanic Garden Fall 07 issue of their newsletter.)

Anderson graduated with a degree in psychology with a neuroscience concentration, the same program as Powell, who majored in psychology with a physiological psychology concentration. Hall completed a degree in zoology.

Of course, the three women have different perspectives of their alma mater—vastly contrasting versions of the Smith experience depending on which era they attended.

Beth Powell  
Beth Powell '78

“My Mom tells stories about strict house rules and sneaking back into her house after curfew,” said Powell. “I remember that social-political issues were pretty low-key on campus in the 1970s. My daughter would describe a very different and complex social environment, given the diversity on campus.”

Being part of a Smith legacy does have its downside, said Powell.

“We don’t have any comparisons to other colleges,” she said. “Also, we [Powell and Hall] get a lot of mail both as alumnae and parents.”

Regardless of their contrasting social experience, the three graduates recall one aspect of Smith with agreed appreciation.

“The common thread is the excellent academic experience that we all shared,” said Powell, “and how much we appreciated our professors.”

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