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August 13, 2007

Fifth-generation Smith College student in Class of 2011

New students entering this fall include 668 first-years, 57 Ada Comstock Scholars and 70 transfers.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.— When the class of first-year students arrives at Smith College later this month, it will include a young woman who follows the path of eight ancestors stretching back to the school’s earliest days.

It is no surprise that Chelsea Andrews, of Mattituck, N.Y., heard about Smith at an early age given the fact that four generations of women in her family have attended.

“I couldn’t help wonder how many of my family members had walked exactly where I was walking when I was taking the campus tour,” said Andrews. “It’s a feeling I really can’t describe.”

First in her family, Class of 1898 member Mary (Ballard) Halligan, is Andrews’ great-great-grandmother. Halligan was one of 346 women who enrolled in that class, which was about half the size of Andrews’ entering class of 668.

With assistance from College Archives, Andrews confirmed the Smith connection for seven relatives, that she knew of, and uncovered an eighth connection. They include three women named Myra and the rest named Mary, Helen, Eileen, Sarah and Elizabeth. Only two of the eight are still alive.

“Legacies” like Andrews – meaning students who have a relative who attended the college – make up 11 percent of the Class of 2011.

Although statistics cannot describe the vibrant, intelligent and talented women who are about to enter Smith, here are a few numbers that provide a glimpse of the incoming first-year students:

  • Smith received 3,329 applications for the Class of 2011.
  • Twenty-eight percent of the class identifies as a student of color. The ethnic breakdown: 14 percent Asian American; 7 percent African American; 5 percent Latina; 1 percent Native American; and 1 percent multiracial.
  • Of the students whose high schools report class rank, 63 percent are in the top 10 percent of their classes.
  • The top five areas of study in which they indicate interest are English language and literature, biological sciences, pre-med, psychology and engineering.
  • U.S. students hail from 44 states and Guam. The top five states of origin are Massachusetts, New York, California, Connecticut and New Jersey.
  • International students represent 26 countries and make up about 6 percent of the first-year class. China is the top country of origin, followed by Korea and India, each with the same number.

In addition to those new undergraduates, 57 Ada Comstock Scholars — or students of nontraditional age — selected from 242 applicants, and 70 transfer students, selected from 310 applicants, will increase the size of the entering class to 795.

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. By linking the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, Smith is developing leaders for society’s challenges.  Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country, enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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