An Open Letter to the Smith Community

An Open Letter to the Smith Community

An Open Letter to the Smith Community

February 24, 2012

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Like many of you, I was shocked and dismayed by the recent letter to the Sophian by an alumna from the Class of 1984, and I have been buoyed and impressed by the logic, eloquence, and passion of the responses of the Smith community. It is my cardinal belief that diversity strengthens education for all, and that the very core of Smith’s mission—its founding principle—is providing educational opportunity for those who have less access to it. That was Sophia Smith’s dream—that by founding a college for women, she could redress their wrongs, adjust their wages, and increase their influence in society.

The letter writer is ignorant about a number of issues. Admission to Smith is far more competitive now than it was in the 1980s, when the letter writer attended Smith. We now have the highest number of applicants and the lowest admit rate in our history. The most competitively admitted students at Smith are international students on financial aid; only 10 percent of applicants are admitted. The strongest and most consistent correlation with SAT scores is family income. Most students do submit scores and we, of course, submit them to all of the data-collecting organizations in which we participate, including U.S. News & World Report.

I am proud of the increase in the diversity of Smith over the past decade; we are all the richer for it.

Carol T. Christ


Note: please respect the original writer’s right to privacy. Those wishing to comment on the letter to the editor of the Sophian may do so by writing their own letter to the editor or through the SGA Diversity Committee at