Skip Navigation

Responding to Hateful and Antisemitic Symbols Discovered at Smith College

October 25, 2019

Last night, Campus Police responded to multiple reports of swastikas drawn in marker on the walls of three of our academic buildings: Seelye, Bass and Burton halls. In a letter to campus last night, we condemned this act of hatred and cowardice. As of this morning, eight swastikas have been discovered and removed.

In the hours following the discovery of these hateful symbols, there has been an outpouring of support from alumnae around the world. One alumna said, “Smith College is my home.... Alums need support for this too.” Another wrote to tell us, “I am thinking of you and all who are dealing with this heinous act at our alma mater, a place we love and cherish and a place where we hope this kind of hate would not exist.”

As is always the case in times like these, alumnae and parents want to know what they can do to help. On campus, we are responding through a community gathering this afternoon, through outreach to and support for the Jewish community and through an active investigation in coordination with local law enforcement.

For those of you who want to take action, we ask you to be what you have always been--a community that stands for and with each other. Send a message to fellow Smithies that hate has no place at Smith by either replying to this email or using the hashtag #SmithRejectsHate on social media so that we can amplify your messages. If you’d like to send a message directly to the Jewish community, please contact Matilda Cantwell, director of religious & spiritual life and college chaplain, at

We will not let this incident define us. Let us stand together now more than ever.

In solidarity,

Kathleen McCartney

Denise Wingate Materre ’74
Vice President for Alumnae Relations

Beth Raffeld
Senior Vice President for Alumnae Relations and Development