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History & Traditions

Explore History and Tradition

Smith College began more than 140 years ago in the mind and conscience of a New England woman. The money used to buy the first land (which was on what had been the ancestral homelands of the Nonotuck peoples), construct the first buildings and begin the endowment was the bequest of Sophia Smith. When she inherited a large fortune at age 65, Sophia Smith decided, after much deliberation and advice, that leaving her inheritance to found a women’s college was the best way “to furnish for my own sex means and facilities for education equal to those which are afforded now in our colleges to young men.”