Sophia SmithSophia Smith
America Philanthropist and Founder of Smith College
1796 – 1870 A.D.

Sophia Smith, an American philanthropist, founder of Smith College. She was born at Hatfield, Mass., and the greater part of her life was spent in retirement in her native town.

Having been early impressed with the need of women for opportunities for higher education, it was her privilege to establish the first woman’s college in New England by means of a fortune left by her brother, Austin Smith, in 1861.

Smith College was established in Northampton, Mass., in 1985, according to plans outlined by her. In her own words its object was to furnish women “means and facilities for education equal to those which are offered in our colleges for young men.”

At her death, she left for its foundation nearly $400,000, and also endowed a preparatory school for the college.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.