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born 1796

As the last in her line, Sophia Smith faced a major decision ~ what to do with her family's fortune. She did not take the task lightly. For 9 years, Sophia fought through isolation and doubt to forge a vision of how her money could make the most impact. 

Ultimately, her legacy would go to found a women's college that grew to be a thriving, world-class institution. Smith College still stands as a confirmation of Sophia's belief in higher education as a means to advance women's opportunities + influence. It's also a testament to the guiding principle of her giving ~ "Charity proceeds from the heart."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Sophia Smith (10)

"I stand alone to buffet the storms of life."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | october 1861

"The greater the flattery the more selfish the ends."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | march 1862

"O may I be ready with lamps trimmed and burning."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | february 1864

"Goodness has more weight than talents."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | may 1866

"Giving without love is nothing . . . Charity proceeds from the heart."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | may 1866

"May I have the gift of Charity and give liberally as my means and duty demand of me."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | june 1866

"Jesus Christ pleased not himself."

Sophia Smith's Journal, 1861-1870 | june 1866

"[B]y the higher and more thoroughly Christian education of women...as teachers, as writers, as mothers, as members of society, their power for good will be incalculably enlarged."

A Codicil for a Woman's College | march 1868

"It is my wish that the Institution be so conducted that during all coming time it shall do the most good to the greatest number. I would have it a perennial blessing to the country & the world."

A Codicil for a Woman's College | march 1868

"It is not my design to render my sex any the less feminine, but to develop as fully as may be the powers of womanhood & furnish women with means of usefulness, happiness, & honor now withheld from them."

A Codicil for a Woman's College | march 1868
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Sophia Smith

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {september 2014}