The nearly $400,000 that Sophia Smith devised at her death in 1870 to establish a college for women was a history-making bequest: the first founding of a women's college by a woman. Since its inception, near the end of the nineteenth century, Smith College has hailed Sophia Smith as founder, yet the story of her vision remains shrouded in mystery. Parts of that story have been documented as fact; others are merely speculation. Sophia has been called far-sighted, wise and determined by many -- as well as lonely, timid, melancholy, and even odd. While some pieces of the puzzle have been lost, perhaps the Smith students of today -- and tomorrow -- can help complete the picture.
"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 and the world."
-- From the Last Will and Testament of Miss Sophia Smith, 1870