Seelye, Laurenus Clark

1904 photograph as (1st) President of Smith College

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1837-1924) 1st President of Smith College, 1873-1910. Descendent of 7 generations of Puritan families, graduated from Union College 1857. Began theological training at the Theological Seminary at Andover, completed in Berlin & Heidelberg. Pastor at North Congregational Church in Springfield, Mass. 1863, in 1865, accepted the Williston professorship of rhetoric, oratory, and English literature at Amherst College. In 1873, after 8 years at Amherst, he was invited to become the 1st president of the newly established Smith College. The college was chartered in 1871 by a bequest of Sophia Smith, who, at 65, inherited a fortune from her father. She decided that leaving her inheritance to found a women's college was the best way for her to fulfill the moral obligation (expressed in her will) “to furnish for my own sex means and facilities for education equal to those which are afforded now in our colleges to young men.” Seelye insisted on entrance requirements of equal difficulty with New England colleges for men and an equal level of achievement for the degree. There would be no preparatory school attached, where unprepared candidates might find a haven, for fear of the possible ill effects it might have on academic standards. Students were to live in small homelike groups, not in a large dormitory as at Vassar College or Mount Holyoke Seminary. Special attention was to be paid to art and music. Smith College opened its doors in 1875 with 14 students and 6 faculty and 25 years later, there were 1,133 students, assets having multiplied five times. In 1910, when he retired, students numbered 1,635, making Smith the largest women's educational institution.. The college's growth in endowment and facilities was due more to the care and skill of his management than to the generosity of outsiders. In 1923, he published “The Early History of Smith College”, and in 1925, his “Prayers of a College Year” was published posthumously. SP, 1904 copyright Ruth E. McClellan 6 ½ x 4 ½ bust portrait of Seelye in academic cap and gown, tipped on to 7 ½ x 5 ¼ heavy grey paper which is tipped on to slightly larger heavy brown paper.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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