Lily Samuels. Class of 2011. Fairfield County.
Try as I might, I can’t bring myself to give a recap of my resume. I will email it to Ms. Spurzem, should she request a copy. Suffice it to say, it impressed Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. And it has impressed nearly a dozen potential employers as I near the completion of my Masters in Human Rights Studies and seek a job in Manhattan. No doubt Ms. Spurzem would also deign to tip her hat, so that’s not the point of this exercise. Smith College has produced another woman of distinction. No surprise there.
The point is that I would be remiss if I failed to jump to the defense of the college that was my birthplace - in every sense of the word but for the physical. It’s just one of those things. Reading a letter like that is like hearing your father insulted or your best friend maligned. For me, it violated everything I hold sacred as a woman, as an activist, as a decent human being. It was violent, and Smith raises up brave women who shut violence down.
I have nothing else to add to this discussion - everyone else has put it so beautifully already - except to say that I am going to worship at the altar of this college for the rest of my life, freely and with great love. Because of Smith, I carry with me the dual hope and challenge of living a lifetime spent envisioning and creating and advocating for a world where my daughters and sons won’t have to be worried about cruel social boxes made of cashmere and pearls.
And if proof of my gratitude comes in the form of an annual donation to the Smith Fund, consider the check written and signed with a confident flourish that even Anne Spurzem could be proud of.