An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

William Smith College

William Smith, a nurseryman in Geneva, New York, wanted to establish a college for women in Geneva. Though his family were members of the Episcopal Church, Smith had moved towards spiritualism. President Langdon Cheves Stewardson of Hobart College, Geneva, suggested to Smith a women's college. The new college was to be associated with Hobart, sharing equipment and staff. The deed for the land for the new school was signed on Dec. 13, 1906. Hobart's trustees feared the outrage of students and alumni if their college became co-educational. Separate classes for men and women were held, often in the same building, but not on the Hobart campus. The Hobart campus was off-limits for women, but they were permitted to use the library and chapel. Women had to walk on public sidewalks and not on campus paths. William Smith College opened in 1908. Smith died, at the age of ninety-four, just before the first graduation in 1912. See Hobart College, Geneva, New York.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.