Smith College gives big gifts to 2 non-profits

  • Smith College students cross the central campus in Northampton. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer 
Published: 10/10/2019 11:39:51 PM
Modified: 10/10/2019 11:39:40 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Two city organizations recently received donations from Smith College. The school gave $50,000 to both the Northampton Education Foundation and the Northampton Community Arts Trust.

On Thursday, Smith College gave NEF the funding, which will go to its current endowment campaign, an effort to raise $1 million by the end of the year. NEF is an education nonprofit that funds projects in the city’s public schools. It has supported initiatives including a mobile pottery studio in R.K. Finn Ryan Road School, an after-school science group at JFK Middle School, and the purchase of books that talk about race, culture, and diversity in the elementary school libraries. The campaign, publicly announced last year, has raised more than $700,000 in donations and pledges for the endowment, according to the nonprofit. It would allow the group to permanently offer large, multi-year grants to Northampton schools. 

“Today’s gift says a great deal about Smith’s commitment and generosity to Northampton and to supporting public education,” NEF endowment campaign chair Martin Wohl said in a statement.

In late September, the college donated $50,000 to the Community Arts Trust for construction on its building at 33 Hawley Street. The building, which houses studios and performance spaces, is nearing completion with work still needed on the black box theater, a visual arts gallery and administrative offices, according to the organization.  Several years ago, Smith gave the organization $100,000 for construction. “Smith is an important part of our community and we are deeply grateful for the college’s continued support of this exciting project,” the trust’s president Kathy Couch said in a statement. The group will continue to money to finish the project. 

Greta Jochem can be reached at

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