The Connection Between Academic Excellence and Diversity

A week ago, Anne Spurzem, a Smith College alumna, sent a letter to the school’s newspaper, The Sophian, assering that the institution’s diversity efforts had resulted in a lowering of its standards. Smith College students and alumnae responded to the letter by creating a Tumblr blog entitled “Pearls and Cashmere” where they share their stories, which are touching, heart warming, and inspiring. Inside Higher Education says it best:

“Their stories stress that strong academics and diversity are by no means incompatible. . . . The letter that set off the fracas said that Smith attracts lesbians, low-income students and those who can’t get into the Ivies. But the women who tell their stories on the blog — white and minority, lesbian and straight — talk about what they gained from enrolling at Smith, and at a more diverse Smith.”

I cannot think of a better way to kick start Women’s History Month. Way to go, Smithies!

To read “Smith Women Redefine ‘Pearls and Cashmere'” in Inside Higher Education, click here.

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