Smith College was founded in 1871 as an academically rigorous single-sex women’s college for young women who would have been qualified to attend the nation’s top universities had those schools admitted anyone but men. Since then, Smith has continued to be a top school, and has remained committed to its mission to help young women achieve success in life.
The Smith College Book Sale was begun in Baltimore in the late 1950s after the women of the local alumnae association decided to raise money for an endowed scholarship program. From the time of its inception in 1959 to the present, the annual Smith College Book Sale has raised enough money for a $1,000,000 endowment fund, which allows 2 to 3 Maryland-area women a year to attend Smith.
The centerpiece of this short documentary is the 2012 sale – held March 23-25 – and the challenges that the fund now faces in an era where fewer people read books. Will the sale survive another 54 years? Will it even survive another 5 years? While the film cannot answer these questions definitively, it can pay homage to the great work that has been done up till now.
This is the story of the women of the sale who work to help other women succeed.
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