Harry de Forest Smith

For students of Greek in their senior year of high school, who have applied to Amherst College, the Department of Classics offers a first-year scholarship to be awarded on the basis of a competitive examination. The examination is drawn up and scored by the Department of Classics. The name of the candidate who stands first in the examination is submitted to the Office of Admission on or before April 1.

  • An announcement of the award will be made when the successful competitor is notified of admission to Amherst College (before April 15). The holder of the scholarship will be required to take one of the regular Greek courses offered during the first year at Amherst.
  • An email announcing the details of the examination will be sent to schools with ancient Greek programs in late November. For High School Seniors: If you have applied to Amherst College and are interested in taking this examination, please advise the teacher of Greek in your school or contact the Department of Classics, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002-5000 (classics@amherst.edu), providing both the name of your school and your teacher of Greek, who will set the place and time for the examination to be held on a designated Friday in early February at each of the schools where there is/are one or more candidate/s for the scholarship. For Teachers of Greek: Please bring this scholarship to the attention of qualified seniors who have applied to Amherst College. Please also contact the Department of Classics at Amherst College in order to add your email address to our current list of schools.
  • The examination, two hours in length, is open to seniors who are in at least their second year of Greek. It will consist of a choice of two translations out of three and a brief essay on a topic connected with the study of Greek.
  • The winner will hold the scholarship title for as long as he or she takes courses in Greek at Amherst College. We look forward to additional winners each year. 

About Harry de Forest Smith

 GreekLetterPrintingHarry de Forest Smith was born on January 22, 1869. He graduated from Bowdoin in 1891 and received his MA from Harvard in 1896. He studied at the University of Berlin in 1896-97 and taught a year at the University of Pennsylvania and a year at Bowdoin before coming to Amherst as associate professor of Greek in 1901. In 1903 he was appointed full professor. In 1935 he was also appointed director of Converse Memorial Library, which position he held until his retirement in 1939. He died on February 28, 1943. The scholarship that we offer in his name was given by alumni and friends of Harry de Forest Smith in the early 1940s, "to provide a fitting recognition of Professor Smith's services to the College and to encourage able students to continue the study of Greek at Amherst. Professor Smith has himself often spoken of the value of similar prizes offered in the English universities."

The Rare Books Room of Frost Library owns a collection of Greek letter printing, which Professor Harry de Forest Smith presented upon his retirement in 1939. It is a broad representation of the various styles of Greek letter printing.

Tags:  classics  scholarship  Greek