All-Female Smith College OKs Transgender Students
College says 'concepts of female identity have evolved'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 4, 2015 6:00 AM CDT
Smith College’s Botanic Garden in Northampton, Mass. A heron sculpture graces a small pond in the foreground, with the white Lyman Conservatory, a Victorian-era greenhouse, reflected in the water.   (AP Photo/Smith College)

(Newser) – Smith College, the largest of the all-female Seven Sisters schools, is changing its policy to accept transgender women. The new policy, which takes effect for those applying this fall, followed a year of study. The women's college had previously asked undergraduates to have consistently identified as female since birth. Smith President Kathleen McCartney and board Chair Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard said in announcing the change on Saturday that since Smith's founding, "concepts of female identity have evolved."

Smith will not admit students who were born female but identify as male. Other women's colleges, including Mount Holyoke and Wellesley, also have changed their policies to admit transgender women. The advocacy group GLAAD said it worked with Smith alumnae for the change. GLAAD President and CEO Kate Ellis said Smith joins a growing number of colleges that "respect and afford equal opportunity to all women."

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