Smithie of The Month

Vita Reid - Smith College 1991

Name:  Delvita (Vita) Reid

Class Year:   AC 1993

Age:  55

Where have you lived?

I was born in Philadelphia, and was raised to adolescence in Lake Wales, Florida and Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania. At age 12, I returned to Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls. I resided in University City for several years prior to moving lock, stock and barrel to Massachusetts to attend Smith in 1990. Shortly after graduation, I lived in San Francisco, CA with another Smithie, the Head Resident of Lawrence House during my senior year.  I have lived in Philadelphia continuously since 1998.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

My favorite restaurant hands down is La Croix at the Rittenhouse Hotel. Aside from having the most scrumptious Best of Philadelphia Sunday Brunch in town, their impeccable service is second to none.

What are you up to now?

I currently reside in the South Street/Head House District. I have two professions: (1) voiceover talent; and (2) litigation and estates administration paralegal. I am also an avid bridge player, and hope to win a world medal in a mixed-pairs event in ten years. I would like to attend law school and practice wills, trusts and estates law for high-net-worth clientele. I will be taking the LSAT in February 2015. My goal is to establish a nonprofit organization to educate people about the importance of drafting a will, to assist in the formulation of an estate plan, and to administer estates for low-income executors and testators.

What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it?

Although I lived in Lawrence House during my senior year, Cutter House was by far my favorite domicile. I really enjoyed myself, as I made it a point to savor every moment of academic life. I made numerous friends in Cutter House, and we have kept in contact with each other to this day. Here I am surrounded by my Cutter House chums:

Smith College - Vita Reid with Cutter House FriendsPhoto courtesy of Kathie Giltinan, AC 1993.

Why did you choose Smith?

When I know I’m about to push beyond my comfort zone, I do everything I can to avoid self-sabotage. I wanted to make sure I did not talk myself out of applying to college. So I applied to Smith early decision. I chose Smith because I always set the bar high when establishing a goal, which forces me to reach for its attainment. Besides, I’m 5’10” tall, and I have very long arms!

What is your favorite Smith tradition and why?

Afternoon tea! I just loved sticking out my pinkie, sipping tea from those lovely tea cups, and enjoying those delicious desserts. I so looked forward to Fridays to decompress for a short while from the rigors of academia. I also loved volunteering on Ivy Day:


Smith Collge - Vita Reid at Ivy Day

How did your Smith experience shape your life?

My first semester was fraught with fear and doubt. I spent the first several weeks in Spanish class thinking to myself, “I don’t understand a word my professor is saying. I’m not going to make it.” I was terrified. There I was a 31-year-old woman, among all those young people. “What on earth was I thinking when I applied to this school?!” “Have you lost your mind?!?”

Then all of a sudden uncertainty melted away triumphantly and everything started to fall in place like a stack of strategically-positioned dominos: (1) I got A’s on my Spanish compositions; (2) so many of my professors enjoyed reading my papers, including Professor Randy Frost who wrote, “Excellent Paper!  The best I have seen in some time.”; (3) I was asked by Jim Henle and David Cohen to serve as undergraduate assistant for Intensive Calculus and Discrete Mathematics for two semesters; (4) One of my professors recommended that I be a peer writing tutor; and; (5) I made the Dean’s List. I not only graduated, … I excelled!

I came to the realization that if I can excel at Smith College, then I can do anything. So each year I make a commitment to push the envelope and do something I’ve never done before, no matter how big or small: (a) I’ve flown a plane over the Oregon Wilderness; (b) I flew to Milan, Italy alone and spent 21 days traveling throughout Italy (I did that on a dare); (c) I became a voiceover talent; and (d) I crocheted a baby blanket.  There is so much to look forward to in this life, and I plan to do as much as I possibly can for as long as I possibly can.  Smith College has graced me with an indomitable spirit, and for that I am eternally grateful.

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