Smithie of the Month: Amanda Mott

Amanda Mott

Amanda Mott, Class of 1985

How long have you lived in Philadelphia? Since 1991.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? Do I have to pick one? Love the choices we have a great restaurant scene – love oysters at Pennsylvania 6, Tria and Mr. Martino’s Trattoria to name a few.

What are you up to now? I work at the University of Pennsylvania as the Associate Director for News. I have just started working on a master’s part time and I enjoy reading and spending time gardening in Waverly Community Garden.

What house did you live in on campus and what was your favorite thing about it? Morris House – the friends I made there are life long. It was great being on Green Street and close to Paradise Pond. The fact that it was a medium in size meant we had a nice mix of students from all years.

Why did you choose Smith?  A family friend Nancy Leslie recommended it she taught at Spellman College in Georgia where I lived and her daughter was a freshman at Mount Holyoke. My parents were British and had not gone through the U.S. college search process. I loved the idea of college in New England.

What is your favorite Smith tradition and why?  Loved Friday teas and Art History 100. That routine of taking time to gather in that slightly formal, informal way and sit and talk was kind of funny but also wonderful. A year of art history and looking at art and architecture from all over the world was like a grand tour. On those occasions when I am fortunate to see the works we studied in person – brings those lessons to life.

Who was your favorite professor/what was your best class? I took Letterpress with Elliot Offner in my junior year – love of it has stayed with me. The satisfaction of working to set moveable type, watch as the words take shape on the page and feel the impression the type has made on the paper is amazing.

Do you have a defining/favorite/most memorable/transformative Smith moment? I think it was when I finally realized there were no requirements and signed up for Dance History. It was freeing. My first semester I basically created requirements for myself English 101, History 101, Calculus . . .what was I thinking? When I began to explore what I wanted, it opened up a new world of possibilities.

What makes a Smithie unique? She is empowered to be outspoken and a good listener.

How did your Smith experience shape your life? Hard to sum up. I could not have gone to Smith without the financial aid I received and I’m forever grateful for the experiences, discoveries and doors opened as a result. I reconnected with Smith in a meaningful way six years ago when I joined the Smith Alumnae Chorus. Since then I have traveled with them in concert to Sicily and to the Baltic. It has been a true gift to be able to connect to generations of Smith singers, make new friends and to experience the astonishing
talent of Jonathan Hirsh, senior lecturer and director of choral and orchestral activities at Smith.

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