J. Somers Smith
J. Somers Smith, Sigma, 1887, Phi Alpha 1916-1917
J. Somers “Jas” Smith, Sigma, 1887, came from a family with deep roots in the University of Pennsylvania, Zeta Psi and The Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insuring of Houses from Loss by Fire, America’s oldest property insurance company which was founded in 1752.
Brother Smith served as Secretary and Treasurer of The Philadelphia Contributionship (which was established by Benjamin Franklin in 1752) from 1894 to 1941. He also served as treasurer of the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Association and was a director of the University’s General Alumni Society.
His father, J.S. Smith, served as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania from 1831 to 1861. Brother Smith’s two sons, James Somers Smith, Jr., and Cooper, were also Sigma Zetes.
J. Somers Smith was also very involved in the fund-raising for a gymnasium at Franklin
Field and fund raising to open a University of Pennsylvania alumni club in New York
Brother Smith was a devoted member of Lodge 51 in the Masonic Fraternity and “he
won himself Masonic recognition to an extent comparable with the distinction he
attained in Zeta Psi.”
He was also an active member of the Philadelphia Association of Zeta Psi and “his
influence over the active members of his own chapter was always wholesome and
inspiring.” (Zeta Psi of North America Double Diamond Jubilee, 1997).