Nellie "Nelly" Schargo Hoyt Papers
Nellie "Nelly" Schargo Hoyt was born January 15th, 1920, in Nicolaeff, Russia. Her parents, Simon and Vera (Rivkind) Schargo were both educated people. Her father attended Leningrad University and her mother attended St. Olga University in Kiev. Hoyt was born in the aftermath of WWI and the Russian Revolution, both of which left Russia devastated for many years. In 1922, her father made some criticisms of the local government, angered government officials, and ultimately moved his family to Berlin.
Hoyt lived in Berlin for several years, and then moved to France, for her secondary education. In Paris, she attended high school, danced with les Ballets de Jeunesse, and studied anthropology at the University of Paris. During the beginning of WWII, she worked at the Musee de l'Homme. She and her parents fled France to escape the horrors of WWII, and arrived in Staten Island, New York. In 1941, after two years at the University of Paris, Hoyt was offered the Harriet Boyd Hawes Scholarship, and attended Smith College, graduating magna cum laude in 1943.
Upon graduating from Smith College, Hoyt attended Columbia University where she was a University Fellow. She earned her MA in History in 1944, and her Ph D in 1946. During this time, she worked with such people as Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead. After graduation, Hoyt stayed in New York City where she worked as a reference analyst for the United States mission to the United Nations. While she was in New York, she met Nathaniel Deming Hoyt, a professor of education at Columbia University. They were married September 7th, 1946. They had a daughter, Susan, in 1948, and their son, Victor was born in 1958.
During a 1949 trip to Northampton to show her husband the area, Hoyt was offered a one year teaching position in the History Department of Smith College, and thus started her 40+ year career. Hoyt was an instructor in history until 1955, an assistant professor until 1960, and an associate professor until 1964, when she was made a full professor. In 1974, Hoyt was named Achilles Professor. As a professor, Hoyt enjoyed combining various fields of study for classes and Alumnae College, which she was in charge of for several years. Some of the courses she taught at Smith included "History, Historians, and Meaning in History," "Time in Space," "Intellectual History of Europe in the 18th Century," and "The Encyclopedie and the Enlightenment." She served as the chairperson of the history department between the 1977/78 and 1978/79 academic years. Hoyt was presented with the Faculty Teaching Award at Rally Day in 1989. She retired from Smith in 1990.
Nellie "Nelly" Schargo Hoyt's publications include History in the Encyclopedia, Methode et Interpretation de l'Histoire, The Family in the French Civil Code, and The Image of the Leader in Soviet Folklore.