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On Sunday, May 18, for the 130th time in its history, Smith College will award diplomas to a graduating class. This year, an alumna will present the commencement address to 774 students headed out into the world. To highlight the rich variety of campus happenings throughout commencement and reunion weekend, we present a special edition of The Gate.

The Garb of Graduation

Though the customary costume of graduation—a polyester gown, a decorative hood and a square cap called a mortarboard—holds exalted status for one important day in the life of the wearer, most who have donned them are hard-pressed to remember what becomes of them afterward, reports Kristin Palpini in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 15. Janine Olthuis ’08, however, will wear a gown this Sunday that has been passed from one graduating Smithie to another since Commencement 2005. Afterward, she will hand it down to another future Smith graduate.

Three Women From the Class of ’08
Refusing to Fail
Despite her disjointed upbringing, Allison Bellew defied odds.

Two Passions
After graduation, Theanne Griffith will indulge her two loves.

  Smith Via Katrina
After the hurricane, Anna Walton came to Smith.

President Christ Addresses Seniors

President Christ delivered remarks to the Class of 2008 during the Baccalaureate service held in Helen Hills Hills Chapel on May 15. The service, an annual tradition during commencement weekend, gives seniors an opportunity to pause, reflect on and rejoice in their accomplishments.

Class of 2008, By the Numbers

At commencement time, those on campus who are involved in the event deal with a lot of numbers. To provide some perspective, here is a rundown of notable numbers pertaining to the class on the verge of graduation. And in addition, here's a look at other numbers surrounding commencement and reunion weekend 2008.

Graduates: Start Planning Now

To assist graduates' transition out of the Smith bubble into today's limping economy, Randy Bartlett (pictured), economics, offers financial advice on jobs, debt management, housing and investing—issues new graduates will soon face. View a video excerpt of his recent WFI lecture.

Celebrations, Now 25, to Perform

The Celebrations Dance Company, a student-run organization that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, will perform a concert featuring a rendition of children's author Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 15 to 17.

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Many commencement traditions have been around for more than a century.

Soccer team captain Janine Olthuis ’08 won an NCAA scholarship for graduate school.

Coming Soon

See what's happening commencement weekend. View the complete schedule.

Everything alumnae need to know about reunion 2008

Information about dining during commencement weekend.

Members of the Class of 2008, such as Abby Reilly, tell about themselves.