In order to acknowledge the diversity of views held by the Smith College community — faculty, students, staff and alumnae — the Gate is collecting pieces published in response to Christine Lagarde’s withdrawal as the 2014 Commencement speaker.

Announcement Regarding the 2014 Commencement Speaker

In the wake of Lagarde’s withdrawal, President Kathleen McCartney wrote to the community May 12, announcing that former Smith president Ruth Simmons would step in to deliver the Commencement address.  More…

Economics Faculty Release Statement on Lagarde Withdrawal

Members of the college’s economics department issued a statement on May 13, saying “The withdrawal of Madame Lagarde as our commencement speaker represents a lost opportunity to hear directly from the leader of this influential global institution and to use that address as a valuable input into a well-informed, multi-faceted, and nuanced discourse on our campus about crucial issues facing the world.” More…

Faculty Members Express Disappointment in Lagarde Withdrawal

In response to the withdrawal of Christine Lagarde as the college’s Commencement speaker, a number of Smith faculty members released a statement in support of President Kathleen McCartney’s letter sent to students, faculty and staff noting that Lagarde cited student and faculty objections as the reason she withdrew. More…

Students Send Open Letter to President McCartney

A number of students issued an open letter to President Kathleen McCartney, saying “Smith’s administration consistently prioritizes the words of privileged white women over those of women of color.” (PDF)

President McCartney Responds to Open Letter

Opinions and Selected Media Coverage