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News Release

February 16, 2006


Honorary degrees will be awarded to four

Editor’s note: A photo of Jane Harman is available by e-mailing Marti Hobbes at

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—U.S. Representative Jane Lakes Harman, a leading Congressional expert on terrorism and security issues, will be the speaker at Smith College’s 128th commencement ceremony, at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 21.

Following Harman’s address in the Quadrangle at the corner of Paradise Road and Elm Street, four accomplished women will receive honorary degrees.

First elected to Congress in 1992, Harman is currently serving her fifth term as representative of the Southern California district that is home to the country’s leading defense contractors. An attorney and an elected official, Harman is a fierce advocate of fiscal responsibility and of opportunity for working families.

Harman’s involvement in the nation’s intelligence issues began before September 11, 2001, when she served on the National Commission on Terrorism. Following the terrorist attacks, she co-wrote a House report examining intelligence failures leading to that tragedy and served on the Committee on Homeland Security.

Harman is now the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Her security expertise has made her a frequent guest on national news programs including “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “Larry King Live,” “Nightline” and “Wolf Blitzer Reports.” She regularly contributes opinion pieces to the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.

Harman, Smith College Class of 1966, previously received an honorary degree from Smith.

The following women will receive honorary degrees May 21:

Jewel Plummer Cobb, scientist, educator and administrator

Cobb, president emerita of California State University at Fullerton and researcher of cell biology and cell physiology, began her teaching career in 1945 at New York University. Throughout her lifetime, she has held appointments at numerous institutions, and, at each, she promoted programs for the advancement of women and underrepresented minorities in science. In 1993, the National Academy of Sciences recognized Cobb for that work with a lifetime achievement award.

Paula Deitz, New York literary magazine editor

Deitz, a member of the Smith College Class of 1959, was an inspiration for the recent establishment of Smith’s program in landscape studies, which focuses on the evolving relationship between humans and natural and built environments. Hired as an associate editor of the quarterly magazine The Hudson Review in 1967, Deitz rose through the ranks to become editor in 1998. Published in New York City, the magazine provides a forum for the work of new writers and for the exploration of new developments in literature and the arts. It has published the work of such well-known writers as Thomas Mann, T.S. Eliot, e.e. Cummings, Eudora Welty and Dylan Thomas.

Ruth Ozeki, filmmaker and author

After graduating from Smith in 1980, Ozeki worked as an art director for low-budget horror movies before deciding to make her own films. Her work often explores her Japanese-American heritage. Ozeki won acclaim for her films “Body of Correspondence” and “Halving the Bones,” which have been shown at the Sundance Film Festival and on PBS. Her novel “My Year of Meats,” published in 1998, won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize.

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize winner, activist

A longtime activist, Williams shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the organization she helped found, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). Williams and the ICBL were instrumental in the passage of an international pact outlawing landmines. In presenting the prize, the Nobel chairman described Williams and her group as proving “that the impossible is possible.” Before the ICBL, Williams spent more than a decade building public awareness about U.S. policy toward Central America.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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