Professor of Chemistry Kate Queeney opened the 2012-13 academic year with a convocation address met by cheers and foot stomping from students who filled John M. Greene Hall on September 5. “Every year at this time, as you all suddenly converge on campus, I am struck by how much I’ve missed you,” she told the audience. The traditional academic event is not a staid occasion at Smith. Students often attend dressed in celebratory garb. Referencing the student attire, Queeney quipped, “Look left. Look right. Don’t wear that to an interview.”
For women living in the 1830s, or for Elizabeth Tyra '14 this summer, preparing wool yarn with which to make clothing was and is a complicated, multi-step process taking several days of carding, spinning, washing, dying, and drying. Tyra and Cynthia Brown '13J experienced first-hand the life of early 19th-century New England villagers as Praxis interns at Old Sturbridge Village, where they portrayed characters for visitors to the living history museum.
Ten female Iraqi undergraduates from the College of Science for Women at the University of Baghdad gained exposure to science and engineering education and equipment not readily available to women in their home country when they spent the month of July 2012 at Smith College as participants in an intensive academic program.
More than 50 graduates of Smith’s “foreign legion”—that is, international students who came to Smith for the one-year American Studies Diploma Program (DIPL)—traveled to campus to celebrate the program’s fiftieth anniversary during All-Reunion weekend and to reminisce about what Smith meant—and continues to mean—in their lives.
Every year, following commencement, new Smith graduates march up to the courtyard of King and Scales houses and form concentric circles, passing diplomas around in an annual ritual called the Diploma Circle. It's not only a tradition; it's a necessity. While Smith graduates process with their houses, the diplomas they receive have been sorted alphabetically for the entire class. So most students will not be handed their own diploma.
Since 1911, the Diploma Circle, typically a 15-minute process, is where each graduate receives her own diploma.
"Good morning ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between."
Caitlyn Kirby, president of the Class of 2012, delivered the student speech at Smith College’s 134th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20.