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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.

Senior Class Commencement Address 2020

Toula Sierros ’20, Senior Class President

Toula Sierros


Watch on Facebook: Toula Sierros’ remarks start at 32:04

I would like to begin my speech with a moment of silence for the loved ones we have lost during the coronavirus pandemic, including a dear member of our own student body, Kristy Shi.

Thank you. We are all being tested right now in unique ways. For me, it has proven to be incredibly difficult to be separated from the place I called home and the people who I am typically able to lean on.

To my virtual class of 2020, congratulations. We finally did it. This day, virtual or not, seemed so distant to us while we were chanting “seniors” in JMG during Convocation back in September. And even at our 100 days celebration, I remember thinking that 100 days was a pretty substantial amount of days to prepare for our departure, feeling like we had all the time in the world. But looking back, about two months into isolating from one another, those memories feel like they were only yesterday.

As we prepare to embark on this new journey, I want to reflect upon my life-changing decision to choose Smith, four long years ago. While I initially was opposed to attending college in my hometown, I couldn’t help but notice the sense of community that seems to radiate from this school. My overnight visit exposed me to incredible, inspiring people and I realized, at 17 years old, that this is not only the type of community I wanted to be part of, but the type of person I wanted to grow towards. I picked Smith for the community, but quickly grew to realize that it was so much more than that; it was a family. And the thing that I will miss most about Smith is all of you.

Throughout these four years, I have been exposed to the most resilient, motivated and inspiring community I could have ever dreamed to be part of. My experience being surrounded by Smithies has motivated me to challenge the status quo, to think outside of the box and to strive to become the best version of myself. Smithies have never failed to demonstrate perseverance, even in times of such tribulation such as these. I am so proud to call myself a member of this community.

As we enter this uncertain period of time filled with fear and changes we never expected, I am comforted knowing that Smith doesn’t end here. While we are ending our undergraduate careers at Smith, we enter into the alumnae network and will continue through our new paths as graduates, but still always Smithies.

Congratulations, and thank you.