Commencement

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Only at Smith—The Diploma Circle

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.

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2012 Student Address: Caitlyn Kirby

"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.

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2012 Commencement Speaker: Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning Actress Jane Lynch

Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actress Jane Lynch was the speaker at Smith College’s 134th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Link to text of the speech

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2011 Commencement Address

“You, lucky you, are here to fly the aircraft, write the songs, dive the subs, find the cures, run the companies, lead this country, lead this world to a better, more prosperous future for all of life on earth — ourselves, very much included.” Sylvia Earle, the undersea explorer dubbed a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, was the speaker at Smith College’s 133rd commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Read the text of the address >

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2011 Commencement Student Address

“Smith has exposed us to everything it has to offer, and there are no words to express how much Smith has changed our lives. Only by making an impact on the world can we show Smith its impact on us.” Ketura’h Edwards, president of the Class of 2011, delivered the student speech at Smith College’s 133rd commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15.

Read the text of the address >