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Honorary Degree Nominations

Presidential Letters 21-22

Published November 1, 2022

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty:

I am writing to invite members of the Smith community to submit nominations for honorary degree recipients, including our commencement speaker, at future commencements.

As a reminder, the process for selecting a commencement speaker is outlined here. Commencement speakers should meet Smith’s criteria for an honorary degree, defined as follows: “The college will consider women who are exemplars of excellence in a wide range of fields, both academic and non-academic. The college will also consider individuals who have had a special impact on Smith College, on the education of women, or on women’s lives.”

We encourage you to propose outstanding individuals in public service, the arts, education, the sciences, and other fields. As you think about nominees, please remember that highly visible personalities—heads of state and media celebrities, in particular—can be difficult to secure.

We accept nominations on a rolling basis. Please submit your nominations using the nomination form available online. Along with the name of a nominee, please include a short explanation of why you believe this individual is qualified to receive an honorary degree. Your nominations will be shared with the Honorary Degree Committee, whose members will review all nominations and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees. I serve as chair of the committee, which includes three students, three faculty members and three staff members.

Thank you for sharing your nominations with the Honorary Degree Committee.


Kathleen McCartney