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Not Your Typical Rally Day

Caitlin Scranton ’05 will perform a solo ballet dance at Rally Day

This year’s Rally Day, on Wednesday, February 23, at 1:30 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage, will include a couple of wrinkles that distinguish it from those in years past. The theme for this year’s Rally Day and Banner Contest is “Smith Through the Years.”

Of course, as tradition dictates, the Rally Day convocation will honor five notable alumnae—this year from five different decades—who stand out for their professional achievements and public service (see related story). The 2005 Smith College Medalists are Candace McKee Ashmun ’46, environmentalist; Judith Levenson Clapp ’51, software engineer; Susan Low Bloch ’66, Constitutional law professor; Anne E. Kazak ’77, pediatric psychologist; and L. Stoner Winslett ’80, artistic director and choreographer.

Taking the place of the traditional keynote talk at this year’s Rally Day will be a panel discussion among the five medalists, in which they will respond to questions submitted by students following the presentation of the Smith College Medal. The panel will be moderated by President Carol T. Christ.

Also on the program is something the college has never done before at Rally Day: a choreographed ballet dance. Caitlin Scranton ’05, a dance major, will perform a solo dance on the Sweeney stage, with accompaniment by Deanna Joseph, soprano, and Grant Moss, harpsichord, performing Dido’s Lament, an aria by Henry David Purcell, choreographed by Rodger Blum.

The Smith College Glee Club will perform a jazzy tune called Operator, popularized by the Manhattan Transfer, under the direction of Jonathan Hirsh, with accompaniment on keyboard by Clifton J. Noble, Jr.

This year’s Banner Contest, a traditional and always colorful aspect of Rally Day in which each house creates an artistic banner based on the event theme, will also be slightly different from years past. The banners will be displayed in the Campus Center during the week before Rally Day, and judging of the winners will take place there. The two winning banners will then be on display in Sweeney Concert Hall during the convocation. As always, the winning houses, which will be announced at the convocation, will receive monetary awards.

The Rally Day Show, a vaunted Smith tradition that usually takes place on the evening of Rally Day, will be held this year the night before, on Tuesday, February 22, at 9 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall. And making its Rally Day Show debut will be the very popular band The Distractions, featuring Smith faculty members Floyd Cheung, English, Kevin Rozario, American studies, Steve Waksman, music, Michael Thurston, English, and Alexandra Keller, film studies.

Along with the slight changes in the Rally Day program will be the traditional presentations of the Junior and Senior Teaching Awards, voted on by students; the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award, also voted by students and given each year to outstanding members of Smith’s staff; and the Banner Contest awards.

Finally, one of the most honored Smith traditions will remain on the program: the collective singing of Gaudeamus Igitur to close the celebration.

A reception will follow the convocation in the Smith College Club.



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