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After 50 Years, A Return to Tradition for Commencement

For the first time in 50 years, since President Benjamin F. Wright presided over Smith’s graduation exercises, the college will return to the traditional morning opening for its 128th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, 2006.

As it did from its first Commencement in 1879, through the 76th in 1955, Smith will begin Commencement this year at 10 a.m. The location in the Quadrangle (Indoor Track and Tennis facility in case of rain) will not change.

In addition to a return to tradition, the morning start time is expected to facilitate travel arrangements, both for people arriving in town the day before the ceremony, and leaving afterward.

At the request of President Carol T. Christ, a subgroup of the Commencement Planning Committee met this past summer to discuss implementation of the Commencement time change. As a result, the senior brunch, which traditionally preceded Commencement, will become a lunch for seniors and their families following the ceremony and subsequent diploma circle. Also, graduating students will begin to assemble on Mandelle Road for the processional at 9:15 a.m. on May 21.

Most other traditions around Commencement weekend will remain intact, though the Alumnae Multifaith Service of Remembrance will move to Saturday morning, immediately following Ivy Day ceremonies. Sunday brunches for alumnae classes will no longer be held.

Smith graduates and those planning to attend Commencement 2006 should make plans according to the time change.


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