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News & Events for the Smith College Community
News of Note April 8, 2021

Smith Announces Commencement Plans

Family and Friends Are Invited to Join Celebration Online

Detail shot of the top of the Grecourt Gates with spring flowers

Smith College has announced that all graduating students will be invited to campus for an in-person commencement ceremony Sunday, May 30.

Families and friends will be invited to join the celebration online.

The announcement comes at a time when COVID restrictions in Massachusetts are being loosened, but not completely lifted.

In making the announcement, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney said, “While this year’s commencement ceremony will look somewhat different—requiring pre-testing, masking and physical distancing—it will be no less joyous or memorable.”

McCartney also praised the graduating students for persevering through a challenging time “with resilience and adaptability. I am committed to fully honoring your accomplishments, as safely as possible,” she wrote. “Together, we will make this event a celebration worthy of all that you have achieved.”

Some 598 undergraduate students and 36 graduate students are expected to receive degrees at Smith’s commencement this year.

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo will deliver Smith’s commencement address. Honorary degrees will be awarded to Harjo and to Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Foundation; Joanne Campbell, affordable housing advocate and longtime executive director of Valley Community Development in Northampton; and award-winning singer and actor Audra McDonald.

Honorary degrees also will be awarded to five individuals who had been scheduled to receive them in 2020: Northampton educator Gwen Agna; diplomat and climate change activist Christiana Figueres; advocate for immigrants Cristina Jiménez; pastor and educator the Rev. Gloria Elaine White-Hammond, M.D.; and author Hanya Yanagihara ’95.

Details about Smith’s May 30 commencement will be announced in the coming weeks on Smith’s commencement webpage.