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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Events May 4, 2022

Congratulations, Seniors! Commencement is May 15

student in a hijab with her family at commencement

When asked what defines this year’s graduating seniors, Charlotte Cox ’22 describes her Smith class as “a bridge between the way things used to be pre-COVID and the current moment.”

“I think we’ve all shown incredible resilience in the face of a lot of loss,” says Cox, who will graduate with a degree in government. “We’ve worked really hard to keep all of our favorite Smith traditions alive.”

Cox is one of some 651 students who will receive their degrees at Smith’s 144th Commencement on Sunday, May 15. The ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Quadrangle, is the first fully in-person graduation since the start of the pandemic.

The class of 2022 includes students from 44 states and 30 countries. The college will award degrees this year to some 600 undergraduates and 51 graduate students.

Beverly Daniel TatumEducation leader and author Beverly Daniel Tatum—who will serve as interim president of Mount Holyoke College beginning in July—will give the 2022 Commencement Address.

The college will award honorary degrees to Tatum and four other outstanding leaders: disability rights advocate Judith E. Heumann; violinist Midori; Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson; and activist Marianne Winters.

Outdoor barbeques, concerts, academic open houses and a candle-lighting ceremony for graduates are among the many events planned for Commencement Weekend.

In addition, Smith alums from around the country and the globe will be on campus for first Reunion Weekend. The college also will host a second reunion weekend May 19-22.

Hanna Platter ’22 says she is especially looking forward to the Ivy Day parade with alums on Saturday, May 14.

“That’s an event that has been associated with graduation since I was a first year,” says Platter, an engineering major who will be working in renewable energy modeling in San Francisco. “I'm excited to finally get to experience it and have a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of my peers.”

An up-to-date Commencement schedule is available online. Highlights of this year’s celebrations include:

Friday, May 13

  • State of the College address by President Kathleen McCartney, 10:30 a.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall.

Saturday, May 14

  • Ivy Day Alumnae Parade assembling at 8:45 a.m. on Chapin Drive between the Campus Center and College Lane.
  • Conversation and Q&A With Honorary Degree Recipients, 3 p.m. in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts. President McCartney will moderate the panel.
  • Illumination Night, 8:30 p.m., Upper Campus. (Rain location: Campus Center).

Sunday, May 15

  • Seniors will assemble for Commencement beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Mandella Road in front of Comstock and Wilder houses. Audience members should be seated in the Quadrangle by 9:45 a.m.
  • The ceremony begins at 10 a.m., followed by the traditional Diploma Circle for graduating seniors only.
  • In the event of rain, graduation will be held in the Indoor Track and Tennis facility.