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News Release

May 14, 2007


Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem to Speak, Four to Receive Honorary Degrees

Media representatives with clear identification can sit in the press box adjacent to the stage. Background about the speaker and honorary degree recipients is available at

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Smith College will hold its 129th commencement ceremony, honoring 672 graduating seniors and 61 advanced degree candidates at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 20, in the Quadrangle at the corner of Paradise Road and Elm Street.

Gloria Steinem’s lifelong career as a writer and journalist began when she graduated from Smith in 1956. Her early freelance articles include an investigative piece for Show magazine on the working conditions of Playboy bunnies. By the 1960s, Steinem had gained national attention as the outspoken leader of the women’s movement. In 1971, she co-founded Ms. magazine, which became an influential forum for feminist issues. Around that time, Steinem and several other leading feminists – including Betty Friedan, Smith Class of 1942 – also founded the National Women’s Political Caucus. Steinem remains a tireless promoter of equality for women around the world.

Following the speech by Steinem, four other accomplished women will be awarded honorary degrees. They are: Helene Gayle, pediatrician and director of health initiatives; Ruth Holmberg, journalist and Smith Class of 1943; Nancy Hopkins, geneticist; and Lauren Lazin, award-winning filmmaker and Smith Class of 1982.

Smith’s commencement ceremony is free and open to the public. In case of rain, the college bells will ring at 8:15 and 8:30 a.m., to signal that the event will take place in the Indoor Track and Tennis (ITT) facility on West Street.

The following statistics offer a glimpse of the students who make up the Smith College Class of 2007:

672 Baccalaureate Degree Recipients

647  will receive bachelor of arts degrees

25    will receive bachelor of science degrees in engineering

117  are double majors

67    completed their studies in January

63    are Ada Comstock Scholars, women of nontraditional age

61   years - oldest graduating Ada Comstock Scholar

25   years - youngest graduating Ada Comstock Scholar

20   Adas have offspring

6    Adas are double majors

4    popular majors among Adas: English, psychology, studio art, art history.

45   states represented by the recipients

31   countries represented by the recipients

5     popular majors overall: government, psychology, art, economics and  engineering

61 Advanced Degree Recipients

12   diploma in American Studies

13   master of education of the deaf

13   master of education

9     master of science in excercise and sports studies

5     master of fine arts

4     master of science

3     master of arts in teaching

2     master of arts

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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