2012 Commencement Speaker: Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning Actress Jane Lynch

Emmy- and Golden Globe–winning actress Jane Lynch was the speaker at Smith College’s 134th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Link to text of the speech


Ivy Day 2012: 25th Reunion Speaker Thelma Golden '87

This year, renowned curator Thelma Golden ’87 celebrated her twenty-fifth reunion and gave the alumna keynote address at the Ivy Day celebration on May 19. Through her work with the Whitney Museum of American Art, and currently as director and chief curator for the Studio Museum in Harlem, Golden has used art as a way to challenge, examine and address culture. In her address, she told seniors to enjoy the “richness and complexity and joy” that life has to offer.


Ivy Day 2012: Student Address by Shishona Jones '12

Shishona Jones, a member of the Class of 2012, delivered the student address at Smith College’s Ivy Day celebration on Saturday, May 19.


Literary Landscapes

Ann Leone, Professor of French Studies
Ann Leone examines how writers have used landscapes to aid in the telling of stories throughout literature, offering a "voice" that can subvert or complement what readers learn from other characters. Through this lens we see how the gardens of Versailles play a powerful role in French novels and how Capability Brown adds to the drama of Jane Austen. Thus readers can discover new meanings that they may not have unearthed otherwise.

Life on the Water for Smith Crew

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Smith Crew: Life on the Water

It’s dark, about 5:30 a.m. The air is frigid and icy, with a cutting breeze knifing off the water. Movement for a while is sluggish and achy. For more than 60 students, members of the Smith crew team, this is the best time of the day—up before dawn, out on the Connecticut River, watching the sunrise, breathing the cold, rowing in unison, all before breakfast. What is it about crew that gets under the skin of team members and becomes a primary part of their Smith lives? 


Celebrating Collaborations: Senior’s Rediscovery of Ancient Roman Coins Leads to Exhibition

When Maggie Kurkoski ’12, working as a research assistant for Scott Bradbury, professor of classical languages and literatures, dug through the storage cabinets in the Caverno Room in Neilson Library, she came across a box, likely untouched in decades, filled with ancient Roman coins. Her curiosity piqued, she set to work analyzing, cataloguing and preparing the coins for display. Kurkoski’s exhibition, “Portable Rome: Exploring and Exhibiting Ancient Coins,” is the capstone project for her museums concentration.


Laura Tyson ’69: internationally renowned economist

Laura D'Andrea Tyson ’69 was the first woman to head the National Economic Council from 1993 to 1995, during the administration of President Bill Clinton. She is now the S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a member of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Tyson was also the first female dean of the London Business School from 2002 to 2006. She is an economic columnist for BusinessWeek magazine and writes regularly about domestic and international economic policy issues in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and other internationally syndicated newspapers and magazines.


Paula Deitz '59: garden writer and cultural critic

In addition to being editor of the arts and literature quarterly, the Hudson Review, Paula Deitz '59 is a writer and cultural critic in the fields of art, architecture, design, and landscape design. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Architectural Review, and Gardens Illustrated. She is the author of “Of Gardens: Selected Essays,” which is a collection of her writings on gardens from around the world, and their intellectual, historical, and aesthetic significance.


Amy Ellis Nutt '77: Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist

Amy Ellis Nutt '77 a staff writer at the Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ, for 13 years, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for her feature series "The Wreck of the Lady Mary," about the 2009 sinking of a fishing boat off the New Jersey coast that killed six of the seven crew members aboard. An English major at Smith, Nutt also holds graduate degrees from MIT and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she is a part-time adjunct instructor. In 2004-2005 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Her 2008 series "The Accidental Artist" won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. She is also the author of "Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph."