Only at Smith—The Diploma Circle

Every year, following commencement, new Smith graduates march up to the courtyard of King and Scales houses and form concentric circles, passing diplomas around in an annual ritual called the Diploma Circle. It's not only a tradition; it's a necessity. While Smith graduates process with their houses, the diplomas they receive have been sorted alphabetically for the entire class. So most students will not be handed their own diploma.

Since 1911, the Diploma Circle, typically a 15-minute process, is where each graduate receives her own diploma.


2012 Student Address: Caitlyn Kirby

"Good morning ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between."
Caitlyn Kirby, president of the Class of 2012, delivered the student speech at Smith College’s 134th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20.


A Piano in Every House

Although each student house at Smith College has its own character, they share one thing in common: a piano in every living room. Some students take the opportunity to continue years of lessons and practices. Others seek out the instrument to teach themselves to play. In the midst of busy lives, the pianos offer students a moment to stop and enjoy their surroundings and share themselves with housemates.


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.