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The 142nd Commencement of Smith College: A Virtual Celebration, April 14, 2020

The honor of your participation is requested at
The 142nd Commencement of Smith College: A Virtual Celebration
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Noon, EDT

Please respond at by April 29, 2020.

To the Smith College Class of 2020:

You deserve a celebration—in fact, more than one.

On Sunday, May 17, we will come together to honor your achievements at the first virtual Commencement in the history of Smith College. Although extraordinary circumstances prevent us from gathering in person this year, they will not preclude the rightful recognition of your accomplishments. Extraordinary circumstances require an extraordinary celebration, and so it shall be. The Smith community will cheer with pride from every corner of the world.

While virtual, this ceremony will be personal. Your name will be read aloud, accompanied by a photo of your choice. Your friends and family can watch together and send greetings. You will hear from me, Senior Class President Toula Sierros ’20, Student Government Association President Rosalie Toupin ’20—and, yes, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who is delighted to address the great class of 2020.

In advance of the ceremony, you will receive two Smith-themed gifts from me. They are small but tangible reminders of your lifelong connection to this college and to one another. Following the ceremony, we will mail you your diploma and a commemorative Commencement program. And sometime next year, when conditions permit,  I look forward to welcoming you back to Smith to celebrate in person. I want to make sure you have the chance to spend time with one another, on this beautiful campus, enjoying traditions you missed.

I will close with words of wisdom from a Smith alumna, one of many who have sent heartfelt messages of support to your class in this challenging moment:

Although this is not the idyllic end to your time at Smith, know that in fact there is no end to your time at Smith. Take comfort in knowing that the knowledge you have gained, and the people with whom you have bonded, will remain there for you. Welcome to the next phase of your life as a Smithie, as part of a network of incredible alumnae who cannot wait to receive you with open arms and hearts.

Class of 2020, you are making history, albeit in ways you would not have chosen. We look forward to celebrating your resilience and leadership—with open arms and hearts.


Kathleen McCartney