Dubbed a “rock star of the world of Shakespeare,” Gail Kern Paster served in the prestigious post of director of the Folger Shakespeare Library from 2002 to 2011. As director, Paster strengthened the Folger’s educational outreach, particularly through digital initiatives. She oversaw the acquisition of rare documents of the Elizabethan era and raised more than $28 million for collections and renovation of the library’s historic building. During her tenure, the audience for public programs grew by more than 25 percent. Paster’s scholarly work has won her fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson, Andrew W. Mellon and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Upon her retirement from the Folger, Paster was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her distinguished service to the arts and strengthening the ties between the United States and Great Britain.
In 1962, the trustees of Smith College voted to establish the Smith College Medal. It is given annually to those alumnae who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.
Internationally known for her research on the immune system’s response to vaccinations, Anne De Groot, who earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago, has used the genome-to-vaccine approach to solve some of the world’s biggest infectious disease problems. Her biotech company EpiVax and her academic Institute for Immunology and Informatics are collaborating on vaccines for tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, dengue fever, cervical cancer, and smallpox. First at Brown University and, currently at the University of Rhode Island, she has introduced the next generation of researchers to the field. In addition to founding EpiVax, De Groot has dedicated her medical and research skills to expanding the availability of vaccines by founding the Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS Vaccine Foundation, which collaborates with clinics and laboratories in Mali, West Africa, and she co-founded the Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic), a community health center that offers free medical care and preventive health services to Rhode Island residents.
The Smith College Medal, designed by art professor Elliot Offner in 1988, depicts the Grécourt Gates and the Smith College motto, To Virtue, Knowledge.
What is Rally Day? It depends on whom you ask. But most importantly, it’s a day to bring together students and the college community, celebrate the rich history of Smith, and share time with outstanding alumnae. For seniors, Rally Day is a chance to try on their graduation robes and get creative with funky headwear. Rally Day is something for everyone and it’s been happening on campus since 1876, one of Smith’s oldest and most cherished traditions. Learn more about this event.
Kathleen McCartney, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and an internationally recognized authority on child development and early education, has been selected as the 11th president of Smith College.
McCartney’s appointment is effective July 1, 2013, with her inauguration scheduled for Saturday, October 19. She came to campus to greet the Smith community on Friday, January 25; the event was webcast live.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson '61 is chair and former CEO of Minneapolis-based Carlson, the world's largest travel and hospitality corporation and one of the largest privately held companies. Under the Carlson umbrella are major hotel groups such as Country Inns and Suites and Radisson, as well as restaurant chain T.G.I Friday's. As CEO, Nelson doubled the size of Carlson and became increasingly recognized for her commitment to corporate responsibility. In 2008, she published her best-selling book "How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership." While Carlson has always been recognized as an organization dedicated to giving back to the local community, Nelson took this dedication global when she and her company made a public commitment against human trafficking and implemented training for all Carlson staff to recognize potential trafficking behavior.