American Studies Diploma Program Celebrates 50 Years

More than 50 graduates of Smith’s “foreign legion”—that is, international students who came to Smith for the one-year American Studies Diploma Program (DIPL)—traveled to campus to celebrate the program’s fiftieth anniversary during All-Reunion weekend and to reminisce about what Smith meant—and continues to mean—in their lives. Men and women—450 in all, from fifty countries—who have participated in the program face an intensive academic year: They take a required graduate seminar, focusing on comparative and transnational readings of American culture, as well as at least five additional courses in American studies or related disciplines, and they write a thesis. Graduates often go on to prestigious positions as university professors, authors, and ambassadors, but it’s the lifelong friendships, global perspective, and love of learning that alumni consider hallmarks of the DIPL experience.