NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-A generous gift from Julia Child, renowned cookbook author and star of television's "The French Chef," will support the construction of the first campus center at Child's alma mater, Smith College.
Child's $2.35-million gift represents the proceeds from the recent sale of her longtime home in Cambridge, Mass., familiar to many as the setting for her acclaimed television series "In Julia's Kitchen With Master Chefs."
In 1990, Child entered into an agreement with Smith, formally donating her house to the college but keeping the right to live in it for her lifetime. When she decided to move back to her native California, Child accelerated her gift and, as Smith's advancement vice-president Karin Lee George '86 observed, "accelerated progress on one of the most important Smith projects in decades."
"The Campus Center will be a place where students, faculty and staff, as well as the larger community, can come together comfortably and casually-a source of hospitality, welcome and exchange," George explained.
"These are values Julia has embraced in her life and work, so her commitment to this project represents an important endorsement of our goals."
Set to open in September, 2003, the 60,000-square-foot, $23-million campus center is situated at the intersection of the town of Northampton and the Smith campus. It will incorporate a lobby and reception area, a skylit concourse, a two-story lounge looking toward the college's Paradise Pond, performance and meeting rooms, a community art gallery, a bookstore, a mail room, the student radio station and dining areas, including a patio and a food court. Food and beverages will be available during extended hours.
Child graduated from Smith in 1934. Her gift joins a $2-million gift made by Joan Fletcher Lane '49, former chair of the college's board of trustees, in honor of former Smith College President Ruth J. Simmons.
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