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Fitness Center Plans Detailed

Smith is building a new fitness center in its athletic complex. The 6,000-square-foot structure, scheduled to be completed this fall, will be located above the student lounge, between the Ainsworth and Scott gymnasiums. The air-conditioned facility will include new weight stations, free weights, ellipticals, stair climbers, cycles, treadmills, plyometrics and TV monitors. When completed, the center will connect the Ainsworth and Scott buildings, enhancing the accessibility of both. The project is being designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, Inc. of Boston. The fitness center is the gift of the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation through the generosity of two alumnae, Judy Olin Higgins '58 and Barbara Olin Taylor '54.

College Unveils Portrait of Otelia Cromwell

Otelia Cromwell Day is an annual celebration to honor Smith’s first African-American graduate, who received her degree in 1900 and went on to a notable career in education. A special highlight last fall was the arrival of a recently commissioned portrait of Cromwell. The portrait, which was painted by award-winning watercolorist Richard Yarde, will hang in Neilson Browsing Room. During the unveiling, Adelaide Cromwell ’40, Otelia’s niece, spoke fondly of her aunt and remembered her as one who “didn’t suffer fools gladly.” Former Acting President John Connolly presided over the dedication ceremony.

TOYchallenge

The Sally Ride Science Club and Smith College last fall launched “TOYchallenge,” a national toy design competition that encourages girls and boys to develop and act upon their interest in engineering while using their imagination and having fun. The competition’s concept is based on a first-year engineering design course at Smith, which will challenge teams of middle school–aged kids from across the country to design their own toys. TOY (Teaching Our Youth) seeks specifically to engage young girls in the sciences, since studies have found that around sixth grade, more girls than boys stop pursuing science. The competition will culminate in a national showcase at Smith in late spring. The winners of the contest, which is sponsored by international toy maker Hasbro Inc., will be announced in June.

Study Abroad Excellence

The newly launched Forum on Education Abroad, an international, independent organization dedicated to the objective study of international education, established its home base on the Smith campus in October, thanks to Smith’s donation of office space in the Gables, located near the Helen Hills Hills Chapel. The forum will address such issues as curricular development and academic design, the establishment of standards of good practice in study abroad programs, resources for advocacy at the campus and national levels, and data collection and outcomes assessment of the value of international education. Although Smith is a voting member of the organization, it will not participate in the daily activities of the forum.

Homeland Insecurity

From January 23 to 26, Smith hosted a conference inspired by the controversy that emerged from the publication of The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin, A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal, an award-winning book published in 2001 by Northampton writer Barry Werth. The book chronicles the controversial termination of three Smith faculty members in the early 1960s. The conference, "Homeland Insecurity: Civil Liberties, Repression, and Citizenship in the 1950s,” examined the implications of Cold War–era repression for academic and personal freedoms today and how past events can help us to better understand the cultural and political climate in 2003. For more information, go to www.smith.edu/civlib.

Power of Ramadan

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, leader of the largest Muslim community in North America and a prominent spokesperson for America’s 2.5. million Muslims, delivered an address in November at Smith during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. His talk, “The Power of Ramadan, a Mercy for All Humankind,” stressed the importance of unity in working toward world peace. The son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, Mohammed espouses a traditional, spiritual interpretation of Islam that repudiates separatist ideas and stresses the need for unity among people of all faiths. Although Mohammed has lectured at colleges and universities across the country, this was his first appearance at a women's college.

Campaign Update

Progress continues in the comprehensive campaign to raise $425 million by December 2004. “We hit the $300 million mark in September, and we are seeing increased levels of participation throughout the Smith family,” says Karin Lee George ’86, vice president for advancement. George points out that any gift to Smith counts toward the campaign goal as well as toward class goals. Campaign success has already enabled the college to increase much-needed financial aid, attract talented new faculty, renovate and reopen the new Brown Fine Arts Center, expand and upgrade the Lyman Conservatory and construct the new campus center that will open this year. Other initiatives that will benefit from the success of the This is about Smith campaign are the innovative Praxis program, through which Smith interns have worked in hundreds of organizations in more than 30 countries, and the Picker Engineering program, which is attracting national attention and increasing numbers of talented students. “Providing a new facility for the engineering program and continuing to increase financial aid so that the best and brightest students can attend Smith are two of our most immediate goals," says George. For more information, go to www.smith.edu/advancement.

Correction: In our story about the Yeffe Kimball photograph collection (NewsSmith, fall 2002) the first name of Lee Udall’s husband was incorrect. She was the wife of Stewart Udall, not his brother Morris.


 
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