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Ford Hall Construction Begins: For those who would like to stay informed about the construction of Ford Hall, Smith’s new building for engineering and the sciences, a webcam gives a continual bird’s-eye view of the site. The camera features a new picture of the construction progress every 15 minutes. For the latest view, go to www.fordhall/construction/webcam.php. Photo by Fish/Parham.

Trustees Ban Investments in 26 Companies

Carrying out its commitment to ban investment in companies with operations that support the government of Sudan, Smith will divest from one direct holding in its endowment and prohibit investment in an additional 26 firms. The college’s board of trustees voted unanimously at its May meeting to take those actions based on its opposition to the Sudanese government’s campaign of genocide in the Darfur region. The banned companies were identified through a yearlong study led by the board’s Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR). The CIR is charged with monitoring social issues related to the college’s endowment and advising the board on responsible investing. “The hope is that without foreign investments, the Khartoum government will find it impossible to continue its policy of genocide in Darfur,” says Smith President Carol T. Christ. “Smith and other institutions are collectively exerting important international pressure.” 

Stating the Mission

The college has a new statement of its mission, approved in May by the Smith College Board of Trustees: “Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. A college of and for the world, Smith links the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, developing leaders for society’s challenges.” The statement and supporting values are online at

Celebrating Women’s History at Smith

“The Power of Women’s Voices,” a conference celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Sophia Smith Collection, was held in late September. It featured a host of feminist activists, including keynote speaker Gloria Steinem ’56 and performer Margie Adam. In addition to the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, the conference highlighted the recently processed YWCA Records, the Living U.S. Women’s History Oral History Project, the Population and Reproductive Health Oral History Project, and the newly received Women’s Music Archives. Visit for more information.

New Dean for Study Abroad Office Settles In

Leslie Hill is now at the helm of Smith’s Office for International Study. As associate dean for international study, Hill oversees the college’s junior year abroad programs in Geneva, Paris, Hamburg and Florence. Smith students may also apply for opportunities that enable them to study at more than 40 other locations around the world. “I am honored to collaborate with my new colleagues who are dedicated to international education for Smith students,” said Hill, who began August 1. “It is a wonderful time to be arriving at Smith, as the college has recently identified international education as a strategic initiative for growth.” Previously Hill served as an associate director for the Office of International Programs at Harvard University.

Terms Begin for New Trustees

The college welcomed new trustees to its board in May, and they started their terms July 1. They are Megan E. Ambrus ’07, Linda Smith Charles ’74, Lisa Ferrell ’85, Charlotte G. Kea ’82, Judith Pelham ’67 and Linda Salisbury ’78.

Noting a Departure

Mentha Hynes, former associate dean for multicultural affairs and student affairs, left Smith in June to assume her new position as director of student life at Whitman College of Princeton University. She was at Smith for 11 years and also served as associate director of admission. Venus Ricks, east Quad area coordinator, will serve as acting director of multicultural affairs while a search takes place this year.

Smith to Cosponsor Plath Forum

Smith College is a cosponsor of the 75th Anniversary Symposium on Sylvia Plath ’55 at Oxford University, United Kingdom, held October 25–29. The conference brings together scholars, writers, artists and poets to demonstrate the many aspects of Plath’s work. Karen Kukil, Smith associate curator of special collections, is a featured speaker. Cornelia Pearsall, associate professor of English language and literature, and Smith student Aubrey Menard ’08 will also give talks. Alumna Enid Mark ’54 will display her 1996 Elm Press book About Sylvia at the conference. Additional information is available at

In addition, Kukil recently was co-recipient of the 2007 (Division One) Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Catalogue Award from the American Library Association. She received the award for “’No Other Appetite: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry,” which she co-authored with Stephen Enniss of Emory University. Together Kukil and Enniss curated the exhibition of the same name at The Grolier Club in New York City in fall 2005.

Workers recently installed the new turbine that will help fire the innovative cogeneration power plant the college expects to have in place soon. With the new system up and running, Smith will meet the heating and electrical demands of the campus with a measure of energy independence while cutting its greenhouse emissions in half. Visit for more on Smith’s sustainability efforts. Photo by Fish/Parham.

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