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Ford Hall, Smith's new state–of–the–art $73 million facility, continues to take shape. The 140,000–square–foot building will be the new home for the Picker Engineering Program, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology. The projected completion date is fall 2009. For more on the project go to Photo by Dick Fish.

Extensive and meticulous renovations to Smith's Haven House earned honors from the Northampton Historical Commission in June. The $5 million renovation of the three–story student residence on Elm Street was completed in 2007.

Smith College gave all incoming students their first reading assignment this summer: Natasha Trethewey's Pulitzer Prize–winning volume of poetry exploring the complex memory of the history of the American South. Trethewey’s book, Native Guard, published in 2006, seeks to create a lyrical memorial to one of the first, and often overlooked, black regiments assembled in the Civil War. As part of their orientation to Smith, incoming students gathered among their new housemates on campus in early September— in groups led by faculty members and administrators, including President Carol Christ— to discuss the summer reading assignment.

Lynn Oberbillig, director of Smith athletics, was recently named chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Management Council, a prestigious post that guides the group responsible for that division's decisions on college sports nationwide. Oberbillig, who is currently serving as the council's vice chair, will take over the chair next year.

A movie crew set up cameras on campus this summer as local filmmakers Smith alumna Liz Foley '89 and Peter Hobbs shot a scene for Foley's feature film Bridge of Names. The movie is set entirely in Massachusetts, with several scenes filmed in the vicinity of Lanning Fountain and Burton Hall. Photo by Dick Fish.

Smith is cutting greenhouse gas emissions with its new $11.5 million environmentally efficient power system (referred to as "CoGen" for cogeneration). The new system, which produces heat and electricity for the campus, replaces the college's 60–year–old steam boilers. Smith will now need to purchase only a fraction of its power from outside sources, making the college less vulnerable to rising energy costs, according to Gary Hartwell, project manager. Further, the efficiency of the cogeneration system will reduce the college's dependence on fossil fuel and cut the college's greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent. The plant has started its testing and is scheduled to go online in October.

Smith junior Etta Grover–Silva of Arcata, California, finished sixth in the nation in the pole vault, with a vault of 12 feet, 2˝ inches (3.72m), at the May 2008 NCAA Division III women's track and field championships at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. She also earned her All–American honors there. Earlier in the month, Grover–Silva claimed the New England pole vault champion title with a jump of 3.75m at the Open New England Track and Field Championships at the University of New Hampshire.

As part of its commitment to the environment, Smith recently created the position of environmental sustainability director and appointed Dano Weisbord to the post. He began his work in August, leaving his position as senior project manager at the Boston firm CLF Ventures. Weisbord will be responsible for coordinating Smith's integration of sustainable principles and practices into campus operations.

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