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Neilson Library has responded to students’ changing needs and installed a new network of spaces referred to as the Information Commons. It includes several rooms on the first floor, which have been refurbished. The Mair Reference Room also has had a facelift with the removal of its wall-to-wall bookshelves and the addition of new, more comfortable furniture and a computer at every kiosk, each connected to the Internet. Photo by Jim Gipe.

Number One in Study Abroad

Smith College sends more of its students to study abroad for full academic-year programs than does any other baccalaureate institution in the country, according to statistics from the Open Doors 2007 Report on International Education Exchange, an annual survey produced by the Institute of International Education. The 2007 survey reflects a study conducted in the academic year 2005-06, which is the most recent data available. That year Smith sent 150 students abroad. Mount Holyoke College ranked seventh on the long-term list with 72 of its students studying abroad; Wellesley College ranked ninth with 66 students.

Smith To Honor Five Alumnae on Rally Day

An advocate for incarcerated women, a radiologist to U.S. presidents, the leader of the world’s largest scientific society, an authority on infant development and a pioneering member of the House of Representatives will all be recognized on Rally Day, the annual all- college gathering on February 20.

Five alumnae, whose combined Smith experiences span four decades, will be honored during the Rally Day ceremony in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. Medalists Irene Cebula Baird ’45, Anne Clayton Brower ’60, Catherine T. Hunt ’77, Lella Gandini ’78 and Tammy Baldwin ’84 were chosen by Smith’s Board of Trustees. They will speak at the ceremony and visit classes while on campus.

The program will also include presentations of Faculty Teaching Awards, given by students to one junior and one senior faculty member, and the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award, given by students to outstanding Smith staff members.

The Smith College Medal was established in 1962 to recognize and honor alumnae “who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.”

As ever, Rally Day is a time for the Smith community to gather, remember the past and look to the future. Go to for more about the 2008 program.

Ford Hall Officially Under Construction

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in October at the construction site of the 140,000-square-foot facility along Green and Belmont streets. The Smith College trustees joined students, faculty and staff who gathered for the ceremony; Smith President Carol Christ opened the event with remarks. When completed in 2009, the building will serve as home to the Picker Engineering Program and to the departments of molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry and computer science.

Celebrating Julia

The entire Smith community was invited to celebrate Julia Child Day on November 15. The day’s events, organized to honor the late Julia McWilliams Child ’34, included special menus for each house, as well as for other campus dining sites, and featured a presentation by The Kitchen Sisters -- Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson, hosts of the popular NPR broadcast series Hidden Kitchens. They led a panel discussion on “How Communities Come Together Through Food.” To view a photo gallery of the day’s events go to

On Track With Smith News

We enjoy reading about Smith in the news as much as you do, which is why the college distributes an e-mail digest of Smith media mentions three times a week. The number of subscribers to the News Tracker has grown from a few dozen to more than 1,200 in just a few years. There is no shortage of coverage to share; an independent report recently found Smith is more often in the media limelight than Wellesley, Mount Holyoke and Wesleyan colleges. If you want to know what is reported about Smith, its people and programs, subscribe to the News Tracker by sending e-mail to

Athletic Director Honored

The Massachusetts State Lottery and Boston College Athletics have announced that Smith Athletic Director Lynn Oberbillig is the recipient of the second annual “Heights Award.” The Heights Award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of women’s sports and who inspire girls and women through influence or personal achievement. The award is earned by long-term commitment to, participation in and dedication to the growth of women’s athletics. Oberbillig has worked at the youth, high school and collegiate levels for more than 16 years.

If It’s January...

The temperature hovers somewhere between frigid and raw. It must be January. At Smith, that means another Interterm Program, a month-long series of noncredit courses taught by Smith community members -- students, staff, faculty, alumnae and associates.

The program, now in its 10th year, offered courses on a range of topics and techniques. Kelly Swan ’09 taught how to “Design Your Own Web Site.” Local writer Linda McCullough Moore analyzed “Short Fiction, the Inside Story: Twelve Secrets No Writer Tells.” In all, there were nearly three dozen weeklong courses and several workshops to entice the curiosity of those on campus.

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