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Board of Trustees Selects Architecture Partnership for Neilson Library Renovation

April 8, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

It is with great pleasure that I announce the selection of Maya Lin, in partnership with the firm of Shepley Bulfinch, to reimagine and redesign Neilson Library. The partnership of Maya Lin Studio and Shepley Bulfinch was the unanimous choice of the Library Architect Selection Committee and the Board of Trustees. More information about the partnership and the Neilson project can be found at

This is a historic moment for Smith, one that reaffirms our commitment to women’s education at the highest level. As some of you may know, Maya Lin's mother, Julia Chang Lin, graduated from Smith in 1951. Because of this connection, Maya Lin has described the Neilson commission as a very personal one for her. Shepley Bulfinch brings valuable experience to the Neilson redesign, both through previous library designs (at Johns Hopkins, Duke and the University of Notre Dame, among others) and through the work that the firm has done with many members of our community since 2010 in planning for the new Neilson.

I am excited by the opportunity to collaborate with these two great firms and look forward to hosting a campus reception for Maya Lin and the project leads from Shepley Bulfinch next fall. As our partners in this significant building project, they want to get to know us, our campus, and the important role the library plays as both the intellectual crossroads of our community and the centerpiece of our historic Olmsted-designed campus.

I want to thank the members of the Architect Selection Committee for their hard work and insightful contributions in bringing us to this important milestone. They are trustees Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard ’69, board chair, Sanford Belden, and Lois Perelson-Gross ’83; faculty members Nancy Bradbury, John Davis, Patricia DiBartolo, Andrew Guswa, Lucy Mule, Frazer Ward, and Provost Katherine Rowe; and staff members Charles Conant, Michael Howard, Christopher Loring, Roger Mosier, Beth Myers and Beth Raffeld.


Kathy McCartney