NORTHAMPTON — The trustees of Smith College unanimously voted to name the college’s Campus Center in honor of Julia McWilliams Child, who graduated from Smith in 1934. The 60,000-square-foot Campus Center, which serves as the heart of student life on campus, was partially funded by proceeds from the 2002 sale of Child’s home in Cambridge, which the famed chef donated to the college. It includes flexible meeting spaces, the Campus Center Café, and areas for studying and socializing.
“Smith College is honored to recognize not only Julia’s generosity and lasting impact on the college, but also her impact on American culture and beyond as a teacher, author, and television personality,” President Kathleen McCartney said. “Throughout her life, she brought people together, so it seems appropriate to name the Campus Center for her as an ongoing celebration of her life’s work.”
Since 2004, Smith has celebrated Child’s legacy on Julia Child Day, a tradition held each year on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Yesterday, the dining halls and the Campus Center Café served many of her famous recipes, like coq au vin, fruit crêpes and French onion soup.
“The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts, established by Julia, is delighted to have Julia’s contributions to Smith and beyond recognized in such a special way,” said Eric Spivey, chairman of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. “A gathering space at the college which meant so much to Julia is such a fitting tribute to all that Julia represented and the mission she tasked the foundation with fulfilling: promoting the joys of cooking, eating and drinking well, notably in good company and as a community. We think Julia would be delighted and humbled by the honor.”