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Announcing the Alumnae House Renovation

Published August 6, 2021

Written by Megan Tady

Nearly a century after the Alumnae House was first built, Smith is renovating the elegant building to meet the needs of the next 100 years. The college has commissioned the firm KPMB Architects to restore the Georgian and Neoclassical exterior, while making the interior more accessible, sustainable and functional. The college is dedicated to preserving the building’s storied history while making modern, innovative updates.

“The house has always served as the heart of our alum community on campus,” said Beth Balmuth Raffeld, senior vice president of alumnae relations and development. “In many ways, the renovation is a love letter to our alums, establishing a welcome center inviting their presence on our campus. Making these changes will ensure that the Alumnae House thrives for another century.”

The Alumnae House is where alums meet, decade after decade, to celebrate Reunion and other important events. It’s where the Alumnae Association of Smith College’s board convenes as they help to guide Smith on important decisions. It’s where Smithies gather for workshops and teas, sometimes traveling across the country and the world to connect face to face in a space that’s specifically theirs. And it’s where the entire Smith community comes together, students mingling with alums, for cross-generational events that create the Smith experience.

A new, larger terrace accessible through the French doors off the Art Gallery will provide a wonderful new gathering space with views of College Hall and the Museum of Art.

Smith once again partnered with Shawmut Design and Construction, the same construction firm that built the new Neilson Library. The renovation project began in May 2021, and is expected to be complete by summer 2022.

The Alumnae House renovation will model sustainable design and construction, update technology and provide more practical office, meeting and event areas to bring the Smith community together. At the same time, it will restore the beloved spaces that make the Alumnae House special, including the Art Gallery, the Alumnae Library, the Living Room, the Dining Room, the class lockers and the beautiful terraces.

The college is especially excited to introduce a new, first-floor Welcome Center and lounge where alums, students and the campus community can connect across generations.

Read an interesting account of the Alumnae House dedication in 1938, told from the perspective of Clara Rankin who attended as a graduating senior. 

As the renovation is underway, stay connected with Smith and stay informed about upcoming events at

Philanthropic Opportunities

Philanthropic opportunities to support the Alumnae House renovation include funding The Smith Fund Alumnae House Renovation Support Fund designation in any amount.

Other opportunities include:

  • A new Welcome Center: $1 million
  • Renovated Lobby & Gallery: $1 million
  • Alumnae Library: $500,000
  • Living Room Terrace: $500,000
  • Dining Room: $250,000
  • Class Lockers: $250,000
  • And much more


For more information, please contact:

Betsy Carpenter ’93
Associate Vice President of Development

This rendering shows the new first-floor Welcome Center, which will provide a home away from home for alums and an inviting gathering and study space for students.