Northampton, Mass., Oct. 16, 2009 – Smith College and Ford Motor Company today celebrate the dedication of Ford Hall, a $73 million, 140,000-square-foot, “green”-certified facility that serves as home for the college’s Picker Engineering Program and computer science, chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology curricula.
The Ford Motor Company Fund’s $10 million lead gift, pledged in 2001, represents the company’s strong support for advancing opportunities for women in engineering, as well as its commitment to environmental sustainability. The celebration includes a traditional ribbon cutting, open house and panel discussion about the future of engineering and the sciences at Smith College.
In addition to the building investment, the Ford Fund contributed an additional $2.6 million for a variety of activities in support of the engineering program at Smith, including scholarships, curriculum development, K-12 outreach programs and sustainability efforts on campus.
“We’re proud of our partnership with Smith College and the opportunity to participate in the building of Ford Hall,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are confident that together we can make real advances to safeguard the health of this planet and protect its resources. With Ford Hall, we are joining with faculty and students of Smith College as engineers of a better world for future generations.”
Ford Hall is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “green” facility – the first LEED-certified structure built on the Smith College campus. It incorporates green roofs, porous pavement, vegetated swales, environmentally responsible mechanical systems and the use of a combined heat and power cogeneration system.
“Ford Hall represents the essence of a sustainable future,” said Nancy Gioia, director of Ford Global Electrification. “It is an example of how we need to think and build going forward – with sustainable materials, energy efficiency and environmental compatibility. Ford Hall is also a challenging and enabling environment for our future generations of women scientists and engineers – those who will generate the ideas and make a reality tomorrow’s collaborative solutions for long-term sustainability.”
A student design team, under the supervision of project professionals, developed a unique combined heat and power cogeneration system used to support a portion of Ford Hall’s energy needs through renewable means. Smith also installed other innovative energy technologies including fuel cells and solar panels to provide additional environmental and financial benefits.
The emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency for Ford Hall places the building in the forefront of energy efficient architecture. The building’s designers incorporated numerous initiatives to reduce the consumption of energy resources and the cost of operation. In addition, Ford Hall serves as a learning lab and a teaching tool for sustainable design. The emphasis on sustainability in the new building is the largest undertaking in a campus-wide effort by Smith College to promote and implement energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.
“In location and design, Ford Hall is a crossroads,” said Linda E. Jones, director of the Picker Engineering Program and Rosemary Bradford Hewlett ’40 Professor of Engineering. “The most pressing problems of our time lie at the intersections of engineering and other disciplines.”
Established in 1999, Smith’s Picker Engineering Program is the nation’s first and only accredited all-women engineering program. It is focused on developing broadly educated, well-rounded engineers capable of assuming leadership roles in corporations, nonprofit organizations and technology-related fields. Thirty percent of Smith students major in the sciences – more than three times the national average.
Smith College is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country, enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 countries. By linking the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, Smith is developing leaders for society’s challenges.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.