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Maxine Frank Singer ’52 Hall

Swarthmore’s new building for biology, engineering, and psychology will be named Maxine Frank Singer ’52 Hall, President Valerie Smith announced at the Board of Managers meeting May 10.

The naming in honor of the pioneering molecular biologist was proposed by the family of Eugene Lang ’38, H’81, who committed $50 million—the largest gift in the College’s history—to the project prior to his passing in April 2017.

“My grandfather knew and admired Maxine,” Manager Lucy Lang ’03 said at the meeting on behalf of her aunt Jane Lang ’67 and the Lang family. “But at the heart of our choice is the belief that Maxine has lived a life in science that is exemplary in every dimension. By naming the building for Maxine Singer, we seek to expand recognition of the women who graduated from Swarthmore who have made significant contributions to the sciences in research, writing, and leadership.”

Singer Hall, an initiative of the Changing Lives, Changing the World campaign, will be one of only a few science buildings named for a woman on an American college campus. In support of the College’s desire to increase the representation of under-acknowledged luminaries, 18 managers responded to the announcement by pledging a combined $160,000 in gifts to recognize two additional Swarthmore women scientists.

In Singer Hall, the Psychology Department seminar room will honor eminent psychologist, ethicist, and educator Carol Gilligan ’58, H’85. The Biology Department’s “front porch” will be named for Isaac H. Clothier Jr. Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer, who has educated generations of students since joining the College faculty in 1989.