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Sharples Dining Hall Gift Announcement


September 21, 2018

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Yesterday afternoon at Sharples Dining Hall, I announced that a significant renovation and expansion of Sharples will be funded by a major gift from Giles “Gil” Kemp ’72 and Barbara Guss. Gil serves on the Board of Managers and as chair of the Changing Lives, Changing the World campaign.

Gil and Barbara’s generous gift, made through the campaign, is an extension of their longstanding commitment to Swarthmore. Their $7 million gift to support student spaces, originally made in 2013 for Clothier Hall, was invested in the College’s endowment and has grown to more than $9 million today. Gil and Barbara have graciously agreed to redirect their generous support to Sharples.

Swarthmore students have requested—and need—a reimagined dining experience where they can share a meal, foster relationships, and, most importantly, build community. Now, Sharples will be expanded to serve the needs of our growing student body and will include a central commons dedicated to fostering relationship-building and co-curricular activity. It will be welcoming and accessible to all members of our community, and it will reflect and embody Swarthmore’s commitment to sustainability. Gil and Barbara’s gift brings us even closer to realizing that vision.

The Dining Hall and Community Commons Space Programmatic Committee will continue to meet to offer recommendations and work with dining consultants and architects.

I am grateful to Gil and Barbara, to the Committee, and to the members of this community who expressed the need for a reimagined Sharples to accommodate our growing student body and address the lack of a student center on campus.

I look forward to sharing more news about this exciting project with you in the future.


Valerie Smith