Gordon Smith Commons, S2344

This space is officially named in gratitude of the generosity of Craig A. Gordon ’71 and Barbara L. Smith ’72.


Craig and Barb were both chemistry majors at Grinnell. A major part of their college experience revolved around chem lab desks that were assigned to all juniors and seniors for independent study. The majority of their study as well as their socializing time was spent at those desks and generated a strong sense of camaraderie among both faculty and students. When Barb saw an early presentation on the new HSSC building and the delineated "orange spaces" for independent study and collaboration among social science students, her initial thought was finally the social sciences were learning the lessons of chemistry from almost 50 years ago! All students should have access to those types of shared study spaces that did so much to enhance their Grinnell experience.

Craig went from chemistry to law school and eventually became a national leader in the effort to establish elder law as a certifiable legal specialty. Barb went from chemistry to medicine and became a general practice pediatrician in Tucson, AZ. Both have been very active in community advocacy in their areas of expertise. Both agree however that their most important achievement has been their two daughters and they are thrilled to have two grandsons.

Craig and Barb's generosity is evident across campus. In addition to their support of HSSC, they contributed to Phase II construction of Noyce Science Center and their philanthropy includes supporting student financial aid through the Smith Family Prize for Outstanding Seniors in science.