There are 25 gates through which thousands of people enter Harvard Yard every day, but with the completion of the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, the Cambridge campus will have a new way for them to experience the University.
Thanks to the generous support of the Moise Y. Safra Foundation, the Moise Y. Safra Welcome Pavilion at the entrance of the Smith Campus Center will make the renewed facility an invaluable resource for students, faculty, the local community, and visitors when it reopens in 2018.
“The family of Moise Safra has provided the University with a true front door,” said Drew Faust, president of Harvard University. “Thanks to their generosity, aspiring students and their families, as well as visitors from around the world, will come to know Harvard, in part, through a welcoming point of departure at the heart of our campus. We look forward to celebrating the opening of a new common space for the entire community to enjoy.”
Safra, a prominent Brazilian philanthropist whose career spanned the worlds of finance and real estate, and his wife, Chella, had three children attend Harvard College and were longtime supporters of the Harvard College Fund. The family also established a chair of economics in 2005, currently held by Professor Jeremy Stein.
“Our father always felt that Harvard improved the world and welcomed our entire family. It was a relationship he cherished for so much of his life. What could be a more fitting tribute to his legacy than to return that warm welcome for generations to come?” said his sons Jacob Safra ’92, M.B.A. ’95, and Edmond Safra ’98, members of the foundation’s board.
The Moise Y. Safra Welcome Center, and the Smith Campus Center more broadly, are part of Faust’s Common Spaces program. Started in 2009, the program has converted areas across campus — such as Science Center Plaza, the Porch at Memorial Church, the Dudley House patio, and Harvard Yard itself — into informal gathering places.