The Edith Renfrow Smith '37 Student Art Gallery
In June 2007, at her 70th class reunion, the first of two campus spaces was named for Mrs. Renfrow Smith. The dedication of the Edith Renfrow Smith '37 Student Art Gallery in the Joe Rosenfield Student Center was the culmination of an effort led by alumna and retired Chicago public school teacher, Alphanette White Price ’57, who was a little girl when her mother worked with Mrs. Renfrow Smith at the YWCA in the late 1930s. In her remarks, Mrs. Price spoke of Mrs. Renfrow Smith’s life in terms of their alma mater: “From ‘The Grinnell Experience,’ Edith learned to appreciate literature, art and music; from ‘The Grinnell Experience,’ Edith learned to appreciate different cultures; from ‘The Grinnell Experience,’ Edith learned to dislike foolishness; from ‘The Grinnell Experience,’ Edith learned to do her best.” Mrs. White expressed the gratitude of many when she stated that Mrs. Renfrow Smith’s pioneering has “enable[ed] us to have had ‘The Grinnell Experience.’"
Trustee and alumnus Henry Wingate ’69 spoke directly to the labor of being a first:
“Grinnell overall was kind to me, as I am sure overall it was to you. Yet, I know that when you ‘pioneer,’ you encounter islands of prejudice and pockets of resistance. Insensitive words or names without ownership are hurled your direction. Snarled glances may signify disdain, disapproval and miscreants may erect barriers to frustrate the pioneering purpose. Yet, the resilient ‘pioneer’ marches on, as you did, and creates a legacy for those to follow, as you so nobly did.”