The Barbara Walters Campus Center


Vice President for Advancement & External Affairs

E-mail Patricia


Exterior view of the Barbara Walters Campus Center
Barbara Walters Campus Center Living Room
Barbara Walters Campus Center Dining Pavilion
The Barbara Walters Campus Center at sunset
Barbara Walters Campus Center Atrium
Barbara Walters Campus Center Dining Pavilion
The Barbara Walters Campus Center at night

In response to a longtime need, as voiced by students and recognized by Sarah Lawrence administration, the Barbara Walters Campus Center (BWCC) is the new hub of student life and campus community, providing a center for social and intellectual interaction, made possible by a leadership gift from trailblazing broadcast news journalist and alumna Barbara Walters.

The environmentally friendly 35,000-square-foot center, designed by KSS Architects, now serves as a gathering place for students, faculty, and staff thanks to its expansive dining and event facilities along with abundant space for meeting, studying, and lounging. Open to the public, the enhanced event space also enables the College to offer more opportunities to welcome members of the local community to campus.

Historical materials spotlighting Walters’ time at Sarah Lawrence and her pioneering career in journalism are also on display in the Center. In addition, the BWCC is the new permanent home of the Barbara Walters Gallery, previously located in the Heimbold Visual Arts Center, which is host to a wide range of changing exhibitions.

Many donors made generous gifts to support the construction of the Barbara Walters Campus Center, including a number in honor of Ms. Walters. These latter included the Lauder Foundation, the David Geffen Foundation, and Peter Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney.

"This center creates a civic space and a cultural anchor at a time when we, as a society, face a pressing need for opportunities to foster open conversation, to foster listening, to create and forge bonds of community."

—Cristle Collins Judd, President

The Barbara Walters Campus Center sits near the geographic center of campus and now serves as the “front door” to the College. With its thoughtfully planned design, the building is a symbol and celebration of the importance of place and the natural landscape with a focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Opportunities for student discovery and growth have been enriched by the BWCC, which provides a flexible, divisible multipurpose space for a myriad of social and academic activities, including student dances, faculty and guest lectures, meetings, and more. The space can also be used for other large-scale community events, such as student recruitment, orientation, and reunion events, all of which will enhance the Sarah Lawrence experience.

The College is enormously grateful to the donors who made important contributions to fund and/or name the following individual spaces within the BWCC:

The Karen R. Lawrence Living Room

More than 70 individuals contributed gifts to the flexible community space named in honor of Sarah Lawrence’s 10th president, whose vision for the future launched the Campaign.

The Hulitar Café

A gift from the Hulitar Family Foundation named the café within the Dining Pavilion in memory of Mary Gerstenberg Hulitar ’48. 

Gund Dining Hall

A gift from Sarah Gray Gund ’65 and Geoffrey Gund provided the Center’s dining hall, which boasts ample seating, a fireplace, and extended dining hours. 

Lawrence Way 

A gift from the Lawrence Family named the BWCC’s external staircase.

The Green

A gift from alumna Josie Merck supported the Green Roof and Upper Plaza of the BWCC.

The Joseph Papaleo Atrium

The BWCC’s magnificent open atrium, designed to connect the north and south ends of the Sarah Lawrence campus, has been named for Joseph Papaleo ’49, thanks to a generous anonymous gift from one of his former students. For more than 30 years, Papaleo headed Sarah Lawrence’s writing program and served as a beloved mentor and friend to generations of students.

Multipurpose Rooms 

This series of rooms, one of which was generously donated by the Stutzman Family Foundation, can seat up to 600 and host lectures, conferences, dances, and other large events.

Student Organization Space

Several donors contributed to this key component of the Barbara Walters Campus Center, providing a dedicated collaborative workspace for student organizations, which was relocated from Bates.

Kitchen Facilities 

Anthony J. Payiavlas and AVI Foodsystems generously contributed to the BWCC’s state-of-the-art kitchen and catering facilities, which produce a wide range of meals for large crowds over extended hours.

New York State HECap Award for the BWCC

New York State’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program (HECap) awarded Sarah Lawrence a $2 million grant in support of the Barbara Walters Campus Center. Established in 2005, the HECap Program provides matching grants to finance capital projects and equipment purchases by independent institutions of higher learning in New York State to enhance programmatic offerings or student life at the College or to provide economic development benefits to the area surrounding our campus.