All Campus Dining Center Renamed Gordon CommonsCollege Receives Gift From Family of Ellen Gordon ’52

Thanks to the generosity of an alumnae/i family, Vassar’s All Campus Dining Center has a new name. In a ceremony Oct. 25 in the foyer of the Students’ Building, the dining center was officially designated Gordon Commons.

Left to right: Mirela Prifti (Vassar Kitchen Worker), Mike Conlin (Vassar Head Chef), Mike Quattrociocchi (Project manager and Manager of Building Trades), Anthony Ripley (Senior Building Trade Supervisor), Andrea Hall (Vassar Kitchen Worker), Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley

President Elizabeth Bradley offered the college’s thanks to Ellen Rubin Gordon ’52, her family, and the Cele H. and William B. Rubin Family Fund for their gifts for the recent renovations, which have transformed the dining space into a spacious, open venue featuring good food, much of it from local farms. “We are thankful to Ellen Gordon and the Rubin Family Fund, who have helped us create a warm and healthy place for building community every day,” Bradley said.

In addition to the renovations that have already taken place, the donations will enable the college to make additional improvements over the next several months, including a complete renovation of the dishwashing room.

Interim Dean of the College Carlos Alamo-Pastrana said Vassar was grateful for the support of the Rubin and Gordon families. “The College is deeply thankful for these generous gifts, which have allowed us to transform the dining and student experience in meaningful ways,” Alamo-Pastrana said. “The variety of seating arrangements throughout the facility permits large and small groups to gather and convene over delicious food. In the end, the renovation of the Gordon Commons Dining Center has created an open and welcoming environment for all members of our community.”

Ellen Gordon, who is Chairman and CEO of Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., said she and her family decided to support the renovations at the dining center in part because of the fond memories she had of her experiences interacting with other students, faculty, and staff during meal times at Vassar. “I always thought the social aspects of people talking with each other at breakfast, lunch, and dinner were very much a part of my college experience,” she said. “It was a time for meeting people and making new friends.”

Gordon spent two years at Vassar, got married at the end of her sophomore year and transferred to Wellesley College. She said she made many lasting friendships and developed vital critical thinking skills during her time at Vassar. She said, “It was a special place.”