A Cultural and Educational Hub
Until WWII, Reid Hall housed between fifty and sixty-five women at any given time, and was an intellectual and social hub of the Montparnasse neighborhood. French scholars, civil servants, and intellectuals came to the Franco-American center to introduce students to the study of French theater, literature, art, and to debate major questions in French political life.
In 1939, the American University Women's Paris Club ceased its functions, and AFFDU was given management of the property. In 1941, Reid Hall was transferred to the Ministry of Public Instruction, which established the École normale supérieure de jeunes filles de Sèvres on the premises.
In 1947, Leet returned to France as President of Reid Hall, reviving it as a center for American education overseas, marking its evolution into a study abroad center as we would recognize it today. Smith, Sweet Briar, Middlebury, Bryn Mawr, and Yale headquartered their programs at Reid Hall, sending their students to the Sorbonne and other centers of higher education in Paris. In 1952, Leet created the Third Year in Paris Program, bringing together students from various American colleges and universities to spend a year studying French language and culture in classes at Reid Hall and in the French university world. Gradually, more and more students stayed with host families in Paris and the former residences were converted into offices and classrooms.
Gifted to Columbia University