Doris Kelley Christopher Hall aims to help families, children

By Natalie Carino

Christopher Hall, located in a normally quiet part of campus, was filled to capacity Thursday afternoon for the building’s dedication ceremony.

Established in February of 2000 through a donation from Doris Kelley Christopher, founder and chairman of The Pampered Chef, Ltd., Christopher Hall and the Family Resiliency Center aims at enriching the well-being of children and families through research and education. Doris Kelley Christopher Hall is home of The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program and the Department of Human and Community Development at the University.

“It’s a place for education, community outreach and research activities,” said Diane Marlin, coordinator of The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program in the Department of Human and Community Development at the University. “We hope it’s a place where the community feels welcome.”

Located at 904 W. Nevada St. in Urbana, Christopher Hall features a resource and information center, where families, educators and professionals can speak with Family Resiliency Center staff and obtain information on resolving family problems. Families will also be able to get information on child development.

Christopher Hall also features The Family Resiliency Research Home, a 1,000 square foot space that represents a “real” home environment. Researchers will be able to observe and videotape family interactions and conduct various outreach programs.

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    According to the Family Resiliency Center programs overview, specific research projects will investigate the contributions of family mealtimes to child development and family cohesion, ways to enhance the quality of sibling and parent-child relationships, and methods for negotiating work and family conflict. The Research Home will also offer Educational and recreational activities, like parent-child cooking classes.

    “The ability to teach undergraduates and graduates is simply wonderful,” said Laurie Kramer, director of The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program. “The facility is equipped with cutting edge technology.”

    Doris Kelley Christopher graduated from the University in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. Christopher started The Pampered Chef in 1980 based on her belief that “when families share a meal, the bonds that hold that family together grow stronger”. The Pampered Chef markets kitchen equipment through direct sales and in-home cooking demonstrations.

    “When I started here as a student, I was often intrigued by the names I saw on buildings,” said Christopher in a speech during the building dedication. “The one thing I was sure of was that they contributed great things to the University. I’m honored to be part of a program that will help families for years to come.”