Dinner in the Library

A Celebration of Julia Child and Her Appetite for Life

Brian Schottlaender and
Noël Riley Fitch

Guests at this year's Dinner in the Library enjoyed an entertaining evening and fascinating talk by internationally renowned biographer and historian Noël Riley Fitch, the author of Appetite for Life, the only authorized biography of culinary icon, Julia Child. Before more than 100 guests sat down to a delicious dinner in Geisel Library, they enjoyed cocktails and had the opportunity to bid on a wide range of items in a silent auction. The event raised more than $170,000 for Library collections and services, thanks to the generous support of Audrey Geisel and the Dr. Seuss Fund at the San Diego Foundation, and many other generous sponsors.

Dorothy Gregor with Audrey Geisel University Librarian, Brian E.C. Schottlaender

Fitch's talk centered on her experiences in writing her 1997 biography of Julia Child, and the strong friendship she developed with her during the process. While often thought of as a blue blood New Englander, Julia McWilliams had a privileged upbringing in Pasadena, marked by country club memberships, ski trips, and summer vacations in the exclusive St. Malo community north of San Diego, where she spent many hours swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Julia came of age in what Fitch jokingly called "The Golden Age of Food Processing," when Julia, as a student at Smith College, would ravenously consume jellyfilled donuts, brownies with chocolate sauce, and other "tasty junk food." At 6'3," said Fitch, Julia was always hungry but was not all that interested in food per se. It would be many years before Julia became interested in French cuisine, laboring for a decade on her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which launched her as a culinary icon.

Those who missed this year's Dinner in the Library, can watch Fitch's 30-minute talk on our UCTV Library Channel at: www.uctv.tv/librarychannel.

The Dinner included the awarding of the Geisel Citation for Library Philanthropy. This year's recipient was Dorothy D. Gregor, who served as UC San Diego's University Librarian from 1985 through 1992, a period which included the oversight of the subterranean expansion of Geisel Library. Subsequently, Gregor served as UC Berkeley's University Librarian. Since her tenure at UC San Diego, she has continued to be a champion of the Library, and has provided valuable support, including the establishment of the Dorothy D. Gregor Endowment for the Library's collections and services.

In addition to the generous support provided by Audrey Geisel, Dinner in the Library was provided by a number of sponsors and auction contributors. Click here for the complete list of Dinner in the Library sponsors and contributors.

Photos of the event can be viewed here

Exhibits & Events

"That's the Ticket: Voting in the 19th Century."

  • November 4 – December 22, 2014
  • Lobby, Geisel Library.
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

“HLHW lecture: Hitler’s Furies: Ordinary Women?”

  • November 13, 2014 5:00 to 7:00 pm
  • Seuss Room, Geisel Library.
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

“Silent Films of LJ Cinema League.”

  • November 13, 2014 7:00 to 8:30 pm
  • Coast Room, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego.
  • 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

“Annual Turkey Calling Show.”

  • November 26, 2014 Noon to 1:00 pm
  • Seuss Room, Geisel Library.
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

"HLHW Lecture: A Childhood in Hiding.”

  • January 21, 2014 5:00 to 7:00 pm
  • Seuss Room, Geisel Library.
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

“National Kazoo Day.”

  • January 28, 2014 Noon to 1:00 pm
  • Seuss Room, Geisel Library.
  • For more information:
  • Webpage.

Domain Editor

Dolores Davies

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