We were blessed with a spectacularly beautiful Homecoming weekend in October. Visiting alumni clearly enjoyed pointing out their favorite campus haunts, admiring new buildings, and expressing awe at the immaculate state of the landscaping. “The College has never looked more lovely,” several alumni told me.
The beauty of the Lafayette campus provides an important source of continuity across generations. Whether you are a current student or an alum from decades past, you know what it is like to study in elegant Kirby Library or enjoy late afternoon sun streaming through the trees as you walk across the Quad. More recent additions to the campus, like Oechsle Center for Global Education and the lighted façade of William C. Buck Hall, have already become landmarks.
As the College begins the first year of our plan to expand the student body and faculty—with an entering class that is the largest, best prepared, and most diverse in Lafayette’s history—the campus is undergoing some subtle transformations. Work has begun on the Anderson Courtyard site next to Acopian Engineering Center that will become home of the new S. Kent Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center. Temporary modular dorms near March Field house additional students as we plan for construction of new residence halls. A guiding principle in all these projects is the need to maintain the beauty and intimacy of our campus even as we provide cutting-edge facilities that will support the academic program and residential community.
We also are excited about the impact our expansion will have on our larger home, the City of Easton. Already, the addition of dozens of staff in our new Lafayette Downtown offices on three floors of the Alpha Building is a visible sign of our link to the city. With more Lafayette students, faculty, and staff than ever before taking advantage of Easton’s shops and restaurants, the prospect of 400 more students is very welcome to local businesses.
In addition, our faculty, students, and staff annually devote 20,000 hours to community programs; 22 student organizations provide weekly volunteerism; 350 students participate in single-day, one-time service projects; and one-fourth of our student body enrolls in more than two dozen community-based-learning courses. We expect those partnerships to grow along with our expanding student body.
As you will see in this issue, Easton itself has undergone a lot of changes over the last two decades. We are proud to have been part of those changes. Lafayette College and the City of Easton share a tremendous history, and we look forward to a vibrant future together.