Editor’s Note: A Creative Confluence

parrishMy imagination vibrates at a pretty high frequency, so when I began working at Lafayette six years ago I was heartened to discover I wasn’t alone. The campus teems with fellow sojourners full of curiosity and courage, qualities necessary for the lifelong journey of the creative life.

In his best-selling book The Geography of Bliss, author Eric Weiner searches for the happiest places on Earth in hopes of understanding the essential ingredients for contentment. Iceland ranks high on his list despite spending half the year in darkness. The reason? Iceland bubbles with creativity. Everyone writes, Weiner says. “There’s a real creative vibe throughout the island
that extends to all the arts.”

In this way, Lafayette is a lot like Iceland. Art doesn’t reside in an ivory tower; it’s part of our campus culture, transcending academic courses and degrees, disciplines and departments. It’s the life force of the College.

Art ripples and hums in the synapses of faculty like Jennifer Stroud Rossmann, associate professor of mechanical engineering who writes award-winning fiction; Dana Lapides ’16, a math major who plays concert piano; and executive assistant to the President Marie Enea, a talented painter whose work is displayed in prominent homes throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond.

Lafayette takes creativity seriously, as evidenced by the expanded Williams Arts Campus on North Third Street. An article gives an overview of the new facilities. The space allows not only for feasting on art, but its creation—the calling forth of the magic that lies within each of us.

Lafayette is big enough to offer so much, but small enough to keep the doors unlatched. Here, you can become a yoga-instructor mechanical engineer, a neuroscience aquarist, and an economist chef.

Michael O’Neill, associate professor and director of theater, says it best: “At the end of the day, it’s what we create that gives life meaning.”

Kathleen Parrish P’16 and P’20

P.S. I promised last issue to explain the coffee stains. When I get excited about a story, my hands flap and wave like a startled goose. I’ve been known to knock over coffee mugs in bursts of inspiration so Kristen Lopez, one of our designers, inserted a java ring on my note in humorous homage. During a recent pow-wow with writer Geoff Gehman ’80, I got so fired up over his Joe Maddon ’76 pitch, that I spilled a cup of joe on him. Lucky for us, it didn’t dissuade him from writing the tale.