President’s Message: Action and Accomplishment

It has been a year of action and accomplishment at Lafayette, thanks to the dedicated efforts of trustees, faculty, staff, and students.

Dan WeissBracketing the year were announcements of exciting plans to transform properties on North Third St. into state-of-the-art facilities for theater and film & media studies and to create a new Center for Global Education. With the Williams Visual Arts Building (an asset to the College and the community for a decade) and the adjacent Arts Plaza (showcased recently at a world design expo), the new downtown facilities will make the Williams Arts Campus a creative hub rivaling that of any college. The global education center, made possible by the support of Walter and Christa Oechsle, will strengthen our identity as a vibrant, intellectually rich college connected all over the world. I am pleased that Mikhail Gorbachev will join us in October as we celebrate this initiative.

The creation of the new position of vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer reflects our commitment to integrate diversity and inclusiveness issues fully in our deliberations and planning. The profile of our incoming Class of 2015 is encouraging, with increases in academic quality, diversity, and geographic distribution. The faculty’s adoption of a new Common Course of Study and the completion by the Working Group on Greek Life and Campus Community of its comprehensive 18-month study also are significant.

And in addition to working hard to move the College forward, we celebrated history and tradition with events marking the 40th anniversary of coeducation and the 80th anniversary of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Renovations to the Quad and Watson Hall courtyard, scheduled to start this summer, are steps we’re taking toward a more walkable and environmentally friendly campus as envisioned in the Campus Master Plan. In this magazine, you will read more about some of the accomplishments I’ve mentioned and more about the involvement of students, faculty, recent graduates, and the College in efforts to advance environmental sustainability on campus and in the world. I hope you enjoy the issue.

Daniel H.Weiss