Believing in You

Dear Lafayette family,

I am so honored and excited to join you as our 18th president.

As I write this, I am thinking about all the members of this community. Most of you are graduates of Lafayette. Some of you are students or parents, members of the faculty or staff, or friends of the College with a strong affinity for what we do here: educate the next generation of leaders. And no matter what your affiliation, my first message is this: I believe in you and in our Lafayette family.

Whether it is in laboratories, classrooms, art galleries, performance spaces, or athletic venues—or in work with local nonprofits, student-led organizations, and alumni-offered corporate internships—we come together as a community to equip young people with the grounding, inquisitiveness, and resilience they will need to succeed, however they define success. We unlock potential. We ignite the sparks that create fireworks of opportunity.

All of us help make that happen, which is why I am excited and grateful to be joining this community. Amplifying the stories of our impact and potential is at the top of my to-do list as we look to attract the brightest students, faculty, and staff with the greatest promise from across the country and around the world. And to our alumni, I am ready to hear your stories—what makes Lafayette special, what you still carry with you, and how you continue to show how Lafayette leads today.

I have been asked many times in the past several weeks why I wanted to become a college president. My answer? I did not want to become a college president; I wanted to become Lafayette College’s president. From the moment I was asked to consider this opportunity, I have fallen in love with this community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, trustees, neighbors in Easton. Whether it is the powerful combination of liberal arts and engineering, the commitment to innovate and create new knowledge, or the belief that we are bound by this promise of a Lafayette that makes the world a better place, what I know is that I believe in each of you and what we can and will accomplish together. As I remarked during the event announcing my appointment, there is no limit to what can happen when our heads, hands, and hearts are in alignment.

The phrase “I believe in you” has special meaning in my family. It is what we say to each other when there is a challenge before us and on the days when we just need a smile (and it was written on our kitchen white board as I left for my Lafayette finalist interview). I now extend that phrase to all of you. We are poised to pursue a braver, bolder future together. I cannot wait to spend time hearing your dreams and hopes for Lafayette. I pledge to you, I will be listening, and we will realize those dreams together. It is a terrific honor to join you in building the College’s next chapter.

On, Lafayette! To great things ahead!

Nicole Hurd