I have often been impressed by how well informed many parents are about things happening at the College. In addition to reading emails, newsletters, and the Lafayette Magazine, I know many of you are active on social media, as a number of you follow me on Twitter and I often see parent posts on the College’s Facebook page. I was reminded of that last week when I hosted my annual Halloween Open House. It’s a chance for students to see the President’s House looking creepy and pick up some candy and treats. I always love seeing both the elaborate, carefully crafted costumes and the more spontaneous and wacky last-minute efforts. One young man told me he had just decided to come that afternoon. Why? His mother had seen something about it, and suggested that he go. Good job, Mom!
It has been an eventful fall, one that as you know included a number of challenges. As I noted in my email to the campus a few weeks ago, the cumulative impact of a tragic loss to our community and devastating national events was hard to overlook. It is at moments like this, however, that I think you feel the benefit of being part of a close-knit community. Students were supported by faculty, coaches, and staff, and they also supported each other. Lafayette students are very good at turning challenges into opportunities for positive change. This was evident on October 26, when hundreds of students participated in student-organized Take Back the Night events to protest sexual violence. A few days later, several student groups partnered to sponsor the Mental Miles 5K, a fundraiser for mental health and suicide prevention services. And this last weekend our Men’s Basketball team packed Kirby Arena for an exhibition game against Penn State as a fundraiser for the #OneAmericaAppeal, a national hurricane relief fund.
This has also been a time of enormous energy, as we welcomed a large and talented first year class, along with a record number of new faculty hires. I encourage you to check out these terrific profiles of our new faculty, which include videos and personal stories, at https://news.lafayette.edu/meet-our-new-faculty/. I think you’ll enjoy learning about the many new fields of study they bring to the College. And if you decide to recommend one of their courses to your student — who knows, they might even take your advice!
Best wishes for the coming holidays,
President Alison Byerly