What happened to Lafayette’s satellite campus?

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In 2016, Lafayette leased space in the New York City Law School from which professors could host classes and field trips. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College Communications)

Alexis Granville-Walles

A selling point for prospective Lafayette students is the proximity of two major cities, The Big Apple and Philadelphia.

While there once was the opportunity for Lafayette students to visit the buzz, hustle and traffic of New York City at Lafayette’s satellite campus, this is no longer the case as the College ended the lease for the New York campus in May 2019. 

The desire to open a satellite campus gained traction while Byerly was the president of Lafayette. In 2016, the administration decided to expand the campus and was stuck between choosing either New York City or Philadelphia as a location. While the debate over which metropolitan area to choose was a tough one, the team decided on New York City because of its artistic possibilities.

“New York, along with perhaps London and Paris, is the world’s leading center for the arts, and the lease gave classes a place to convene while on field trips to New York,” Vice President of Communications and Marketing Mark Eyerly said.

John O’Keefe, vice president and chief information officer of Lafayette’s Information Technology Services, was tasked to find a location in the city that would allow students to expand their academic and co-curricular experience.

Accordingly, Eyerly explained, the team scored a two-year lease in 2016 for a 1500 square foot floor space in the New York Law School, which is located in Greenwich Village.

 Many classes used this space as a home base for day trips to the city, and alumni meetings would be held in one of the classroom spaces. 

“There were pre-existing classes with New York City components, and demand for space there already existed,” O’Keefe said. 

That there was once a Lafayette campus in one of the biggest cities in the world shocked current students.  

“If I was an art student and was given the opportunity to take my class in New York, I would. Students should have that opportunity,” Lucas Lindenmuth ‘25 said.

However, the lease has not been renewed. A space Lafayette once had, is now gone.