The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

College launches committee to prepare for bicentennial celebration

Photo by Alex Wilson for The Lafayette
The bicentennial committee will emphasize bringing together students, faculty, parents and alumni.

The college has established a bicentennial committee to prepare for its approaching 200th anniversary in 2026.  

“[The bicentennial] is a chance to elevate and amplify the college,” college President Nicole Hurd said. “[We will] celebrate our history, celebrate this beautiful democratic origin story and talk about our namesake.”

Members of the Bicentennial Planning and Management Group will oversee five task forces dedicated to planning for the celebration.

In October, members of the college’s leadership identified the members of the task forces. Pete Mackey, a leader of the committee and interim vice president for communications and marketing, then began communication with the task forces, with meetings expected to take place soon. They are expected to meet and begin planning in early December with no current timetable settled.

Each task force will then invite students, faculty, staff and parents to join and contribute their thoughts to the committee’s goal. 

“I’m excited about working collaboratively across all the task forces,” director of employer relations Holly Akers said. “You have multiple areas and so when you plan something like this, you need to think about all the moving parts and how you can all complement each other to make a more beneficial experience for all of the stakeholders, of which there are many.” 

Akers will serve as the chair of the Community Relations Task Force.

Ideas for the bicentennial were brainstormed in past years, but will soon be officially proposed starting in 2024. Many of the college’s current projects, such as the master plan and strategic plan, were set out with the goal of enhancing the celebration experiences for the campus community. 

“Numerous ideas for the bicentennial were gathered from a series of campus conversations in spring 2022,” Mackey wrote in an email. “We will also be offering the campus community opportunities to recommend other ideas and activities fitting for the bicentennial as we build a range of programming to celebrate the college.” 

Fran Della Badia ‘91, vice president of the Alumni Association Board, and Wynne Whitman ‘86, a member of the Board of Trustees, will lead the committees and oversee task forces alongside Mackey. 

The other four task forces are the Academic Affairs Task Force chaired by college archivist Elaine Stomber ‘89, the Alumni and Parents Task Force chaired by the director of alumni engagement Mary Neuenschwander, the Athletics and Recreation Task Force chaired by geology professor David Sunderlin and the Student Life Task Force, chaired by vice president for student life Sarah Moschenross. 

Specific plans will be made available to the campus community after the task forces meet. The college launched a bicentennial website on Nov. 16, offering resources and information about what events will take place.

“To be able to celebrate your bicentennial to have that kind of longevity is really just an amazing accomplishment,” Akers said. “And I think it’s a wonderful reflection of the quality of Lafayette as an institution of education.”

Correction 11/29/2023: A previous version of this article claimed Pete Mackey assembled the task forces. The president and other members of college leadership identified the members of the task forces together.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.
Alex Wilson, Staff Photographer

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *