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The students in Lafayette’s McKelvy House Scholars program were featured as “the voice of the next generation” in the January 2 edition of the weekly national program CBS News Sunday Morning.

A crew from Sunday Morning visited McKelvy House last Dec. 12 to videotape the students engaging in their traditional Sunday dinner discussion and debate. The evening’s topic was materialism in America. In the McKelvy program, 19 students of high academic achievement and promise reside together in a historic home and participate in shared intellectual and social activities. The dinner discussions, held twice weekly, are a hallmark of the program.

“We came to Lafayette to listen in as the McKelvy House students discussed their perceptions of materialism in America at the approach of the new millennium,” says Sunday Morning associate producer Sandra Malyszka. The students were the voice of the next generation in the program’s lengthy cover story, entitled “Greed,” presented by correspondent Thalia Assuras.

The piece also included interviews with three nationally prominent observers of American society, Frank Rich, columnist on the op-ed page of The New York Times and senior writer for The New York Times Magazine; Sissela Bok, distinguished fellow at Harvard University’s Center for Population and Development Studies and author of books on public and private morality, including Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life; and Kevin Phillips, a one of the nation’s leading political analysts, whose books include The Politics of Rich and Poor. There was also interview with Father Bill Greenlaw, rector of New York City’s Church of the Holy Apostles, whose soup kitchen serves 1,100 meals each morning.

The students’ discussion was led by chemical engineering major Janice Glass ’00 of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Laura Hudock ’01 of Ridgefield, Conn., a double major in government and law and Spanish.

“Living at McKelvy is a unique experience,” Glass says. “Everyone is committed to discussing whatever topic we happen to be exploring.”

Hudock says, “McKelvy provides an opportunity to live in a community in which academics and intellect are the main focus. It has opened up my thinking to new ideas and disciplines that fall outside my majors. I would definitely recommend McKelvy to students with a passion for learning and developing their minds.”

McKelvy House was built in 1888 on High Street overlooking the Delaware River. Designed by McKim, Mead, and White, it is one of the College’s finest pieces of architecture. Originally the John Eyerman residence, it was given to Lafayette by the heirs of Trustee Francis G. McKelvy in 1960. The McKelvy House Scholars program was founded in 1961.

Helena Silverstein, associate professor of government and law, was resident faculty adviser at McKelvy House at the time of the CBS show.

“The McKelvy program promotes intellectual thought and discourse within the context of a residential environment,” Silverstein says. “Discussions foster intellectual growth, contribute to the creation of a scholarly community, and enhance the students’ ability to relate to people with diverse perspectives.”

“Debates and discussions are ways that we can be impacted by and included in the experiences and knowledge of others,” echoes Catriona Duncanson ’02, Basking Ridge, N.J. “The group is intimate enough to attempt to understand other people and their points of view, and the events that helped to shape their opinions.”

Duncanson says she enjoys the community-style living and the fact that “people here are willing to have intelligent discussions and debates.” In applying for the McKelvy program she had hoped to be surrounded by people who share her interests in reading and intellectual pursuits, and wanted a more family-style atmosphere than a residence hall.

The residents of McKelvy House were Damon Eckert (Carpinteria, Calif.), Glass, Keith Griffin (Oakton, Va.), Nicole Herbert (Harrisburg, Pa.), Rachel Pilling (Deer Isle, Maine), and Carrie Ryder (Pitman, N.J.), all class of 2000.

Also Andrew Bennett (Fair Haven, N.J.), Mark Comanducci (Colts Neck, N.J.), Hudock, Angela Neal (Germantown, Md.), and Andrew Platt (West Chester, Pa.), all class of 2000.

Also Andrew Colton (Hicksville, N.Y.), Haley Dienst (Stowe, Vt.), Beckey Dreibelbis (Hamburg, Pa.), Duncanson, Lauren Moses (Everett, Wash.), Jason Paul (Boca Raton, Fla.), Brad Schundler (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and Kira Stackhouse (Easton, Pa.), all class of 2000.

Joining the McKelvy Scholars for the discussion were two guests, Kim Corbett ’01, Clifton, N.J., and Brent Hierman ’00, Harvard, Mass., and a former McKelvy resident.

Categorized in: Academic News