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John W. '39 and Muriel T. S. Landis have made a $1 million commitment to the Lafayette Leadership Campaign to create a major endowment supporting community outreach.

The Landis Community Outreach Center was dedicated June 5, during John Landis's 60th Reunion.

Lafayette students conduct more than 25 programs of sustained voluntary service annually under the auspices of the center, which was established in 1991. During the current academic year, approximately 950 of Lafayette's 2,200 students – more than 40 percent – contributed more than 33,000 volunteer hours to the community. Among other activities, the students tutor, mentor, and coach children; work with homeless men, women and children; brighten the lives of senior citizens; tutor prisoners; help adults learn English as a second language; and coordinate a holiday gift-giving program for needy families.

Lafayette has received more than $129 million in gifts and pledges toward the $143 million goal of the Lafayette Leadership Campaign, the largest campaign in the Lafayette's history and one of the most ambitious fundraising efforts ever undertaken by an undergraduate institution of Lafayette's size. Publicly launched in October 1997, the campaign is scheduled to run through June 30, 2001.

“Once again we are very grateful to John and Muriel Landis for their generous support of Lafayette,” says President Arthur J. Rothkopf '55. “The community outreach program is an extraordinarily worthy project and one in which I and the entire Lafayette family take great pride.”

“Muriel and I have enjoyed our voluntary efforts so much we would like to help others find the same fulfillment,” John says. “We look upon the community outreach program as a means of doing just that.”

The Landises, now of Weston, Mass., grew up in Phillipsburg, N.J., and are especially pleased that their new endowment will benefit residents of the Easton/Phillipsburg area. John graduated summa cum laude, was valedictorian and won the Pepper Prize, awarded annually to the senior who most closely represents the “Lafayette ideal.” He is the eldest of five brothers who earned degrees at Lafayette, including Paul E. Landis '42, Richard B. Landis '43, Glenn K. Landis '44, and Edwin C. Landis Jr. '56. Their father, Edwin C. Landis Sr., who resided in Phillipsburg from 1916 to 1981, joined his five sons and one grandson in the ranks of Lafayette alumni when the College awarded him an honorary master of arts degree in 1993.

Muriel graduated from Moravian College with the distinction of being elected “Miss Moravian.” They were married in Colton Chapel in 1941.

Their lifelong, far-ranging involvement in civic activities has included teaching Sunday school, serving on numerous councils, committees, and boards (including a school board), and assisting with fundraising for a variety of organizations.

Members of the College's Société d'Honneur and Sustaining Members of the Marquis Society, the Landises have generously supported financial aid, the renovation of an engineering laboratory, and a major campus lecture series. Another contribution placed their names on the atrium of the Farinon College Center. John was a Lafayette trustee for 18 years and was named trustee emeritus in 1988. He was also board chair at Randolph-Macon Woman's College and a trustee of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

The College awarded John an honorary doctorate in 1960 and the George Washington Kidd, Class of 1836, Award in 1972. Both honors paid tribute to his notable contributions to the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he was chairman or president of several companies in the nuclear field, including Gulf General Atomic, Gulf United Nuclear Fuels, Gulf Oil/Royal Dutch Shell Power Systems, and Stone & Webster International. He has been president of three international technical societies and chair of the American National Standards Institute and the U.S. Energy Research Advisory Board.

The Wisdom Society elected John to its Hall of Fame and awarded him its highest honor, the Winston Churchill Medal of Wisdom. In 1996 he received the coveted Henry DeWolf Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award from the American Nuclear Society and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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