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A dedication ceremony for Lafayette’s Robert E. ’32 and Hazel E. Pfenning Alumni Center, under construction on Hamilton Street between Kirby Sports Center and Oechsle Hall, will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, in the building’s Wilson Room.

The dedication will feature remarks by Lafayette President Arthur J. Rothkopf ’55; Student Government President Morgan Albus ’03; Edward Ahart ’69, trustee and former president of the Alumni Association; Jay Mottola ’72, president of the Alumni Association; John E. Leone, director of Alumni Affairs; and Robert A. Pfenning, son of Robert E. ’32 and Hazel E. Pfenning.

Tours will be given following the ceremony.

Named in tribute to Robert E. Pfenning’s service as Alumni Association president and the Pfenning family’s exceptional loyalty and financial support, the 17,500-square-foot center will give alumni a central, convenient home on campus, with ample space for Alumni Association activities, says James Dicker ’85, director of development.

The center will feature an assembly room for meetings, pregame luncheons, committee sessions, and alumni banquets and forums. With a capacity of 150 people for seated dining, the room also can be partitioned into three separate areas. The great room is named for Trustee Emeritus Ty Wilson ’53 in recognition of his $500,000 donation to the campaign. An outdoor plaza overlooking Fisher Field is named after John Bourger ’71 in recognition of his $500,000 donation to the campaign. Other features of the center include small meeting rooms and a central gallery with displays.

Construction of the building was funded primarily through the Pfenning estate. The architectural firm is RTKL Associates, Baltimore, Md. Construction is by Telesis Construction, King of Prussia, Pa.

Robert E. Pfenning’s senior-year Melange described his “strong character, perseverance, leadership, and very delightful sense of humor.” These qualities contributed to his success at Lafayette, where he earned his B.S. in administrative engineering summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He enjoyed equal success throughout his career with General Electric, from which he retired as vice president and comptroller in 1970.

In addition to serving as Alumni Association president (1973-1974), Pfenning’s leadership roles as a Lafayette volunteer included service with the Alumni Council and Alumni Fund. After his death in 1978, his wife, Hazel, remained among the College’s most devoted and generous friends until her death two decades later. Their son, Robert A. Pfenning, has continued his parents’ generosity and directed his personal support to Lafayette.

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