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Lafayette has attained the distinction of being classified among America’s “most academically competitive colleges” by Barron’s, publishers of the well-known guidebooks Profiles of American Colleges and Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges.

Barron’s “most competitive” list includes only 58 colleges and universities nationally.

Lafayette’s “most competitive” classification is included in the 24th edition of Profiles of American Colleges, released in June 2000. Previously Lafayette was rated “highly competitive.”

“Lafayette has earned this distinction based on its acceptance of only the best and the brightest students,” said Barron’s Senior Editor Max Reed.

Barron’s competitiveness scale includes six ratings ranging from “most competitive” to “noncompetitive” plus a special classification for music conservatories, art schools, nursing schools, and those with mostly adult enrollments.

Reed added, “This achievement also qualifies Lafayette for inclusion next spring in the second edition of Barron’s Guide to the Most Competitive Colleges, which profiles about 50 of the most academically competitive colleges across America.” The guide has detailed information on admissions, academics, social life, financial aid, and graduates’ career and graduate school achievements. Each school’s section includes an essay written by a recent graduate, providing an insider’s views and perceptions.

The popular Profiles of American Colleges includes every accredited four-year college in the United States, with information on student body and faculty composition, tuition and fees, average test scores of incoming freshmen, admission requirements, academic programs and facilities, residential facilities, activities and sports, financial aid, campus safety, etc.

The rise to the “most competitive” classification came during a year of national exposure and major honors for academic distinction at Lafayette, including the following:

  • USA Today named Erin Muller, a senior from Riverton, Conn, as one of 100 students nationally on its “All-USA College Academic Team”, honoring her role in an international research project to obtain information on the biology of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni and the disease schistosomiasis, which affects at least 200 million people, many in Third World countries.
  • CBS News Sunday Morning featured students in the McKelvy House Scholars program. “We came to Lafayette to listen in as the McKelvy students discussed their perceptions of materialism in America at the approach of the new millennium,” said Sunday Morning associate producer Sandra Malyszka.
  • ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings featured the members of Patriot League champion men’s basketball team and coach Fran O’Hanlon, highlighting the players’ academic achievements and career aspirations and the program’s perfect graduation rate. Lafayette is the only NCAA Division I school in the nation with a 100 percent graduation rate for both men’s and women’s basketball.
  • Wendy L. Hill, associate professor of psychology and chair of neuroscience, was named Professor of the Year in Pennsylvania by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for her extraordinary dedication to teaching and exceptional impact on and involvement with undergraduate students.
  • Mary S.J. Roth
  • , an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and a 1983 Lafayette graduate, received a Fulbright Grant to conduct research in Oslo, Norway, with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in 2000-01 and was named Engineer of the Year by the Lehigh Valley section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

  • A breakthrough in research by June Schlueter, provost and Dana Professor of English, was published in Shakespeare Quarterly. Schlueter discovered that a well-known drawing long viewed by scholars as the only contemporary illustration of a Shakespeare play in performance is not what it seems.
  • Sarah Eremus, a senior from Bryn Mawr, Pa., received a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue research in Japan in 2000-01 on the role of preschool education in the social development of Japanese children.
  • ESPN televised the championship game of the Patriot League men’s basketball tournament in the Kirby Sports Center. The $26.5 million facility is part of $100 million in new construction and major renovation projects that are transforming the campus.

Lafayette began the 2000-01 academic year by earning high praise for academics and selectivity in another prestigious national publication, The Fiske Guide To Colleges 2001. “With a growing focus on academics, Lafayette is well on its way to being considered one of the finest liberal arts colleges on the East Coast,” the guide says.

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