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Ramer History House will be open for use on the first day of classes. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 20

This fall will not only mark the start of a new academic year; it will also be a new beginning of sorts for the history department.

The department has just moved from its previous location at Fretz House on Cattell Street to a newly-renovated and state-of-the-art facility at the former Theta Delta Chi fraternity house on Sullivan Lane.

Although there are still a few finishing touches being put on the new Ramer History House, faculty members have moved into their offices and classes will be held in the building Monday, which is the official start of classes.

Deborah Rosen, professor and head of history, says, “We are very excited. We are now well equipped with three beautiful classrooms and technology. [The administration] really took care of us and I believe we will be better able to fulfill our academic mission here.”

The facility will be officially dedicated Friday, Oct. 20, 2006. There will be a ceremony at 5 p.m. followed by a reception and tours at 5:45 p.m.

The transformation into the department’s new 7,840-square-foot home began last December. Designed by KSS Architects LLP of Philadelphia, Ramer History House provides a dynamic 21st-century learning environment integrated into a building that maintains its distinctive Georgian style.

“It was a great experience working with the architects,” says Rosen. “They were very responsive to our input and were able to retain the beauty of the Georgian architecture while adding the technology. The whole feel really works well.”

The first floor features a classroom and two seminar rooms, all with state-of-the-art projection capabilities, and an attractive entry lobby. The second and third floors contain faculty and staff offices, a workroom, and a kitchenette.

“Many of our faculty use the most advanced technology possible for lecture, as well as student presentations, so we will make full use of the building’s capabilities,” says Rosen. “We not only have nice spaces for our scholarly endeavors, but we also have space set aside for EXCEL and other one-on-one research and we are now centrally-located on campus. Good work space really makes a difference and we are now well equipped for all the different aspects of what we do.”

The building is named for Lawrence J. Ramer ’50 Hon.D. ’92 and Ina Lee Ramer in appreciation for their dedication to academic excellence at Lafayette. This is the second campus building named in honor of the Ramers, who are sustaining members of the Marquis Society and members of the Societe d’Honneur. Ramer Hall, a student residence, opened in 1991.

Larry Ramer is chairman of Ramer Equities, Inc. He majored in economics at Lafayette and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was elected to trusteeship in 1976 and chaired the board from 1992-2001, when he became a trustee emeritus. The Ramers reside in Los Angeles, where they are active in a number of cultural and civic organizations. They have three children: Stephanie, Susan ’83, and Douglas.

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