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More than a dozen media outlets have featured the College and the Marquis

The College’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette’s birth has been or will be covered by more than a dozen media outlets, including the New York Times, French Press Agency, a French television network, The Documentary Group, WLVT Channel 39, WFMZ Channel 69, and the French Embassy’s web site.

The College is throwing a yearlong celebration during 2007-08 in recognition of the life and legacy of the man for whom it is named. In addition to the birthday party Sept. 6, major events include a lecture series, entitled Lives of Liberty, and a historical exhibit at the Williams Center for the Arts, entitled A Son and his Adoptive Father: The Marquis de Lafayette and George Washington.

  • A web site dedicated to the celebration and to the Marquis’ unique connection to the College provides information and updates.

Four camera crews were on campus for the birthday party. WFMZ Channel 69 News ran the segment “Who was Marquis de Lafayette?” on Sept. 6. TF1, a major French television network, sent a camera crew from its Washington D.C. bureau. It ran a two minute report Sept. 8, “La Fayette honor� aux Etats-Unis.” Read a translation of the broadcast.

A crew from WLVT Channel 39, the local PBS station, spent two days filming on campus. A segment featuring the 250th celebration will air on “Tempo,” the channel’s news magazine program, within a few weeks. Date and time will be announced.

The Documentary Group (TDG) is filming a docu-drama about the Marquis de Lafayette. It was on campus Sept. 5 and 6 getting footage for the project, which is expected to be completed by spring 2008.

TDG was founded in 2006 by the core members of PJ Productions, following the death of broadcaster Peter Jennings. The producers and directors, who were for many years the team behind Jennings’ documentaries at ABC News, are dedicated to continuing the tradition of smart, important, and innovative filmmaking. The group produced To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports for ABC News and Operation Homecoming, as part of the “America at a Crossroads” series for PBS.

An opinion piece by President Daniel Weiss about the Marquis and the 250th celebration ran Sept. 10 in the Orange County Register, Santa Ana, Calif. The article, “Lafayette a hero of two worlds,” discusses the Marquis’ dedication to the ideals of individual freedom and liberty.

On Sept. 2, Diane Windham Shaw, special collections librarian and College archivist, was quoted extensively in the article “Americans will not forget their debt to French nobleman Lafayette.” Published by the Agency France Press (AFP), Washington D.C., it focuses on the Marquis’ numerous historical connections with America, including Lafayette College. An article written by Shaw, “Exploring Lafayette’s other legacy,” also appeared in the Sept. 2 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. It looks at the Marquis’ lifelong commitment to the abolition of slavery and makes mention of the College’s yearlong celebration.

Both Weiss and Shaw were interviewed live about the 250th celebration on WDIY’s “Lehigh Valley Discourse” Aug. 29. They discussed Lafayette the man, Lafayette the college, and the yearlong activities on campus.

The College and the Marquis were featured in the article “Following in Lafayette’s Footsteps, or Rather, His Wake,” which ran Aug. 1 in the New York Times and July 31 in the International Herald Tribune. The feature focuses on the project underway to build a replica of the Hermione, the ship which carried the Marquis with word of aid from the French crown to Boston in 1780.

The College’s summer reading assignment, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, and orientation program were highlighted on National Public Radio’s “Here and Now” Aug. 10. George Panichas, Hogg Professor and head of philosophy, discussed the selection of Mill’s book as a tie in with both the 250th anniversary and the significance of a liberal arts education. The inspiration for choosing On Liberty came from the author’s famous eulogy published on the occasion of Lafayette’s death.

The celebration was recently highlighted on the Embassy of France in the United States web site and on the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Blog in the entry, “Lafayette: Such a Party,” written by the organization’s national president Kim Burdick.

A large amount of coverage has also appeared in The Morning Call and the Express-Times.

The Morning Call‘s coverage includes numerous articles: “Happy 250th, Lafayette!,” “Author notes America’s French accent,” “‘The Hero of Two Worlds’ celebrated,” “Lafayette, rock star of the American Revolution, back in spotlight,” “College celebrates Lafayette’s life and legacy with series of events, discussions,” “Catch an earful of music Lafayette might have heard” “State commission to mark naming site,” and “Lafayette/Washington: What they meant to each other.”

The Express-Times provided the following coverage of the 250th celebration: “Easton shows love of Lafayette, again,” “Marquis de Lafayette returns to Centre Square,” and “Author reviews ties binding U.S., France.”

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