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Intellectual property attorney Jim Pooley ’70 will give keynote address

By Liz Margolis ’09

McKelvy House Scholars alumni will return to campus Saturday, Nov. 10, for a day full of reconnecting and intellectual discussion.

The McKelvy Scholars program graduated its first class in 1963. Since then it has been a center of intellectual curiosity and a place for a tight-knit group of students to build their own small academic community. McKelvy House is known for its riveting Sunday night discussions, which are always organized and run by students.

“The purpose of the reunion,” says Beth Nelson ’96, director of major gifts, “is to reconnect McKelvy alumni with their classmates and with the school. They will be able to relive the part of their Lafayette experience that for most of them is their fondest memory.”

After registration at 9 a.m., current McKelvy Scholars will lead three different discussion groups. Attorney and McKelvy alumnus Jim Pooley ’70 will give the keynote address, “Does Intellectual Property Support or Inhibit Individual Creativity and Freedom?” Lunch will follow, and then McKelvy alumni will lead discussion groups. At 3 p.m. Robert S. Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art, John O’Keefe ’96, McKelvy alumnus and the College’s director of academic technology and network services, and Diane Shaw, College archivist, will present on the history of the McKelvy Scholars house and program. The reunion will conclude with a reception and tours at McKelvy House.

The discussion groups will seek to connect the alumni with Lafayette students through the group reading, which is Chapter 2 of John Stuart Mills’ On Liberty. This reading is especially relevant because it was the summer reading for the Class of 2011 orientation program.

“The reading was chosen to include the alumni in the ongoing celebration of the 250th birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette,” says Nelson.

“This is a chance for me to reconnect with some great people, to compare today’s program with the late ’60s version, and to do some unusually critical rethinking — of the sort McKelvy always promotes — about a familiar subject,” says Pooley. “Intellectual property is my daily environment, and although I’ve spent a lot of time with its public policy ramifications, I’ve never thought through how it ties in with individual freedom. So the theme of this celebration at Lafayette is an excuse to try something intellectually fresh.”

“At McKelvy I learned to relax into trying new things and thoughts,” he adds. “Keeping that attitude has made my life more abundant and successful.”

Those interested in participating should contact Nelson,, (610) 330-5839. The program cost, which includes lunch, is $25. The RSVP deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 31.

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