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Dave Reif ’68, president of the Alumni Association, Lafayette President-Elect Alison Byerly, and Alex Karapetian ’04, president-elect of the Alumni Association, in Bourger Varsity Football House

Dave Reif ’68, president of the Alumni Association, President-Elect Alison Byerly, and Alex Karapetian ’04, president-elect of the Alumni Association, in Bourger Varsity Football House

Alison Byerly, who will assume the presidency of Lafayette July 1, discussed questions submitted by alumni with Dave Reif ’68, president of the Alumni Association, and Alex Karapetian ’04, president-elect of the association, in a live, one-hour telecast streamed on the College’s website Thursday evening.

“Clearly there is interest in a real dialogue,” Byerly said. The program touched on several topics, including affordability and value at Lafayette and throughout higher education, diversity, athletics, residential life in general and Greek life in specific, how the College is viewed nationally, online education, use and abuse of alcohol on campus, the integration of engineering and the liberal arts, and alumni engagement.

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  1. Greg McDonald says:

    Rather than demand for a Lafayette education being low, admissions data shows that demand and awareness is at an all-time high.

    Through an aggressive approach to student recruitment, we have significantly increased our high school visits nationally and internationally (from 700 to almost 1200) the past two years. This year we received applications from 2399 different high schools, up from 2155
    different high schools just 2 years ago. Last recruitment season Lafayette admissions visited 39 states and 22 countries, compared to 27 and 11 just 5 years ago. This year we received applications from 459 high schools that had never sent an application to Lafayette prior to 2011. Extending our brand identity into new markets is critical to enhancing our
    selectivity and reputation.

    These efforts have led to two consecutive applicant pool records (6767 this year, 6660 last year) and effectively lowering the acceptance rate from 40% to 34% in 2 years. With more than 10 applications for every seat in the first-year class, competition for admission to Lafayette is
    particularly keen at the moment.

    Lastly, I assure you that the admissions and financial aid process reflects the hands-on and personalized approach that has been a hallmark of a Lafayette education for generations. Our success the past few years has been largely the result of relationship building and high-touch recruitment activity.

    Greg MacDonald
    Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid

  2. JOSEPH CORNELL '62 says:

    Over the past few weeks, I have spoken with alumni whose children or grandchildren are looking at colleges. I was surprised to learn that none of these students are considering Lafayette. I recently attended a reunion at my prep school, Pingry, and learned that while Lehigh, Bucknell, and Colgate each had several students placed in those institutions, Lafayette did not. Over the weekend, I spoke with parents, each a graduate of Lafayette, whose daughter is an outstanding soccer player who has chosen Lehigh because Lafayette did not follow up after her interview.
    One reason which seems to stand out for Lafayette’s poor showing is the perception that there is no social life. The question most often asked is “what’s wrong with our college”? I’m certain that past administrations would not agree that the elimination of the Greek system has had the unintended result of a poor social environment, but I would disagree. You have an opportunity to improve this situation and I wish you every success.

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