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Thanks to new and upgraded facilities, technology upgrades, and a slate of new courses, the academic experience is richer and more diverse than ever on College Hill.

Professor Andy Smith teaches a class in the new building at 248 North Third Street.

Professor Andy Smith teaches a class in the new building at 248 North Third Street.

The Williams Arts Campus continues to see dramatic transformation in its infrastructure. Finishing touches are being put on the new building at 248 North Third Street, which opened for classes this fall.

The new building is home to the film & media studies and theater programs and boasts a TV/shooting studio, two advanced editing suites, two new media labs, a conference/video preview room, studio theater, equipment room, student lounge and study area, sound isolation booth, and faculty and staff offices. Shuttle service also has been enhanced to assist students traveling there.

Construction on the signage gateway at the campus entrance on the corner of McCartney Street and Watson Court was finished this summer.

Scheduled for completion this fall, the Oechsle Center for Global Education will open for classes in the spring. The three-story, state-of-the-art facility themed around interdisciplinary global studies will house the International Affairs and Africana Studies Programs and the Anthropology and Sociology Department.

Students enter campus via the new entrance on the corner of McCartney Street and Sullivan Court.

Students enter campus via the new entrance on the corner of McCartney Street and Watson Court.

The center is being made possible by the support of Walter Oechsle ’57 and his wife, the late Christa Huber Oechsle.

Construction also began this summer on 219 North Third Street (formerly the site of Case’s Tires) and is scheduled for completion in December 2015. The building will feature a black box theater, box office, screening room, classroom spaces, and faculty and staff offices for the theater program. It is elevated to be out of the flood plain, creating outdoor spaces at the street level for seating, sculpture, and outdoor performances.

Information Technology Services (ITS) also has been hard at work improving the College’s technology infrastructure. There are an additional 109 wireless access points to add coverage in the residence halls, and the College’s Internet bandwidth was increased by 67 percent.

Construction continues on the Oechsle Center for Global Education.

Construction continues on the Oechsle Center for Global Education.

Continuing a multi-year initiative to upgrade technology-enhanced classrooms, ITS made upgrades this summer to auditoriums in Kirby Hall and the Simon Center as well as to classrooms in Pardee Hall. These rooms now have the latest in presentation technology, including Extron control systems with touch panels, high-definition projection, and wide-format screens. New digital document cameras, Blu-ray Disc players, and connections for both VGA and HDMI devices were added. The system in Kirby auditorium features an audio upgrade based on the Dolby 2.1 standard.

This year also marks the second year of ITS’s Teaching with Technology grant program. ITS offers grants of up to $5,000 to support faculty seeking to complement their teaching with enhanced technology. Recipients are Larry Malinconico, geology; Michael McGuire andAnne Raich, civil and environmental engineering; and Matthew Rhudy, mechanical engineering.

New academic offerings include last spring’s launch of the aging studies minor and a host of new courses debuting this year, including:

  • Process Photography (art)
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics (biology)
  • Green Design Analysis (chemical engineering)
  • American Apocalypse (engineering)
  • Making Media 3, Green Screen – Film and Environment, American Cinema, and Environment & Film (film and media studies)
  • Introduction to History: Race/Ethnicity (history)
  • Bioethics and Philosophy of Psychology (philosophy)
  • Relativity, Spacetime, and Contemporary Physics (physics)
  • Lifespan and Cognitive Psychology II (psychology)
  • Gender & Environmentalism (women’s and gender studies)
Categorized in: Academic News, Faculty and Staff, Film and Media Studies, News and Features, Students, The Arts


  1. John Rehm says:

    Great new stuff on campus. This may mean that Lafayette Geology students can talk to me via my cell phone “in the field” as I do my geological research!

    On another note, sorry for Walter’s wife passing away. A great couple and a fine man. Older Lafayette alumni, from the 1950s are still exemplary representatives of the college.


  2. Richard says:

    Looking forward to seeing all these enhancements during family weekend later this month!

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