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By Jill Spotz

Amid nearly 700 cheering alumni and friends, flying confetti, lighted leopard spots, and sounds of “Guns and Ships” from the musical Hamilton, President Alison Byerly announced a record-breaking $421 million (and counting) campaign total at Lafayette College’s fourth annual NYC Holiday Party at 583 Park Avenue last week.

“On behalf of all of the campaign leaders who are here, and on behalf of everyone at the College, I want to thank all of you for the dedication, commitment, and loyalty to Lafayette that has made this campaign a tremendous success,” said Byerly prior to revealing the outcome of the historic Live Connected, Lead Change campaign. “The excitement for tonight is nobody knows what the total is.”

Dec. 31 marks the successful conclusion of the College’s capital campaign. The campaign exceeded its goal of $400 million, raising significant funds for financial aid and scholarships, academic initiatives, athletics, and living and learning spaces on campus. The College launched the public phase of the campaign in 2014 at the American Museum of Natural History, on the eve of the 150th Rivalry game at Yankee Stadium.

One of many highlights of the evening included a performance by Lafayette’s Chamber Singers, who performed a Lafayette-inspired rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”


The student Chamber Singers ensemble sings 'Carol of the Bells' at Lafayette College's annual Holiday Party.

Want to to learn the lyrics?

Carol of Lafayette

(Sung to melody of Carol of the Bells)

Oh Lafayette,
Great Lafayette,
You help us grow,
We love you so.

Proud grads are here,
Full of good cheer,
All young and old,
Meek and the bold.

Oh Lafayette,
Where we all met,
Oh come and see,
At Old Pardee.

One seems to hear,
Words of good cheer,
From everywhere,

Filling the air.

Games in the fall,
Leopard and all,
Maroon and white,
Oh, what a sight.

Friendships and cheer,
Grads are all here,
From far and wide,
Lafayette pride.

Merry Merry Merry Marquis
Merry Merry Merry Marquis

Great memories,
Filling the breeze,
Oh Lafayette,
We love you so.

The evening concluded with closing remarks from Jonathan Ellis ’98, president of the Alumni Association, and a group performance of the alma mater led by Jennifer Kelly, associate professor of music and director of choral activities and the arts.

Key accomplishments of the Live Connected, Lead Change campaign include:

  • Raising vital support for financial aid and scholarships, which includes creation of 195 endowed scholarships.
  • Transforming the campus through construction or renovation of 26 spaces and buildings including the Oechsle Center for Global Education and soon-to-open Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center.
  • Establishing the Bradbury Dyer III ’64 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Daniel and Heidi ’91 Hanson Center for Inclusive Stem Education.
  • Establishing 17 endowed faculty positions.
  • Solidifying the College’s commitment to the arts through creation of the Williams Arts Campus, which offers facilities for theater, studio and performing arts, and film and media studies.
  • Raising $31 million to support engineering through the engineering challenge, which was inspired by an $8.5 million anonymous gift.
  • Raising significant funds for athletics including establishment of the Fred M. Kirby II ’42 Head Football Coach endowment, renovations to athletic facilities, creation of Oaks Leadership Academy, and establishment of the Leopard Champions Fund to support athletic scholarships.

For more information on the impact of the Live Connected, Lead Change campaign, visit

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