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Lafayette has named six inaugural members to a planning committee that will guide development of a town-gown effort, Easton Community Partners Forum, that the College will convene to explore areas of shared interest with the city and its residents. 

Formation of the planning committee was announced by President Alison Byerly during an Aug. 21 open house that the College held for residents of the College Hill neighborhood.

“I am delighted that these active and engaged citizens have accepted our invitation to help develop an effort in which College leaders will be joined by civic representatives and leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors to explore how all of us can work together to further strengthen Easton,” Byerly said.

Named to the planning committee were:

  • Luis Campos, city administrator for the City of Easton 
  • Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of Nurture Nature Center
  • Dave Hopkins, director of planning for the City of Easton
  • Jared Mast ’04, executive director of Greater Easton Development Partnership
  • Richard McAteer, retired business executive and active community volunteer
  • John O’Keefe ’96, vice president and chief information officer at Lafayette and chair of the board of Third Street Alliance
  • Kathy Presto, strategic management consultant and board member at Easton Area Community Center 
  • Melissa Starace, assistant to the president for board and community relations at Lafayette

The planning committee is scheduled to meet for the first time in mid-September. Byerly and Easton Mayor Salvatore Panto will both speak at the kickoff meeting for the group.

Starace said she expected that the planning committee would meet monthly during the coming academic year to identify discussion topics and develop programming for Easton Community Partners Forum, which is expected to take place twice a year. The College has identified several potential areas for further collaboration with the community, including arts and culture, children and youth, and environmental and sustainability issues.

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