Although 2020 was a complex year filled with unexpected turns, the Lafayette community stepped up to show strength and resilience. Here, President Alison Byerly provides a recap of 2020 at Lafayette College.

Categorized in: Faculty and Staff, Featured News, News and Features, Presidential News, Student Profiles

1 Comment

  1. Alan Pralgever says:

    In these recitations of what changed life at Lafayette, no one seems to remember that the campus was shut down in the Spring of 1970 to protest the war in Vietnam. Many of us finished our second freshman semester by mail–no internet then. The campus was closed down, not to protest co-education which most of us looked forward to, but to protest an unjust and politically unpopular war. The lack of recognition of this significant and consuming event is a great mistake, and trivializes a lot of the changes that occurred at Lafayette as a consequence of that event. The men that year were subject to a “lottery” and their lives were put into lucks hands–something that forced almost all of us to see the present and the future. We were forced to stand up for what we believed; not a debate or discussion, but a real world crushing reality. And we were encouraged to understand the significance of what we faced by Lafayette students, Jim Pooley and Brad Kennedy among them both of whom went to Columbia Law School, who had returned from the Vietnamese war to tell and show us how unjust that war really was. The Spring of 1970 had an indelible and watershed effect on the campus, the students, the faculty, and the world we lived in and were part of. The past was a souvenir after that–and Lafayette opened up considerably–no mandatory ROTC–no Sat. classes–and a recognition that the college was part of the world. The Viet Nam War was fought mostly by minorities, and the minority students on campus forced all of us to understand just how vulnerable their communities were. It was a coming of age for Lafayette–and a big part of the colleges history, maturation, and cultural and social evolution. Not to mention or acknowledge the strike in the Spring of 1970 and the voluntary and forced closing of the campus, represents a great mistake.

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