Alumni returned to College Hill to celebrate the time-honored tradition of Homecoming Oct. 22
By Jill Spotz
Blue skies and mild weather were the backdrop for Homecoming 2022. This year, there were events for students, alumni, parents, and friends to connect and celebrate “all things Lafayette,” including special exhibits in Skillman Library, tailgates, the annual Volunteer Awards, sport-specific and Greek organization gatherings, and so much more. Below is a snapshot of some of the activities and celebrations that took place over the weekend.
The glass-enclosed fifth floor addition to Acopian Engineering Center is not the only noticeable change to the building since its recent renovation. Many new enhancements have been made to the interior, including a new flexible lab space, collaboration spaces, a renovated lobby, and more, thanks to the generosity of several families who supported building upgrades. The Lafayette community gathered Fri., Oct. 21, to celebrate these improvements and honor those who have made a significant impact on Lafayette engineering.
“Just like in our homes, we make deliberate statements in our design choices for these classrooms, and we call them flex labs and collaboration spaces on purpose because they deliberately reflect our values, our goals, our priorities for the way that we’re going to teach and learn,” said Lauren Anderson ’04, William Jeffers Director of Engineering. “They represent our engineering identity. What you see is well-lit open spaces. They’re incredibly dynamic and functional. A classroom at 9 a.m. with coffee setups turns into a structures lab at 10 a.m.”
In addition to the completion of the Scott Pavilion on the fifth floor, which was made possible by Walter A. Scott ’59 G’23 H’22 and his late wife, Kate, newly renovated spaces include:
The Felton P’23 Flex Lab on the second floor was made possible by William D. and Jodi G. Felton P’23.
The Chuang P’23 Collaboration Space on the second floor was made possible by Alfred and Sharene Chuang P’23.
The Scott Lobby on the third floor was made possible by Walter A. Scott ’59 G’23 H’22 and his late wife, Kate.
The Richard D. Paynton Sr. ’52 and Doreen H. Paynton Collaboration Space on the fourth floor was made possible by Richard D. Paynton Sr. ’52 and Doreen H. Paynton.
The Rittmaster P’20 Collaboration Space on the fifth floor made possible by Steven and Jennifer Rittmaster P’20.
Following the Acopian celebration, members of Lafayette’s Marquis Society gathered on Friday evening in Marquis Hall for the annual Marquis Founders Dinner. During the event, Tracy Hagert Sutka ’82 P’17 received the Joseph Bell ’28 Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Sutka devoted more than 20 years to Admissions efforts as an admissions representative, supported fundraising as former chair of the Marquis Society, and most recently, increased alumni engagement through extensive virtual opportunities during a pandemic as Alumni Association president 2020-22.
“I am honored and very appreciative of this recognition. But mostly I’m very, very humbled,” said Sutka during the event. “The reason for that is I look around this room and as President Hurd mentioned before, the people in this room … this is the all-star team of alumni … I’m very inspired to be up here. I’m inspired to be part of this group.”
In addition, Jeffrey Acopian ’75 P’19 received the George Washington Kidd Class of 1836 Award. Acopian and his family transformed Lafayette’s engineering program, starting with a generous gift in 2003 from Acopian’s father, Sarkis ’51, and his wife, Bobbye, which resulted in a renovation of the Acopian Engineering Center. Since then, Acopian has remained involved with Lafayette and has supported students in many ways.
“Your surroundings, your environment shape you. Lafayette College played this role for me, my father, and many of my family members who were lucky enough to attend, like my brother Greg ’70, my daughter Natalie ’19, nephews, Ezra Acopian ’03, and Alex Karapetian ’04,” said Acopian during his remarks. “Lafayette set us off into the real world to do great things and to be great people. And that’s really what’s most important. …Thank you for playing such a significant role in the person I am today.”
During the evening, President Nicole Farmer Hurd led a discussion with six students, Fatimata Cham ’23, Colleen McNamara ’24, Marco Olivas ’23, Matt Tadesse ’24, Becca Wilts ’23, and Josh Wolfe ’23, who each spoke about their Lafayette experience.
Tailgates took place around campus and at the newly renovated Markle parking deck on Saturday before the Lafayette football game against Holy Cross. Alumni, students, and families enjoyed delicious food from several food trucks, catering by Bon Appétit, and had the opportunity to participate in a corn hole tournament.