Jeremiah Alterman smiles, wearing a cap and gown.

Major: Mechanical engineering; mathematics minor 

Co-curriculars: Tau Beta Pi; Engineers Without Borders (EWB); Chi Phi; Recreation Services supervisor; resident adviser; orientation leader

Post-graduation plans: Working as an engineer at MPR Associates Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Alexandria, Va.

What’s the most important thing you learned at Lafayette?

Especially as upper-level coursework piled up and extracurricular commitments intensified, it became clear to me that not everything could be a priority. For the sake of those things considered most important, other opportunities had to be sacrificed. I learned at Lafayette to prioritize deliberately and thoughtfully, with my community and our shared future in mind.

What one lesson or memory from Lafayette will remain with you for the rest of your life?

March 13, 2020, was one of the most beautiful days of my freshman year at Lafayette. Under sunny blue skies and with the campus radio station blasting music across the Quad, my friends and I threw a Frisbee around, enjoying each other’s company and the campus we shared. However, we left the next day for spring break, and for the following 10 months we only saw one another through computer screens. It was another several months before we could socialize in the same way we had before the pandemic. My experience at Lafayette taught me to savor the present and focus on appreciating great things, because they all end—sometimes quite unexpectedly.

What advice would you give to high school students who are considering Lafayette?

Think about the kinds of relationships you value. At Lafayette, faculty members and administrators seek out opportunities to work closely with students and empower them to create the experiences they desire. Students develop strong friendships with their peers, even those with whom they have little in common. Lafayette has a unique warmth that makes College Hill a true home, conducive to transformative experiences.

Student Spotlight

Meet the 2023 valedictorians

Congratulations to these 15 academic stars, who are poised to take on the world and make a difference across a gamut of professional fields.

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Categorized in: Academic News, Class of 2023, Commencement 2023, Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students