The sun sets behind the new Gummeson Grounds stadium as Women's Soccer prepares for the game against Lehigh.

Gummeson Grounds

By Kelly Huth

The beauty of Lafayette’s campus in fall is undeniable. As students returned for fall 2023, several new spaces were ready to greet them.

An inviting welcome

Renovations are now complete at the Hugel Welcome Center at Markle Hall. The space—which often serves as the first space future Leopards head to when they arrive on campus—now offers a pedestrian walkway with native landscaping that beckons visitors from the top level of the Markle parking deck into the first level of Markle Hall. It was made possible thanks to a bequest from Charles “Charley” Hugel ’51 and his wife, Nina.

The space also features new furniture, decor, and video screens that feature quotes from Lafayette students, faculty, and alumni. The College hosted a dedication ceremony for the new space Sept. 29.

Class of 1962 Gateway Plaza and the South Escarpment Multimodal Trail and Historic Step Refurbishment

The historic step refurbishment has been completed with the steps open and lighting installed. Work on the Easton/College Hill Escarpment Hike-Bike Trail is expected to wrap up in early October.

Work on the south escarpment trails was supported by two grants from the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Multimodal Transportation Fund. The project is focused on creating a safer and more accessible pathway for students, employees, residents, and visitors to travel between Downtown Easton and the College. The College also restored the Soldiers Monument, an 1872 memorial to 16 alumni who died while fighting with the Northern forces during the American Civil War.

In addition to refurbishing the steps, the College created a 6-foot-wide pathway, adding 1,100 feet of new trail that connects South College Drive to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. The trail project helps meet the College’s and Easton’s sustainability goals to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. Safety lighting was added, as well as new seating areas. Native trees will be planted in early October. Trees will be added to restore the forested hillside, across campus, and in Scott Park, which will benefit the Easton community.

The Class of 1962 Gateway Plaza was dedicated Sept. 28 in honor of the class’s 60th reunion. The creation of the plaza was made possible with support from members of the Class of 1962 and will provide a welcoming entrance to campus between the Soldiers Monument and South College.

A new home for Lafayette soccer

Lafayette soccer fans have a new space to cheer on the Leopards. Gummeson Grounds: Home of Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium was unveiled in August. The College hosted a Community Day for Lehigh Valley youth Aug. 20, as the women’s soccer team played its home opener at the stadium. The dedication was held Aug. 25, at the first men’s home soccer game of the season.

Supported with a lead gift by former Lafayette soccer player Peter Gummeson ’80, the project benefited from significant contributions from more than 60 alumni, families, and classes. The new stadium is modeled after an old English-style soccer venue and offers roof-covered seating, a new press box, tiered outdoor terraces, and a new irrigation system.

  • Haven’t been to the new stadium yet? Games at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex are free of charge and open to the public. View the schedules: Men’s soccer | Women’s soccer
  • Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex also hosts the following sports that are free and open to the community: baseball, softball, track and field, field hockey, and cross country. SCHEDULES

McCartney Street housing 

Lettering above the building shows Tator North Thanks to a generous commitment from Kenneth ’63 and Maureen Tator the residences at 211 McCartney St. will be known as Tator North.

Signage was recently installed on the north tower of McCartney North residence hall. Thanks to a generous commitment from Kenneth ’63 and Maureen Tator, the residences at 211 McCartney St. will now be known as Tator North. The new name was unveiled in June during Ken’s 60th reunion.

The McCartney Street housing complex, which features Tator North and McCartney South residence halls, debuted August 2020. Construction started on the second phase of McCartney Street housing in March 2023, and the residence hall is expected to open for the fall 2024 semester. The project aims for LEED silver certification and will offer housing for more than 160.

Learn more

Work continues on other projects around campus, including the new Simon Center for Economics and Business (formerly Kunkel Hall), and renovations to Acopian Engineering Center, which are nearly complete. Want more details on the College’s capital projects underway? Visit the Facilities Planning site at The site lists updates by project, as well as details on the Campus Master Plan.


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