September 6, 2007, is the 250th birthday of one of the truly great and remarkable people in history our namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette.
It is my good fortune, and of course the College’s good fortune, to be associated with an individual who was so deeply dedicated to freedom and liberty. The Marquis de Lafayette believed fully in the ideal of true liberty because he understood it as the fruition of the enactment of the rights of man.His life was a superb example of global citizenship and service.
Throughout the coming year the College will celebrate the 250th birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette with special events that remind us of how applicable, especially in a global sense, the connection between a free society and an educated citizenry is today.
You will find in this issue of Lafayette Alumni News magazine a thoughtful essay by College archivist Diane Windham Shaw on Lafayette and slavery. Diane reminds us in her writing that the anti-slavery movement was only one of the several human rights causes he espoused during his long and eventful life.
I am glad this year will give us the opportunity to reconnect with the ideals of our namesake. As we engage in a strategic planning process to chart the future of the College in our global society we can do no better than to hold close to our own hearts and our ongoing sense of purpose the enduring values of the Marquis de Lafayette.