Lafayette was recognized for its contributions to the City of Easton by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce during its annual economic outlook luncheon on Jan. 25.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto presented the Community Development Award to President Daniel H. Weiss before an audience of several hundred at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Fogelsville, Pa.
“It’s an honor to present this award to showcase a member of our community that’s involved in every facet of the city,” said Panto, noting the College is the city’s largest employer and taxpayer.
Most recently, Panto said, the College announced plans to build the new Williams Arts Campus at the base of College Hill on North Third Street, and starting in May will host the Art of Urban Environments Festival throughout the West Ward neighborhood of the city.
“Without Lafayette, the city would not be what it is today,” he said.
In accepting the award, Weiss said it’s a credit to the College and city that the relationship they share is “profound and rich” because the health and vitality of the communities are tied to one another.
“Sometimes town and gown relationships become contentious but that hasn’t happened here,” he said, giving the reasons including;
- Residents remain engaged
- Students spend thousands of hours each year volunteering in the community
- There’s a wide range of cultural, sports, and educational programs available to both students and city residents
- There’s a shared interest in economic development as evidenced by the arts campus and other projects
- The partnership between the College and city is predicated on trust.
“We work together toward a shared vision,” Weiss said.
Northampton County Executive John Stoffa and other local officials issued proclamations congratulating Lafayette on its award. Stoffa lauded the College for being a pioneer in sustainable energy by installing solar panels on the roof of the Acopian Engineering Center and at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex.