The College held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Oechsle Center for Global Education April 6 at the site of building’s future location, along South College Drive south of Pardee Hall.
The center is being made possible by the support of Walter Oechsle ’57 and his wife, the late Christa Huber Oechsle. Oechsle, an emeritus trustee and retired managing general partner of Oechsle International Advisors in Boston, spoke at the event and took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking, as did President Daniel H. Weiss and Edward W. Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees.
When he went into international business, Oechsle said, “Every day I knew more about what was going on in the world than 99 percent of my competition.” Graduates in all fields “have to know the world. Our students will know the world better because of Lafayette, no matter what they are doing.”
A signature three-story building modeling Lafayette’s approach to education in the 21st century, the Oechsle Center will be a dynamic, collaborative learning environment and a hub of interdisciplinary interaction. It will house the International Affairs Program and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology and will be a center of activity for area studies programs, including housing the Africana Studies Program. State-of-the-art instructional facilities will include a 60-seat lecture hall, two 40-seat classrooms, a conference room with videoconferencing capabilities, and other teaching and learning spaces with the flexibility to be used in various ways by faculty and students. The cost of the project will be approximately $10 million.
The College marked the creation of the Oechsle Center with an address by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in October 2011.