Dear McDonogh Network members:
In 2026 when Lafayette College celebrates its bicentennial, the McDonogh Network will also celebrate its 20-year anniversary. This milestone is important for many reasons. It provides an opportunity to reflect on advances made at the College in the last 20 years, yet remain steadfast in ensuring generations of Black Lafayette alumni and current students can connect with each other and their networks. Since its inception, the network has focused on supporting and highlighting our Black students and alumni. For those alumni who were fortunate to attend the first official McDonogh event during Homecoming in 2008, you may recall the dedication of Transcendence, the beautiful campus sculpture by Melvin Edwards that commemorates Lafayette’s granting of a degree to David Kearney McDonogh in 1844. More recently, for those who were able to attend the open house and dedication of the Portlock Black Cultural Center last fall, the occasion marked another important milestone on campus with the opening of this beautiful house.
In this issue of McDonogh Voice, we share students’ perspectives on living in the new Portlock Black Cultural Center. Be sure to read the Q&A with co-presidents of NIA-Women of Purpose Monique Brown ’23 and Jada Peters ’24 to learn more about their work in managing a student organization that supports women of color. We also hope you enjoy reading about two alumni in the education sector: Tristan Thompson ’13, academic dean at DREAM Charter School, and Jermaine F. Williams ’01, president of Montgomery College. They both share how their experiences at Lafayette helped shape their careers.
This spring we hope to see you back on campus for the annual McDonogh Spring Celebration, which will take place April 15 in the afternoon at the Portlock Black Cultural Center. More details to come. And, of course, for those celebrating a milestone year (and even if you aren’t), please join us at Reunion June 2-4.
Thank you for your commitment to serving and engaging our community.
Sadé Evans ’17 and Ryan Benjamin ’10
Co-chairs of the McDonogh Network