The McDonogh Network envisions the holistic success of black and African American students and alumni of Lafayette College.
The McDonogh Network is named after David K. McDonogh who came to Lafayette College in 1838 as a slave. His owner, John McDonogh, a Louisiana planter, sent him to become educated to travel with a group of freed slaves to Liberia to serve as a missionary. However, David McDonogh wanted to become a physician. In 1844, he became the College’s first black graduate; and went on to attend classes at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Although the institution would not grant him a degree, his classmates treated him as a physician. He later received a degree from Eclectic Medical College of New York. He became the first black staff member of the New York Hospital and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. After his death, the McDonough Memorial Hospital was named in his honor and opened as New York City’s first hospital to admit physicians and patients without discrimination by race. In 2008, Lafayette honored David McDonogh through the sculpture Transcendence, which stands adjacent to David Bishop Skillman Library, which was created by Melvin Edwards to honor McDonogh.
The McDonogh Network is an active and engaged networking organization consisting of multiple generations of Lafayette College’s Black alumni and students. The network seeks to support current members’ emotional, social, and academic growth through mentorship, communications, events, and activities. The organization will serve as a forum to uplift Black voices, support racial equity, and foster a healthy Lafayette experience.
To build powerful networks, promote mentoring, create initiatives, and execute programs that connect us to each other, our communities, current black students and faculty, and Lafayette College. Our areas of focus include: