This unique community prioritizes intellectual interaction among students from different personal, communal, and academic backgrounds. It has a long history of being home to some of the brightest minds at Lafayette, and its alumni include Barry Wellman ’63, professor of sociology at University of Toronto; Yolanda Wisher ’96, Poet Laureate of Philadelphia; and Victoria Puglia ’21, the College’s first female Rhodes Scholar, among many others. The McKelvy Scholars meet every Sunday from 6-8 p.m. to participate in dinner and discussion run by the students themselves.
The McKelvy program is not interested in your grades or academic performance. McKelvy Scholars are students who love to learn and discuss openly while maintaining respect for differing opinions. McKelvy Scholars can be quite involved with student organizations and initiatives and often act as leaders, but they also consist of students who like to be more secluded from campus activity and yet are committed to surrounding themselves with kind, intelligent, curious peers.
McKelvy Scholars love to invite the Lafayette community to use their beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces. McKelvyites have hosted a number of external events throughout the years. At the beginning of every fall semester, McKelvy Scholars host Posse Scholars and Marquis Scholars in the gardens to promote community among Lafayette scholars before classes begin. McKelvy also has a long-standing tradition of hosting the Lafayette holiday party at the end of the fall semester, typically featuring a student band and open to students and faculty. McKelvy has also hosted discussions, open mics, and other fun events with LAF, Hillel, Grossman House, RefAct, and RISE, among other interest groups. McKelvy remains a unique community on campus open to collaborating with all student organizations.
Despite the difficulties COVID-19 has presented, McKelvyites have adapted their program to meet the new challenge. Scholars have successfully run a fully remote and stimulating series of discussions and debates over Zoom on topics such as educational inequality in the U.S., the future of AI technology, and universal internet access. Our members have also helped organize online events with Lafayette Votes, hosted remote movie nights, and established a book club for the winter interim. For an overview of our recent discussions and campus-wide events, see the related announcements through Lafayette Today.
Candidacy for the McKelvy House Scholars Program is based on nominations from faculty and staff who teach/work closely with students.
We are asking you to consider first, second, and third-year students who have impressed you as being especially curious, creative, and intellectually motivated. We are not necessarily looking for the students with the highest GPAs, but for those who are sincerely open to being challenged and eager to connect with others who are similarly willing to take part in conversations that push their intellectual boundaries. Please provide us with the name(s) of students with their corresponding emails and the potential year of graduation.
We would also appreciate it if you could find the time to encourage your nominees to give serious consideration to becoming part of the McKelvy Program. Lists of dozens of people who happen to be good students creates a lot of extra work for our committee with little return. Given that McKelvy is off-campus and slightly off the radar, information about the program tends to be spread by word of mouth. Due to the remote nature of the fall semester, it is more important than ever that faculty members take the initiative of encouraging intellectually curious students to consider living in McKelvy.
Please submit nominations to Prof. Angela Bell.
If you are interested in applying to McKelvy, please request a nomination from a faculty member. If you have questions about the program itself, please don’t hesitate to contact Prof. Bell (through email or Zoom during her office hours on Mondays between 3-5 p.m.) or one of our student members, including Lulu Kirtchuk ’21 and Victoria Puglia ‘21 (co-presidents), Olivia Barney ‘21, Jane Fergusson ’21, Josie Koury ’21, Mario Sanchez ’21, Aidy Ung ’21, Jon White ’21, Josh Zhou ’21, Cori Davis ’22, Stefano Mancini ’22, Nat Schmit ’22, Grayce Walker ’22, Fatimata Cham ’23, Josh Ding ’23, Shirley Liu ’23, Charles Mirsky ’23, Saide Singh ’23. There also will be an information session on Feb. 22. Please join to learn more about the house.
All nominations should be submitted by Feb. 26, so please act promptly.
Feb. 10-26: Accepting nominations from faculty members.
Feb. 22 at 12:15 p.m.: Scholar-run house information session. Sign up by Feb. 19 to get the Zoom link.
Feb. 28-March 12: Candidates are interviewed by McKelvy Scholars and Prof. Bell.
March 15: Offers are extended to students to join the program.
March 22: Deadline for students to confirm their acceptance of housing offer.