A dynamic, collaborative learning environment and a hub of interdisciplinary interaction.
The International Affairs program is housed in the award-winning Oechsle Center for Global Education that was dedicated in March of 2015 and made possible by a generous donation from the late Walter Oechsle ‘57. This modern, light-filled building is not only beautiful but also impressive with its high-tech classrooms and meeting spaces. The building underscores Lafayette’s multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to global issues and brings the College closer to its goal of incorporating a global perspective into every student’s educational experience. The building is also home to the Africana Studies program and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. In 2016, the building received a prestigious honorable mention award for new architecture by the Society of College and University Planning and The American Institute of Architects.
Innovative signature spaces like the Global Studio and the Global Salon can be configured in many ways for teaching, learning, and special events. A lecture hall seating 60 people, two classrooms with 40 seats each, and a conference room also add to the College’s inventory of well-equipped teaching spaces. The conference room supports videoconferencing with a large 70-inch display. The lecture hall offers dual screens, projectors, and whiteboards, and all the classrooms are equipped with a smart podium with a computer, DVD player, and document camera. The Global Salon on the second floor is a very popular study and event space for International Affairs students and offers two 70-inch displays, a giant whiteboard, as well as movable furniture and connectivity for optimal group work and collaboration.
The center features regionally sourced and environmentally friendly materials. Reducing energy consumption was a priority in the design. The use of salvaged lumber from around the world promotes both local and recycled materials and reflects the global focus. Reclaimed wood from six continents is featured in panels and cabinetry in proportion to the percent of world population that each represents.
The beautiful woods were salvaged from reclaimed sources such as Indonesian shipping pallets, French winery casks, and Australian wool mill floors. Built-in benches are crafted from an English elm that graced the east end of the College’s Quad for many decades.
The center was made possible by the support of the late Walter Oechsle ’57 and his wife, the late Christa Huber Oechsle. Walter Oechsle was an emeritus trustee and retired managing general partner of Oechsle International Advisors in Boston.