The grand opening and ceremonial ribbon cutting for the cafe was held Sept. 11 and featured special prizes, free baked goods and giveaways for those in attendance. Fanfare included the Marching 97 playing Lehigh’s fight song inside the main entrance of the Fairchild-Martindale Library as well as the school’s mascot, Clutch, interacting with students. Bruce Taggart, vice provost for Library and Technology Services, Provost Patrick V. Farrell and Julia Pardee ’21, president of the Lehigh Student Senate, all spoke in front of brown and white balloon towers at the entrance to the cafe.
Taggert thanked the numerous people and entities who were involved in the project, including David Joseph, executive director of Student Auxiliary Services, and AOS Architects. In recognizing the success of the construction of the cafe, Taggart also touted improvements made throughout the library.
“If you go to the third floor, fourth floor, fifth floor and sixth floor, there's a lot more technology available, collaborative learning spaces, spaces opening to foster collaboration, innovation and creativity,” he said. “And so that's what this cafe is supposed to mean, too. It's a place for socialization, study, and a place to hang out and just connect with your friends and faculty and staff.”
The construction of the Cafe at FML was supported by Go: The Campaign for Lehigh and helps further the goals of the Path to Prominence, an ambitious plan to redefine the Lehigh student experience, enhance its historic core, expand its academic footprint and strengthen its research enterprise. It is among a number of projects that have recently been completed on campus. This semester the Lehigh community has celebrated the opening of the new SouthSide Commons residential living facility, the new centralized location of The Center for Career & Professional Development in Maginnes Hall and the reopening of Chandler-Ullmann Hall following a $31 million renovation. Meanwhile, ground has been broken on the Health, Science and Technology Building—the future home of Lehigh’s College of Health—and work continues on the New Residential Houses, which will eventually become home to more than 700 students.