Julia Pardee ’21 cuts the ceremonial ribbon at the Cafe at FML grand opening.

Julia Pardee ’21, president of the Lehigh Student Senate, cuts the ceremonial ribbon at the Cafe at FML grand opening. (Kathleen Frederick)

Lehigh Celebrates Grand Opening of Cafe at FML

The Cafe at FML officially opened to students, faculty and staff Wednesday afternoon.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Lehigh University

With the Marching 97 playing Lehigh’s fight song and beloved mascot Clutch interacting with those enjoying coffee and snacks, Lehigh on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of its newly created cafe inside the main entrance of the Fairchild-Martindale Library.

The cafe, which is currently being referred to as the Cafe at FML, has yet to be named. A contest is being held to decide the official name of the space located on the first floor of the library.

Students, staff and faculty who attended were treated to special prices, free baked goods and giveaways.

Bruce Taggart, vice provost for Library and Technology Services, opened the ceremony just outside the cafe, which seats approximately 45 students, in the Fairchild-Martindale Library lobby, amidst brown and white balloon towers.

Taggart thanked numerous people and entities who were involved with the project, including David Joseph, executive director of Student Auxiliary Services, and AOS Architects. The project, he noted, is 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.

“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,” Taggart 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 Marching 97 plays inside the new Cafe at FML.

The Marching 97 entertains those inside the Cafe at FML during its grand opening celebration.

Provost Patrick V. Farrell briefly spoke about the updates at Fairchild-Martindale, which, he said, is “a place where students really want to be active: eat here, stay a long time, work with their friends and make the idea of studying together not something they had to go find a whole classroom for.” Farrell also credited Taggart and his team for their foresight with the project.

Prior to cutting the ceremonial ribbon at the entrance to the cafe with Taggart, Farrell and Patricia Johnson, vice president for finance and administration, at her side, Julia Pardee ’21, president of the Lehigh Student Senate, presented the event’s final remarks. Pardee thanked Lehigh’s Library & Technology Services, among other departments, for keeping students informed about the changes taking place at Lehigh. In an effort to keep the Student Senate in the loop, Pardee said Taggart gave her a tour of the new cafe before classes started, while the space was still under construction.

Pardee spoke about how important the Fairchild-Martindale Library has been to her and her classmates, especially following their first year. She noted that she’s looking forward to even more improvements to the library in the future.

“I'm really excited to see the changes to FML going forward and to come back to Lehigh five or 10 years out and still see students working really hard in this space, no matter how different it looks,” Pardee said.

The Cafe at FML is among a number of projects that have recently been completed on campus. The Lehigh community also 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, work has begun on both the Health, Science & Technology Building—the future home of Lehigh’s College of Health—and the New Residential Houses, which will eventually become home to more than 700 students.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

Lehigh University

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