The widely recognized Civil War monument that sits atop College Hill overlooking Easton will be receiving a well deserved facelift in the future through the addition of a plaza. The project, spearheaded by Class President, Jeff Ruthizer ’62 and Class Fund Manager John Weis ’62, will honor the Class of 1962. Discussions began in 2020 by the duo to identify a fundraising project that would not only be historical in nature, but would leave a lasting impact on the physical topography of campus and honor the great Class of 1962 in perpetuity. Timing couldn’t be more appropriate considering this year marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the statue. Further details will be forthcoming once the College completes its master planning process. 

About the Civil War Monument 

“The monument on the front of the hill is now approaching completion. The base in which the monument proper is to rest has been finished, and it is expected that it will be completed by the end of this month or at the very farthest by commencement. We are not informed as to what the dedicatory ceremonies will be, but hope that they will be of an imposing character—befitting the memory of the sons of Lafayette who shed their blood in defense of our country.”

The Lafayette Monthly, May 1872 

In 1868, landscape architect Donald G. Mitchell was hired by Lafayette College to design and construct a winding pathway with stone steps from N. Third Street to South College. This was the College’s first landscape beautification project. Before the winding path was constructed, students and visitors had to climb steep wooden steps in order to reach campus. In fact, an Easton publication from the late 1870s describes the ascent of these original steps as “clambering up a steep flight of plank steps springing on the stilts of rude carpentry from ledge to ledge and trembling with the weight of the adventurous traveler.” In its place, Mitchell planned a system of terraces on the south slope of the College property. The current path of winding steps that extends to the top of the hill today is reflective of Michell’s original plan.  

The desire to construct a Civil War monument to honor students of Lafayette who died during the war fighting for the North was initiated by this landscape beautification project during Commencement of 1868. Subsequent fundraising followed, led by the Alumni Association, and the monument was completed on October 16, 1872. The granite monument stands 19 feet tall and includes the names of 16 students from the Classes of 1836-64 who perished during the Civil War. The inscription reads:

These Died For The Union


Class of 1836

Richard A. Oakford

Sidney M. Layton

Class of 1837

Daniel J. Carey

Class of 1840

Horatio S. Howell

Class of 1852

Walter Scott Briggs

Class of 1856

Robert M. Mc Cormick

Class of 1859

Joseph Castles

Class of 1860

John R. Hilton

Class of 1861

William H. Alexander

Edward S. Carrell

Luther Davis

Roswell S. Parker

Class of 1862

John M. Annan

Robert M. Mann

Class of 1863

John H. Buckley

Class of 1864

Henry B. Howell

Images courtesy of Lafayette College Special Collections & College Archives

Collection of historical photographs, postcards, and sketches of the Civil War Monument 

Support the Initiative

  • If you are interested in supporting this historical project, contact Joe Samaritano ’91 at (610) 330-5047 or via email at