Allegheny College History Walkway

Allegheny College Bicentennial

Dedicating 200 Years of Allegheny College

With the sun trying to break free from the clouds on a brisk October afternoon on Allegheny College’s historic campus, President James Mullen spoke eloquently about both the history of Allegheny and the future. Standing on the new Bicentennial Plaza with local and regional leaders, the orchestra, and choir seated behind him, President Mullen pronounced that,

“This day, however, should be about something more than the remarkable story that is Allegheny’s history ”“ it should also be about the possibilities of our future; as much about what can be as what has been; about the chapter that our generation will write and the legacy we will leave. As we celebrate the first two centuries of Allegheny College, we are accountable to define its third.”

Mostly, his remarks were inspiring the current of future Alleghenians to aspire to greatness and carry on the traditions and heritage that defined Allegheny College since 1815. In part, though, his comments were alluding to the two great construction projects that were being dedicated on October 17.

First is the Allegheny College History Walkway which tells the story of those first two centuries in over 40 bronze plaques that align the processional walkway that graduates walk during commencement ceremonies. The walkway begins in historic Bentley Hall and culminates at the new Bicentennial Plaza, where one weekend in May, graduates will receive their diploma from the President and make that transition from student to alumna.

Allegheny College History Walkway

Second, the Bicentennial Plaza is a new elevated special event plaza adjacent to Schultz Hall at the bottom of Bentley Lawn. For many Allegheny alumni, this lawn is their memory of commencement and has become a sacred space. The new plaza is carefully integrated into the space to not obstruct views to historic buildings, while providing a necessary elevated space on which to facilitate those vastly important commencement ceremonies. Details of the plaza include re-use of salvaged brick, custom iron-work railings, historic lighting, and bluestone paving. Allegheny College’s Class of 2015 (the Bicentennial Class) will be the first to graduate on this plaza. Weather permitting, of course.

Allegheny College Plaza

For more information about Allegheny College’s Bicentennial, please visit