In 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette visited the United States as a guest of President James Monroe. During his stay in Philadelphia, 200 Eastonians, including James Madison Porter greeted him. Porter was so inspired by the experience, as he worked to establish a college in Easton, he decided to name it in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette.

A group of prominent citizens, led by James Madison Porter met at White’s Hotel on December 27, 1824 to begin the process of establishing a college in Easton.

On March 9, 1826, Governor John Andrew Shulze of Pennsylvania signed the charter officially establishing Lafayette College. Each year, on or around March 9, alumni gather at parties all over the world to reconnect, share memories celebrate their alma mater and give a toast to Lafayette.