In the fall of 2000, former Lehigh president Gregory C. Farrington won the support of the board of trustees to build Campus Square, a community hub to foster stronger ties between Lehigh and the city of Bethlehem.
Nearly 15 years later, the campus centerpiece now bears the name Farrington Square to honor the 12th university president’s efforts to eliminate the “moat” between the university and Bethlehem.
The original plan for Campus Square was approved with the purpose of offering additional student housing and retail shops on New and Morton streets, according to a Brown and White article from 2000.
“Campus Square will provide us with another on-campus housing option, but it will do more than that,” Farrington said in the article. “We are consciously locating this complex at New and Morton streets because we think it will be a catalyst for downtown revitalization. Our goal is to blur the boundaries between university and town, entice students off campus and be a magnet for students and residents to infiltrate and mix.”
Today Farrington Square is home to Lehigh staples such as the university bookstore and the post office, but it also houses local businesses like The Cup and Johnny’s Bagels. Farrington’s drive to link locals and members of the university community together led to the creation of the annual Bethlehem Farmer’s Market, where local vendors offer fresh produce, prepared food, homemade baked goods, flowers and live music. The Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning in May through the end of October.
According to Lori Friedman, the interim director of media relations in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, Farrington played a key role during the construction of Campus Square.
“Former President Farrington was a driving force behind the creation of Campus Square and was a major proponent of strengthening ties between the city and the university,” Friedman wrote in an email.
The official dedication of Farrington Square is part of a larger celebration of Lehigh’s sesquicentennial year, and will occur Oct. 1 during the [email protected] weekend from Oct. 1-3. The renaming is one of many events planned for the weekend, which will also include a block party, the installation of Lehigh’s 14th president John D. Simon at the annual Founder’s Day celebration and a football homecoming tailgate, according to the Lehigh website.
“Everything that has the Campus Square name will be renamed,” said Doug Snyder, the manager of Lehigh’s mail center.
Since all student mailboxes are located in the mail center, the new moniker warrants changes to all student mailing addresses. According to the Mailing and Shipping Services website, the mail center is in the process of updating address information with postal carriers, so all letters and packages should now be addressed to Farrington Square. All students have already been notified of the change.
The website says UPS and Fedex may not have the new address updated in their databases yet.
“If they do not accept 4 Farrington Square as a valid address, please use 4 Campus Square instead,” the website reads.
The Campus Square residence halls and surrounding small businesses will also be renamed.
Mark Ironside, the executive director of Campus Square, said many people are excited about the renaming.
“We are really looking forward to the dedication and the opportunity to continue President Farrington’s work as we continue to partner with the community,” he wrote in an email.