Say hello to the department's new home

On October 3, 2015, Lehigh University President John Simon officially dedicated the newly renovated Williams Hall as part of Lehigh's 150th anniversary celebration. Williams is now the home of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology (as well as Modern Languages & Literatures, Religion Studies, the Office of Community Engagement and the Dean of Students office), providing stylish, well-appointed spaces for students, staff and faculty to work, study, and meet.

John Simon (left) and Herbert Roemmele '53 inaugurating Williams HallProf. Judith Lasker's office, overlooking Fairchild Lab








Sociology & Anthropology now occupies 16 offices, along with multiple common and research spaces, on the second floor of Williams Hall. "I love that with the exposed brick and sun-drenched walls, it's classic yet modern at the same time," says Danielle Lindemann, who joined the department this year as assistant professor of sociology. "And it's really great that there's ample space for meeting with students - I can meet with several at a time without feeling crowded."

The department moved from its old home in Price Hall down the hill into Williams over the summer. The new space in Williams offers more offices and common space, and facilitates interaction with neighboring departments. It also includes a space for events on the first floor, the Roemmele Global Commons, and a new eatery, the Global Cafe, on the second floor.

The Roemmele Global Commons is named for Herbert Roemmele ("ROM-lee"), Lehigh class of 1953, whose generosity helped make the Williams renovation possible. Roemmele was present for the dedication with President Simon (see photo above right). It is a space tailor-made for lectures, film showings, and other public events as well as conversation and socializing.

The Roemmele Global Commons as seen from the 2nd floorInside the Global CafeSince the move, the department's professors, students and staff can easily find places to meet, confer, or share a meal in Williams. On the first floor, the Global Commons (right) has become a favorite spot for quiet study, while the mezzanine and greenhouse above are popular for lunch and get-togethers. The Global Cafe (below) serves a variety of fare including sandwiches and noodles made to order.

Department faculty are enthused about their offices and the new social vibe that accompanies them. "It's a very different feel compared to Price Hall," says Bruce Whitehouse, associate professor of anthropology. "In Price I never ran into people. In Williams I'm seeing people every day. It's easy to grab lunch with someone or attend a presentation on the spur of the moment."Prof Hugo Ceron Anaya with students in the department's main office