Laura Sansosti '09, President Helm and Adrian Shanker '09 after the plaque unveiling.  The Class of 2009 dedicated a suite of four new picnic tables to their parents.


Parents Plaza Refurbished and Rededicated

Class of 2009 Makes Naming Gift
in Honor of Their Parents

October 15, 2009

Installed just one day before the rededication ceremony, brand new red umbrellas added an extra something special to the recently refurbished Parents Plaza. As parents, alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students gathered after the football game, the Dynamics took to the new stage area to start the proceedings of the Parents Plaza Rededication Ceremony on Saturday, October 3.

Remarks were given by President Randy Helm, Trustee Mitch Possinger ’77, P’11 and Student Body President Jon Falk ’10. The event also included a plaque unveiling: the Class of 2009 made a gift to name a suite of four new picnic tables in honor of their parents. Adrian Shanker ’09 and Laura Sansosti ’09 represented the class at the unveiling. The Muhlenberg College Women’s Auxiliary was also recognized for their leadership gift to the renovated Plaza.

“If Seegers Union is the campus’ ‘living room,’ then Parents Plaza can, I think, be designated as the “front porch,” said President Helm. “It’s a place where students gather to talk, to have a meal, to perform or hold a rally and to hang signs and sheets with information on important campus initiatives.”

The space was originally dedicated in 1988, and was created through gifts from what was then the Parents Association, who envisioned a park-like meeting place for students, faculty and visitors. An article in the December 11, 1987 edition of The Weekly says, “The plaza promises to provide a setting where both planned cultural and educational activities and information social interactions will occur on a regular basis…a place where students, professors, administrators and alumni will together enjoy relaxed interactions which integrate the formal learning experiences at Muhlenberg with life outside the classroom.”

The plan in 1988 called for increasing the seating capacity to from 24 to 80 persons and providing several hundred feet of “sitting wall.” The vision became a reality; from its construction, Parents Plaza has been one of the most heavily used areas on campus. “I think we had all gotten used to the comfortably scuffed up, beaten up, 20-year-old, crumbling-around-the-edges plaza,” says President Helm. “These new renovations provide even more seating (an added 55 seats), new tables, benches and pavers, better landscaping, more nooks for sitting and chatting and a stage at the foot of Trexler Tower for performances and for people-watching.”

“While a student here in the ’70s, I’d meet friends here, eat ice cream here, plan fraternity raids here and just simply hang out here…We had no benches back then, so we sat on the nearby steps, often blocking pedestrian traffic,” recalled Possinger ’77 in his speech. “As President Helm mentioned, back then, as it is now, this was a place where friendships began, personal relationships were strengthened, problems were solved and social issues were trumpeted.

“This impressive project has made me realize that even small changes have a great impact,” said Jon Falk ’10 in his remarks. “Every change to Parents Plaza has enhanced our Muhlenberg experience. So let us enjoy the sense of the Muhlenberg community more than ever before.”

Naming opportunities for Parents Plaza include tables, benches and the stage at the foot of Trexler Tower. For more information, visit the Parents Plaza page, call 484-664-3247 or email

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