About The Lafayette Club
We know the world is a mess. We also know that it will be down to the students of this generation to sort this all out. At The Lafayette Club our single aim is to bring together students and young people with the leaders from around the world who have some idea what the hell is going on (and may even have some thoughts on what to do about it).
We try to create the forum for these ideas to be discussed in a serious and meaningful way. We find interesting people from France to Fiji and bring them to a windy town in Fife, and sometimes go and chase after them to record their thoughts for our podcast. The 19-year-old Marquis de Lafayette sailed from his native France to fight in America for the principles of liberty and democracy. If he could do that, we think we should do our little bit to show that our generation cares about what happens in our society, and that we are ready to do something about it. We hope you will join us.
About our inspiration, Marquis de Lafayette.
At the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, LaFayette played a critical role in pinning down the British forces led by the Earl of Cornwallis. By forcing the surrender of Cornwallis, LaFayette helped ensure victory in the final major land battle of the American Revolution which precipitated the negotiations that led, finally, to the Peace of Paris in 1783. When LaFayette left for America, he added to his family crest the motto, Cur Non? (Why not?). It is the spirit of this message and the enterprising nature of the young Marquis that guides us in our ambition to create the best and largest Leadership Forum at the University of St. Andrews.
Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de LaFayette, is our inspiration. Born in 1757, he came from one of France’s oldest families, yet he was disinterested in his aristocratic status and was motivated by the pursuit of military glory. At the age of 20, in 1777, he set sail for America to join the Continental Army in their fight for independence. He joined up with General George Washington’s camp at Brandywine Creek, south of Philadelphia, and explained to Washington, “I am here to learn, not to teach”.