Founders of Lafayette Society

The Lafayette Society was founded by Ms. Martha Duell in 1981 as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Its mission is to honor the memory of the marquis de Lafayette and to promote awareness of his significant contributions to mankind and freedom through events, programs, and educational activities


In 1783, Campbellton and Cross Creek were merged and named Fayetteville, the very first United States city or town to be named in honor of Lafayette. It was the only name-sake city that Lafayette actually visited. On the 200th anniversary of the naming, the Lafayette Society dedicated the statue of Lafayette in Cross Creek Park. Led by Martha Duell, the Society raised all the funds from private donations.

Lafayette Society Educational Missions

The Lafayette Society has fulfilled its educational mission in various ways. It has funded scholarships for high school and college students, established the Lafayette Room in the Methodist University library, and sponsored lectures by Lafayette scholars. It also funded and commissioned the placement of bronze and granite historic markers for the Lafayette Trail, now one of twelve Cultural Heritage Trails of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Success of Lafayette Society

FOY-3-(2)The Lafayette Society coordinated Fayetteville’s celebration of Lafayette’s 250th birthday celebration in 2007. This city-wide event included numerous educational activities — a Lafayette poster contest in the public schools, class visits by a Lafayette reenactor and by the French Baroque dancers from Tryon Palace, and a showing of the restored version of 1776 to over 1000 Cumberland County school children at the Cameo Theatre.

In addition, the Society created HERO OF TWO WORLDS, a Lafayette biography in comic book form now being used as a teaching aid in history classes in the public schools. The illustrations were done by graphic art students at Fayetteville State University as part of their course work.

The Lafayette Society continues its educational activities to this day with scholarships, an annual membership meeting open to the public that focuses on Lafayette’s story, and a city-wide celebration of Lafayette’s birthday each September.

Lafayette Society Board of Directors

Henry E. (Hank) Parfitt, MD

Bonnie Strickland

Arleen Fields

Martha Duell (1924-2015) 
Founder/President Emeritus

Mithu Chaudhuri
Franklin Clark, MD
Lulie Harry
Bill Hurley

Caroline Jiamachello
Dottie Lowell
John Malzone
Gwen Melton, MD

Harry Shaw
Bonnie Strickland
Norman Sturdivant
Robin Wiggs

St. Avold

St. Avold, founded in the 6th century, is located in the northeast corner of France in the Lorraine Region, only 27 kilometers from Saarbrucken, Germany. It covers an area of 13.7 square miles and is surrounded by lush, dense forests. Like Rome, there are seven hills in
St. Avold. Elevation ranges from 215 meters (705 ft.) to 385 meters (1257 ft. ). St. Avold has a population of 18,000, but her energetic and community-minded citizens and their frequent celebrations and cultural events make it feel like a much larger city. The Lorraine National Cemetery, located just north of town, is the final resting place of 10,489 American servicemen who died during WWII and is the largest American Military Cemetery in Europe.

For more information about St. Avold, visit the website for the Societe d’Histoire du Pays Naborien— — and click on “Histoire de Saint-Avold” and the English version.

The Lafayette Society established a sister-city relationship with St. Avold in 1993 and this relationship was officially recognized by the Fayetteville city government that same year. The origin of this “jumelage”—meaning “twinning” in French, their term for the sister-city relationship—is two-fold. The Lafayette Society’s founder, Martha Duell, is from Bruebach, France near St. Avold. Also, Harry Shaw, an original member of the Board of Directors, has a brother buried in the American Military Cemetery in St. Avold. Numerous visits
back and forth by each city’s delegation have taken place over the years
and many enduring friendships have grown out of this.

Lafayette Society Products


It’s not too late to get a high-quality t-shirt — only $18!

City Center Gallery & Books
112 Hay Street (downtown), Fayetteville, NC



Commemorate Lafayette and Fayetteville, NC’s unique relationship to him.

Call 910-678-8899, or click here for more information.



The Lafayette bust was designed and custom made by Bob Britton.
Available in sterling, gold, or rhodium.

Walter Guy Jewelers
220 Hay Street (downtown), Fayetteville, NC

Email for out-of-town orders. 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the Lafayette Society.