Lehigh trustee Kevin L. Clayton, ’84, ‘13P, who served as Lehigh’s interim president for the 2014-15 academic year, has been selected as the next chair by the Lehigh University Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee. Clayton’s selection is expected to be officially ratified by the full 35-member board when it meets in mid-May.
Selected as vice chairs were Robert L. Brown III ’78, partner in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Philadelphia office and Lehigh trustee since 2002, and Philip B. Sheibley ’81 '19P, a venture capital investor with a primary focus on the alternative energy and life sciences industries and chair of Fiberight LLC, an advanced biofuel company. Sheibley has served as a trustee since 2011.
"I've had the privilege of being involved with Lehigh virtually my entire life, and I am humbled and honored to assume this new role to serve the university," Clayton said. "I'm particularly honored to be succeeding my close friend and colleague Brad Scheler, whose exemplary leadership has influenced me and many others. I'm also inspired by Lehigh's students, our world-class faculty, dedicated staff and passionate alumni around the globe.”
“Lehigh is a truly special place, where bright, talented and highly motivated students learn from engaged faculty who conduct top-level research. It’s a particularly exciting time for Lehigh and I look forward to working with my fellow trustees, President John Simon and the university leadership as we embark on a new chapter in Lehigh’s remarkable history.”
Clayton will succeed Brad Eric Scheler ’74 ’05P ’08P ’09PG, who has been serving as chair since July 1, 2012. Lehigh has seen remarkable progress under the tenure of the nationally renowned corporate restructuring attorney and senior law partner of the Manhattan-based law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
Under Scheler’s board leadership, Lehigh attracted and retained talented new faculty; drew a more academically accomplished, diverse and international student body; expanded Lehigh’s international footprint; restored Williams Hall as a global hub and made significant strides in addressing diversity issues and expanding related programming and initiatives.
During this time, Lehigh also created the innovative Mountaintop experimental learning experience, unveiled the Data X initiative, added the 755-acre Stabler Campus and implemented recommendations that resulted from an extensive, campus-wide strategic planning process.
Just this past fall, Lehigh announced a comprehensive vision for Lehigh’s future that would see the addition of 1,000 undergraduate students, 500 graduate students and 100 new faculty. Lehigh also plans to construct new residential and academic facilities, renovate several iconic buildings on Lehigh’s historic campus, increase financial aid and explore the creation of a new college focused on health.
Clayton and his family have supported Lehigh in many ways over the years. His late father, William L. Clayton ’51, was a Lehigh trustee for more than 34 years (20 years as an active member and 14 as Trustee Emeritus) and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. Kevin and his wife Lisa, daughter of James and Lorraine Egizio of nearby Center Valley, PA, continued the family tradition of supporting Lehigh.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Lehigh in 1984 and a Masters of Business Administration degree from St. Joseph’s University in 1988. At Lehigh, Clayton served as a four-year class president, and was a member of the Newman Association and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.
Clayton has served as a member of the Board of Trustees during the period from 1993 to 1999 and again since 2005. As a member of the Board, Clayton served on the Finance Committee, the Endowment Fund Investment Committee and the Student Affairs Committee. He has also chaired the Campus Planning and Operations and the Development and Alumni Relations Committees. Clayton has served on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Business and Economics.
Clayton and Jane Jamieson ’75, who currently serve as vice chairs of the Board of Trustees, co-chaired the search committee that led to the selection of John Simon as Lehigh’s 14th president.
In honor of Kevin’s parents, he and his wife established the William L. and Carol L. Clayton Endowed Scholarship Fund in 2003. In 2008, they established the Kevin L. Clayton ’84 and Lisa A. Clayton Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students enrolled in the South Mountain College residential academic program. Their contributions also include supporting the Annual Fund, the Athletics Partnership Program and the Dean’s Strategic Initiative.
More recently, they continued their commitment to support Lehigh by establishing and funding the Kevin L. Clayton ’84 ’13P and Lisa A. Clayton ’13P Deanship for the College of Business and Economics. That position is held by Georgette Chapman Phillips, an internationally respected scholar who came to Lehigh in 2014 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Long-time members of the Asa Packer Society and the Tower Society, Kevin and Lisa were honored at Lehigh’s 2012 Founder’s Day ceremony. Their names are engraved on Leadership Plaza, outside of the Alumni Memorial Building, in recognition of their philanthropy and commitment to Lehigh. They join Clayton’s parents, who are also recognized on Leadership Plaza.
Clayton also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at Blair Academy, where he chaired the Endowment Fund Investment Committee.
Clayton began his business career with Chrysler Corporation, holding a variety of management positions in the U.S. Automotive Sales and Marketing Division. In 1990, he moved to Trust Company of the West, an institutional investment management firm, rising to senior vice president. He joined Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., a publicly traded global investment management firm, at its beginning in 1995. He served as a principal and director of the firm, and as supervising principal of OCM Investments, LLC, Oaktree’s registered broker-dealer entity. Clayton is currently the managing partner of the Finley Ridge Group, a private family office in Bedminster, NJ, and serves on the Board of Directors of Aquicore, a commercial real estate energy management firm in Washington, DC.
The Claytons reside in Basking Ridge, NJ, and have three children: Jessica, Patrick ’13 and Grace.