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Celebrate the Sesquicentennial

Shining a light on the people, places, breakthroughs and traditions of the past 150 years that made Lehigh the institution that it is today—and is poised to become tomorrow.

Lehigh's Sesquicentennial celebrated at a series of campus events

At an historic 2015 Founder’s Day celebration—one that came on the occasion of the Lehigh’s Sesquicentennial—John D. Simon was formally installed as Lehigh’s 14th president.

Simon told those assembled in Packer Memorial Church that he would lead an ambitious agenda, bolstered by the trustees’ commitment to an investment of $250 million in institutional resources in the areas of teaching, learning, research and student life. This investment will support a comprehensive plan that will strengthen Lehigh, allow the university to leverage core strengths and build a university that will serve the needs of students and society of the future.

The following day, Simon and other administrators gathered with local officials for a Community Breakfast. The event, held on a rainy and chilly morning under the cover of the Tamerler Courtyard Outdoor Concert Pavilion—built especially for Lehigh’s Sesquicentennial Weekend—offered an opportunity for Lehigh officials celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and significant anniversaries of its community partners, as well as the university’s combined efforts to foster a vibrant South Bethlehem.

Celebrations continued on Goodman Campus, where officials gathered to formally dedicated three recently renovated facilities—the expanded Cundey Varsity House, the new home of Lehigh’s successful softball program, and the completely rebuild Ulrich Varsity Tennis Courts.

The previous day, Lehigh’s Campus Square was officially dedicated as Farrington Square Thursday in honor of former Lehigh president Greg Farrington, who, with his wife, Jean, inspired the center that is considered the gateway to the South Side.

Farrington, Lehigh’s 12th president, and Jean were on hand for the late afternoon ceremony, which included the unveiling of a plaque that honors their contribution to a vibrant area that combines student living, the university bookstore, and other shops and restaurants.

The weeklong celebration of 150th events kicked off with a “Diner en Blanc (and Brown)” that was attended by 500 students and held on Goodman Campus. At the conclusion of the dinner, students were transported to the soccer stadium for dessert and music before the entire stadium was plunged into darkness and a 10-minute fireworks display began. The celebration continued throughout the weekend with a series of performances and a block party in the Tamerler Courtyard Outdoor Pavilion outside the Zoellner Arts Center.

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