In 1865, Asa Packer founded a university that would contribute to the "intellectual and moral improvement" of the Lehigh Valley. One hundred and fifty years later Lehigh University has its eye on the future, redefining what it means to lead every step of the way.


Between World Wars

As the “Roaring Twenties” devolved into the Great Depression, Lehigh inevitably grew, and adapted, with the challenging times.

Charles Russ Richards

Charles Russ Richards Named President

When Lehigh faced a shortage of students as a result of the country’s severe economic slump, Richards took steps to help with recruitment while maintaining university standards — creating new fellowships and scholarships, instituting the majors system, allowing the deferment of tuition payments, establishing admissions and career placement offices, and adding two new engineering curriculums. Richards House, a first-year residence hall, honors his memory.

First three women receive M.A. degrees from Lehigh.

Institute of Research

The Institute of Research is Organized

The institute is created to promote two different types of research: general research, encompassing social sciences, the humanities, business administration, and science and engineering, as well as cooperative research with individuals, firms, corporations, associations, municipalities and government organizations, intended primarily to promote the progress of science and engineering.

Alumni Memorial Building

The Alumni Memorial Building is Dedicated

The building is dedicated to the Lehigh men who served in the “Great War” and the 46 alumni and students who died in service. Earlier, 46 elm trees were planted along the drive from the Alumni Memorial Building to Taylor Gymnasium. Each was marked with a stone that has the name of each man who died in World War I.

Mark Antony de Wolfe Howe '86 wins Pulitzer in Biography for Barrett Wendell and His Letters.

Linderman Library renovations

Linderman Library's First Major Renovation Completed

The building’s floor area was enlarged five times than the original to accommodate 10 times the number of readers. It was designed to hold half a million volumes and also accommodated an art gallery (currently "Bayer Galleria").

Max Goepp '28 becomes the first Lehigh graduate to become a Rhodes Scholar.

Office of Admissions

Office of Admissions Established

The Great Depression affected Lehigh enrollment tremendously, as the student body decreased 15 percent in just four years. The university met the drop in enrollments by increasing efficiency, and the Office of Admissions was established. The results were significant. In 1937, Lehigh received twice as many applicants as it could accept.

Electricity to America's farms

Bringing Power to Farmers

Morris Cooke '95 is appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to head the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) that helped farmers develop cooperatives to bring electricity to America's farms. Cooke believed that the federal government should build hydroelectric dams to provide electrical power to American people as electricity was too important to be left to private enterprise.

Clement Clarence Williams is named president.