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.


Woodstock to Wall Street

The 70s and 80s were years of remarkable expansion for Lehigh, as the university leadership sought to grow Lehigh’s physical campus, its local and global impact, and its sense of purpose. The establishment of WLVR took Lehigh to the airwaves, while alumnus Terry Hart took Lehigh to space. The addition of the Goodman and Mountaintop campuses vastly expanded Lehigh’s footprint, while Lehigh’s transition into a coeducational institution brought important growth and support to a broader Lehigh community.

Anna Pirscenok Herz

Lehigh’s first female professor

Anna Pirscenok Herz is the first woman promoted to full professor and, in 1972 the first woman named a department chairperson at Lehigh.  Herz taught Slavic and Eastern European languages for several decades. Through the endowed funds she created, she provided many scholarships to Lehigh students. 

Maginnes Hall of Liberal Arts is opened.

Female students

Lehigh becomes co-educational

A total of 169 women enrolled, most in the fields of science and mathematics.

Centennial School

The Centennial School is completed

Governed by the College of Education, the Centennial School has been nationally recognized for using positive behavioral intervention techniques to aid children who have behavioral problems. Besides its mission to help students maximize their potential, the school helps prepare special education teachers to enter the workforce by bridging the gap between theory and practice.

WLVR radio dj

91.3 WLVR-FM goes on the air

Lehigh’s award-winning free-form radio station, offering a wide range of programming types, goes live on the air with its first FM station broadcast on May 8th.

Alpha Phi house

First sorority on campus

On November 15th, Alpha Phi gets their local charter to become the first sorority on Lehigh’s campus.

1977 Football National Champions

The Engineers Win the National Championship

Coached by the great John Whitehead, who would rack up a record of 75-38-2 during his Lehigh tenure, the ’77 Engineers went 9-2 in the regular season (including a 35-17 beating of Lafayette), then knocked off UMass and the University of California-Davis en route to the Pioneer Bowl. It was there, in Wichita Falls, Texas, that Lehigh blitzed Jacksonville State by the score of 33-0—and lifted the national championship trophy for the first time.

Stabler Arena

Stabler Arena opens

Stabler Arena, a 6,000-seat venue on the Goodman Campus, opens its doors for the first time when it welcomes graduates and their families during commencement exercises on May 27th.

An International Center opens to serve students studying at Lehigh from across the globe.

Peter Likins

Peter Likins is named president

Peter Likins, who served as provost at Columbia University before becoming Lehigh's president, sought to complete the "transformation" of Lehigh that began under Deming Lewis. During his presidency, the university dedicated the Zoellner Arts Center; the Rauch Business Center became home to the College of Business; and Lehigh doubled its size with the purchase of the 800-acre Mountaintop Campus.

Lehigh opens the Hillel House, a Jewish home for students on campus. It is now home to the Hillel Society, a Jewish center for students of any background and experience level with Judaism.

Ben Franklin Technology Center forms.

Goodman Campus

Donation leads to development of Goodman campus

Murray H. Goodman ’48, a Bethlehem native, donates $2.5 million to the university in 1983 to develop the more than 500 acres of land that Lehigh had acquired through land trades with the city of Bethlehem and Bethlehem Steel. The campus is now home to the 16,000-seat Goodman Stadium, Stabler Athletic and Convocation Center, the Philip Rauch Field House, the Cundey Varsity House, the Lewis Indoor Tennis Center and the Ulrich Sports Complex and other athletic fields.

Terry Hart

Lehigh alumnus goes to space

Terry Hart ’68, as a mission specialist aboard the STS 41-C Challenger, goes to space. Hart operated a robotic arm that retrieved the Solar Maximum Satellite for repairs and filmed footage for an IMAX movie titled The Dream Is Alive (1985). Hart joined Lehigh’s engineering faculty in 2004 and currently teaches courses on aircraft design and performance. His current research activities include spacecraft attitude determination and trajectory optimization and Lehigh's NASA Hopper Spacecraft Simulator project.

Bobby Weaver ‘83 wins the 105.5-pound gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games.

6 Lehigh University Press magazine covers

Lehigh University Press is established

Lehigh University Press, the publishing house of Lehigh, is established in 1985 with the mission of publishing high-quality books that make original contributions to scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

Mountaintop campus

Mountaintop Campus is acquired from Bethlehem Steel Corp

Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus was originally home to Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratory. The laboratory’s buildings atop South Mountain housed Bethlehem Steel researchers. Following the decline of the steel giant, Lehigh purchased five of the eight buildings and 742 acres of land from the company for $18.75 million. This purchase connected the Asa Packer and Goodman campuses and added an additional 370,000 square feet to campus.

The Lehigh-Lafayette game on November 19th is the last football game played in Taylor Stadium.

Lehigh University Student Senate emblem

The Student Senate is established

The Forum, a student government body that had equal representation from students and faculty, votes to split into faculty and student groups. The Student Senate is established to address student issues and to recognize and allocate funds to clubs.

The Murray H. Goodman Stadium is officially dedicated.

The Iacocca Institute is formed.