The most ambitious fundraising and engagement effort in the university’s history was launched in October.
Lehigh University kicked off the public phase of the most ambitious campaign in its history in late October with three celebrations on and off campus and the announcement of a $20 million gift from Lehigh Board of Trustees Chair Kevin L. Clayton ’84, ’13P and Lisa A. Clayton ’13P to restore and revitalize the University Center.
At the on-campus celebration, Lehigh President John D. Simon ’19P unveiled GO: The Campaign for Lehigh to provide the resources Lehigh needs to grow into a more impactful and powerful university. As of Dec. 31, 2018, $558 million has been raised toward the $1 billion-plus goal.
GO: The Campaign for Lehigh is a historic, comprehensive undertaking that encompasses hundreds of initiatives to support Lehigh’s four colleges, athletics, international programs, West Coast initiatives, and more. University-wide priorities coalesce around three key areas: student access and opportunity, high-impact learning experiences, and research and distinction.
Specifically, the campaign will raise money for scholarships, financial aid, student success programs, and facilities to ensure that talented students have access to the Lehigh experience and a vibrant environment in which they can thrive.
It will also support Lehigh’s distinctive academic and experiential learning endeavors, including the new College of Health, to prepare students for success in today’s rapidly changing world.
In addition, the campaign will fuel Lehigh’s community of researchers and thought-leaders, who are pursuing groundbreaking discoveries and driving progress. Top initiatives around research include the establishment of Interdisciplinary Research Institutes and the construction of a modern research facility, the Health, Science and Technology building.
“This is a truly comprehensive campaign— one that will advance every aspect of our university,” Simon said. “We already stand proudly as one of the finest universities in the country, and our success in this campaign will only propel us forward into an even brighter future.”
The campaign, Simon said, will build on Lehigh’s existing strength as a vibrant and energetic community of students that continues to embrace excellence in all that we do.
“The campaign builds on Lehigh’s commitment to creating a diverse, vibrant community of the most talented students, regardless of their financial capacity,” said James R. Maida ’85, ’17P, ’19P, campaign co-chair.
“Lehigh has always been a place for hands-on and distinctive student learning experiences and impactful research,” added Maria L. Chrin ’87, ’10P, campaign co-chair. “With the focused, strategic investments encompassed by the campaign, Lehigh can continue to cultivate our learning and research environment, powering the ideas that promise to change our world for the better.”
Over the course of the past year, the university welcomed several scholars and administrators who bring a wealth of experience to their new roles at Lehigh. Learn more about university leadership >
Over the course of the past year, a number of influential speakers came to the Lehigh campus to share their perspectives. In many cases, Lehigh students were offered the opportunity to engage directly with the speakers in small group discussions that allowed for a freer exchange of ideas and deeper exploration.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, author and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, who delivered the Peter S. Hagerman ’61 Lecture in Ethics
“You can act by yourself all the time, but you’re not going to get much done. You need to collaborate with others. And, in particular most of the time, you need to collaborate with people who are different than you because we are surrounded by people different than us.”
First woman president of Ireland and the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who spoke on climate justice in the 2018 Kenner Lecture on Cultural Understanding
“The world needs a groundswell of people equipped with not only the knowledge to devise solutions to the climate crisis, but also the vision to see that all people must be included in and empowered by the global response to the great challenges of our time.”
Prolific Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, who wrote the critically acclaimed The Underground Railroad, delivered the 2018 MLK keynote address, which was partially sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant
“It made me realize that it’s an accident that I’m even here. It’s really just a matter of luck that my ancestors weren’t killed in the Middle Passage or on a plantation somewhere.”
Dr. Nisreen El-Hashemite
Princess and leading voice for female empowerment, whose visit to Lehigh was coordinated through the university’s partnership with the United Nations
“Whatever you choose to do in life, whether you are a woman or a man, always do what you love. Don’t do what others want you to do. Just do what you believe in and do what is benefiting others.”
Catherine Engelbert '86
Deloitte CEO and 1986 Lehigh graduate, who returned to campus to deliver the address at Lehigh’s 150th spring commencement
“I encourage you to stay optimistic and play an active, key role in carving the path leveraging your uniquely human skills—like creativity, empathy, communication, and complex problem-solving. Reinvention at every stage will not only still matter, but it will matter even more because of the pace of change today.”
Author of The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities, who spoke at an event organized by the MLK Committee under a general theme of the intersection with race and social issues
“We live in a society which has been purposefully made inequal, so we are opening the door a little wider. Initially, it had a great benefit for students of color. But, like anything, when you take a step forward, you get blowback.”
Former ambassador to the UN during the Obama presidency, who delivered the Peter S. Hagerman ’61 Lecture in Ethics at Lehigh
“Healing our divisions or placing a dent in them should be everyone’s priority. It’s the kind of change that’s within each of our powers to do something.”
Voting rights expert and author of Give Us the Ballot, who spoke on how to expand the right to vote for all American
“We have a lot of very good ideas. We know what works. All we are lacking is the political will to implement them.”
Political historian, journalist, elections analyst and National Review contributor, who delivered the 2018 Tresolini Law Lecture
“I have to say, as a non-lawyer, it’s a little intimidating to give a Tresolini Law Lecture. But I take comfort in the fact that James Madison was not a lawyer, and the Constitution doesn’t belong just to lawyers. It belongs to the people. Still, to this day, it remains a public document—a document of the people.”
ESPN commentator and author of the book What Made Maddy Run, who spoke on depression and anxiety, and how those are magnified through social media
“It’s not like this is a 15-year-old problem, a kid problem. This is the evolution of how that technology is affecting all of us, affecting our brains, affecting so much.”