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Lehigh University is an American private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer and has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students. Lehigh is considered one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States.
|Motto||Homo minister et interpres naturae (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Man, the servant and interpreter of nature|
|Endowment||$1.163 billion (2016)|
|President||John D. Simon|
|Provost||Patrick V. Farrell|
|Location||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Campus||Urban and Suburban; 2,350 acres (950 ha)|
|Colors||Brown and White |
|Athletics||NCAA Division I –
|Mascot||Clutch the Mountain Hawk|
Lehigh has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college today, home to roughly 40% of the university's students. The university offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, Master of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy.
Lehigh has produced Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Fellows, members of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of the National Academy of Sciences, and National Medal of Science winners.
Asa Packer named his university "Lehigh" after his other passion, the railroad, despite suggestions from some to call it "Packer University". It was founded to provide a well-rounded education for young men, combining a liberal and scientific education with the technical skills necessary to increase the prosperity of the region. According to William Bacon Stevens, the first president of the board of trustees, Asa Packer's founding gift of $500,000 was the largest single endowment gift ever received by an institution of higher learning up to that time. Mr. Packer also provided for the first structure ever to be built by the young University on campus: "Packer Hall", now known also as the University Center. An unusual Mansard Gothic edifice featuring a prominent bell tower, at which, upon a suggestion that it be composed of the less expensive brick, Packer declared that it would be made "of stone". In the construction, a branch of the railroad was diverted to bring stone to the site.
From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the institution to offer its education free of charge by competitive exam. In 1879, Lehigh became the wealthiest institution of higher learning in the country, surpassing Harvard and Yale. This, plus its blend of engineering and liberal arts, attracted some of the nation's brightest students, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in industry and engineering.
The formation of a College for engineering, or technical university, was quite a difficult project, as the entire subject of engineering education was obscure. A small number of colleges had commenced this, such as Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and Harvard, Yale, and RPI in New York; MIT and Cornell were just being founded. The University of Pennsylvania opened a small school in 1852, for mining and materials, but which had closed at the onset of the Civil War. As W. Ross Yates notes: "No one knew with certainty how many years a course [a major; a degree] in engineering should take, or even what branches of engineering should be included within a university. The relationship between theory and practice was hazy." A statement made years later by industrialist and Lehigh Trustee Eckley B. Coxe summarizes the problem succinctly: "Not knowing exactly what you want to do or the material you have to do it with, what is the best way of doing it?"
Unlike some other engineering schools of the day, Lehigh was envisioned rather as a university instead of an "institute of technology," offering an education that was rooted in both scientific and classical traditions as espoused by John Amos Comenius. Initially there were five schools: four scientific (civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mining and metallurgy, and analytical chemistry) and one of general literature. The latter would shortly evolve into "Courses in Arts and Science", as it was known then, in the first decade of the new Century. Engineering curricula were both merged and expanded.
During this period of time, the first Latino student organization at a college or university in the United States, was founded at Lehigh. The Club Hispano Americano was established by international Latin American students that attended the university in 1887.
The stock market crash accompanying the Panic of 1893 was a major financial blow to the university, since its endowment was largely invested in stocks, particularly shares of Lehigh Valley Railroad donated by the founder. As a consequence, Lehigh decided to drop its Episcopal Church affiliation in 1897, allowing it to qualify for state and federal government aid.
The 1890s proved difficult in respects other than strictly financial. Because of the general recession, and due to some speculation that the University might have to resultingly close, enrollment dropped. Yet with the aid of Alumni, trustees, and the State of Pennsylvania, the young University pulled through. This era closed with the spectacular fire of the Physics building, April 6, 1900. With the improved economy of the 1900s, the new century offered stronger horizons. The Physics building was quickly rebuilt. And with the sale of the Packer Estate's interest in the Lehigh Valley Railroad (June 1, 1900), the school ceased to be known as a "railroad university". Fortuitously a new benefactor would take its stead: Bethlehem Steel. The first intercollegiate Greek-lettered organization for Latino students was founded at Lehigh as this time. Psi Alpha Kappa, a fraternity for international Latin American students was founded in the fall of 1900. Psi Alpha Kappa also had a chapter at M.I.T. making it the first intercollegiate Latino fraternity in the United States.
During the Presidency of Thomas M. Drown, a debate would commence that would continue at Lehigh for much of the century: what would be the relative importance of the two other undergraduate Colleges, interior to the University, the Business and Liberal Arts schools, to the foundational Engineering? The College of Arts and Science was formally established in 1909. And based on the experience of Lehigh engineers who went into industry a College of Business & Economics was added in 1910. Lehigh's business curriculum was unique in that it combined both the abstract emphasis on Economics seen in the Ivy League with the practical skills of management seen in more common business administration degrees given by other universities. During the Presidency of C. R. Richards (1922–1935), and with the influence of Eugene G. Grace ('99), President of Bethlehem Steel, it was then decided that the two other Colleges existed to serve the Engineering School. This was a decision consistent with the University's founding, but it would be reversed after the Second World War.
Immediately prior to the Richards Presidency, under the leadership of engineer, lawyer, and naturalist, Henry Sturgis Drinker ('71) (1905–1920) Lehigh witnessed strong growth, with the construction of the John Fritz Engineering Lab (1910), and Taylor Gym (1914). Furthermore, plans were made for the Gothic inspired Alumni Memorial Building, designed by alumni T. C. Visscher ('99) and J. L. Burley ('94). This was an elaborate project that would not be finished until the Richards Presidency. During Richards, Lehigh was not too negatively affected by the Depression, thanks to its stronger standing, good management, and the support of Bethlehem Steel. Internal development of the three undergraduate Colleges was emphasized. And critically, just before the Depression, two massive, and coterminous, projects were completed, lending the University much of its modern appearance. The first was a large addition to Linderman Library, doubling its size, and granting a Gothic reinterpretation to what was a Romanesque structure (1929); and secondly, Packard Lab (1929). Both enlargements of the Campus were designed by the firm of Visscher and Burley, again Gothic, with the latter accomplished through the generous gifts of James Ward Packard ('84), founder of the motor company.
For the fourth College at Lehigh, the College of Education, one must return for its generation to the dawn of the 20th century, and the Drown Presidency (1895–1904). Thomas M. Drown had done postgraduate work in Europe as well as the States, before landing a job as Chemistry Professor at Lafayette. Known there for the strength of his teaching, as well as for idiosyncratic views, he eventually took a position at MIT in 1885. This was however not before delivering a commencement address at Lehigh, 1883. The University was obviously impressed enough to invite him back to assume leadership in 12 years. With Lehigh, President Drown was one of the first to posit general parity among all courses of study, with the position there were many roads leading to the goal of an educated, truth-seeking individual. Drown supported many interests, and of which was the encouragement of engineering graduate study, and the integration of Engineering with the Arts. But as a broad intellectual, he had many ancillary projects, with one being education for, and preparation of, prospective secondary school teachers. A 1902 course "Methods of Teaching History and Civics", later evolved under the sympathetic Presidency of H. S. Drinker (1905–1920) to the beginnings of the College of Education, though then known as the "Department of Philosophy, Psychology, and Education." It was, and is presently, a strictly graduate course of study. President Drown died in office, November 16, 1904.
But a continuing emphasis to the well-rounded graduate can be seen in the University's approach to education degrees. As a solely graduate-level program, this is based on the principle that people need to learn primary subject matter well before they can learn how to teach it to others. Thus future teachers at Lehigh often take a five-year program earning both a bachelor's degree in a specialized field and a master's degree in Education. This latter degree, along with the Business College's M.B.A., are among the most popular graduate programs in the University.
After World War Two, during the Presidency of Martin Dewey Whitaker, Lehigh's 8th President, a pressing need arose to increase the range and depth of the University's graduate engineering programs, as initially envisioned by Mr. Drown. This presented a difficult path for Lehigh, as to successfully do this, along the lines the administrators planned, it would involve many necessary and interdependent facets, such as: knowledgeable Professors, ambitious students, a variety of degrees and class offerings, space, equipment and both private and public funding. If the University was to acquire a graduate program in the sciences, math, and engineering of comparable quality and prestige as that of the undergraduate, support was critical, especially in regards to obtaining federal grants, such as from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA.
Growth was arduous, as Lehigh had to compete with larger and better recognized institutions, such as Cornell, Chicago, MIT, and Johns Hopkins. However, Bethlehem Steel did exist as a key private supporter. Dr. Martin Whitaker was a physicist, and former executive in the Manhattan Project, and under his reserved, though strong, leadership, Lehigh eventually prospered. On April 10, 1957, and as part of a multi-phase plan of modernizing and expanding its business, Dr. Whitaker informed the Board of Trustees that Bethlehem Steel planned a research center for the top of South Mountain. The area was immediately in back of, and contiguous with, Lehigh. Conceived with the University in mind, the center would make much expensive equipment available to the school, while providing the company with a computing and development center. Additionally, and as part of Steel's greater plans, Lehigh attained 600 acres in Saucon Valley for a Sports and Field Complex. Unfortunately, Dr. Whitaker could not see these plans to fruition, as he passed in office, August 31, 1960.
After the short Presidency of Professor Harvey A. Neville (1960–1964), Dr. Willard Deming Lewis assumed office for what would be the longest Presidency at the University to date (1964–1982). With a background in physics and applied mathematics, and as an executive with Bell Laboratories, Dr. Lewis would go on to have one of the most successful, if unlikely, Presidencies. Though he did have a strong predilection for, and understanding of, research, he had little previous experience with college teaching. Dr. Lewis oversaw women being first admitted as undergraduates, and he managed not only Bethlehem Steel's expansion on the Mountaintop (as it is now known), but also the company's aid in expanding the University's own campus. A major addition was placed along the north side, adjacent to the town, and in between the roads Morton St. and Packer Avenue. Formerly civilian homes, this area provided much needed space for libraries, laboratories, lecture halls, research, and the long anticipated home to the College of Arts and Science, Maginnes Hall.
But it was in an unexpected area that would witness perhaps Dr. Lewis's finest hour. Having a more personable, even disarming demeanor, as compared with Dr. Whitaker, this aided the president in getting along with staff and students, especially so the turbulent era of the latter 1960s and early 1970s. After years of protest and negotiation, matters came to a head in the spring semester, 1970. With the aid of various professors, including Dr. Francis Wuest of Psychology, Dr. Carey B. Joynt, trustee Monroe J. Rathbone, and many others, it was decided at a special meeting of the Board, May 2, to largely accede to the students request for a greater voice in University affairs, and establish "the Forum", a joint student/faculty administrative body. It constituted a means by which students could formally suggest change and growth to the school. Interestingly, this occurred two days before the Kent State shootings, and served to quell any further unrest or unhappiness. On May 7 Dr. Lewis presided over an all-university meeting, and declared himself in sympathy with the students, but appealed to them, concerning the nationwide call to "strike", that their consciences would remember the faculty. According to author and Professor W. Ross Yates, then Dean of the College of Arts and Science, "there were no further strikes."
Progress continued under succeeding administrations, Peter Likins (1982–1997), Gregory C. Farrington (1998–2006), and Alice P. Gast (2006–2014). Due unfortunately to Bethlehem Steel's failing health, its Mountaintop campus was purchased in 1986, through State aid. This would turn to be a parting gift, as it were. And because of an additional 750 acres granted by alumnus Donald B. Stabler ('30), in 2012, Lehigh increased its holdings to 2400 acres. Many new buildings went up. These included: The Campus Square (2002), providing an interesting new north entrance to the school, the Rauch Business Center (1990), and Zoellner Arts (1997).
As the new century gets under way, and Lehigh looks back at its Sesquicentennial, the campus has much of the new about it, and also much of the old. From the STEPS building (2010), to Seeley G. Mudd, to Zoellner, modern architecture has made good, though respectful, inroads. Yet with Linderman, the Grace Hall palaestra (1942, from E. G. Grace), the Alumni Memorial, and of course Packer Hall itself, Lehigh's Gothic tradition is not mere past. Even a small 4 acre section of the campus remains from the 19th century when it was known as "University Park", at the corner of Packer and Brodhead Avenues. However, as education is an ever advancing and changing field, work always remains. Dr. John D. Simon, Chemist, assumes office for the fall semester, 2015, as Lehigh's 14th President.
Lehigh’s Official Seal
In the autumn of 1865, the trustees of the newly founded Lehigh University met to develop a symbol which would epitomize the ideals, goals and character of the newly birthed institution. They chose a seal for this purpose and its description and definition are found in this entry from Book One on page 9 of the official minutes of the Board of Trustees:
”The seal of the Lehigh University is of an oval form. In the upper part a Sun on which is inscribed the word Lux (Light): below is an open Bible on which is written Veritas (Truth); on the Bible lies a heart bearing the inscription Amor (Love); thus bringing in the three Persons of the Godhead, the Ever Blessed trinity; the God of Love, Christ as the Light of the world, and the Holy Spirit as the inspiration of the Word and the Spirit of Truth. At the same time, these emblems indicate the love to God and man that will characterize this noble endowment; the Truth of Religion which the University will seek to diffuse and the Light of Science and Philosophy which will illuminate the mind with true and celestial wisdom…..The seal is simple and expressive and it is hoped that the University will ever send out its Love and its Light and its Truth, elevating, enlightening and purifying all who are brought within its influence.”
Asa Packer’s Intent
“Packer attached one cardinal condition to this project for educating youth: While gaining knowledge, they must not lose faith in God. Packer was profoundly religious. He took literally the scriptural passage, "What shall it profit a man, that he gain the whole world but lose his soul?" Historians and journalists of later generations have misunderstood the religious motivation of Packer and other industrialists. These latter-day critics have chosen to rake over the methods by which the so-called robber barons gained their fortunes and have been inclined to treat the religious beliefs of the entrepreneurs as a sort of psychological compensation for antisocial action. In fact, these critics have missed a motivation as deeply engrained in the 19th Century industrialists as was the desire for profit. Packer had generously contributed to Episcopal religious projects, such as the Divinity School in Philadelphia and the Church of St. Mark in his hometown of Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe). He had served as both a church warden and a vestryman. He held that as a man believes, so he will act. Consequently, a generation of youth that forgot its moral responsibilities, grounded as they were in a religious tradition, would be a disaster. Packer accepted that the professors and the boys need not be Episcopalians; but they must be believers, and more: The course of study would have to provide for a continuing religious education. The new college or university was to serve an intellectual and moral purpose.
The country could be no stronger than the faith of its leaders. Religion must accompany science and technology. A house divided against itself, represented by a separation of and a continuing war between men of science and of religion, could not stand.
…Students of all religious faiths were welcome. Provision was made for them to attend the church of their choice. Attend church they must. The curriculum would include Christian Evidences as a required subject, and the faculty would teach in ways respecting the evidences of Christianity . The boys would carry their religious instruction into practice by going to services and participating in church activities.”
W Ross Yates Asa Packer: A Perspective 1983 pp. 4-6
The Clery ActEdit
On April 5, 1986, a 19-year-old Lehigh freshman was raped and murdered in her dorm room; the perpetrator was apprehended, tried and sentenced to death. The backlash against unreported crimes on numerous campuses across the country led to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Clery Act requires that colleges reveal information regarding crime on their campuses. As a result, Lehigh takes campus security very seriously. Readers Digest ranked Lehigh as one of the country's safest college campuses in 2008, giving it the top grade of "A". However, as of 2014, Niche gave Lehigh a C in Safety and didn't rank it within the top 100 safest campuses in America.
Twenty years after the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act took effect, the nation's most prominent thought leaders on campus safety came to Lehigh to discuss critical safety issues for colleges and universities. The event, "Proceeding in Partnership: The Future of Campus Safety," was held on the Lehigh campus in September 2011, and was co-sponsored by Security on Campus (SOC), which was founded by Connie and Howard Clery following the death of their daughter, Jeanne Clery. The conference represented the first cooperative effort between Lehigh and the organization since Jeanne Clery's death.
Lehigh encompasses 2,350 acres (9.5 km2), including 180 acres (0.73 km2) of recreational and playing fields and 150 buildings comprising four million square feet of floor space. It is organized into three contiguous campuses on and around South Mountain, including:
- the Asa Packer Campus, built into the northern slope of the mountain, is Lehigh's original and predominant campus;
- the Mountaintop Campus, atop South Mountain, featuring an intramural sports field as well as Iacocca Hall; and
- the Murray H. Goodman Campus, immediately south, where a 16,000-seat stadium and other sports facilities are located.
In May 2012, Lehigh became the recipient of a gift of 755 acres of property in nearby Upper Saucon Township from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation. The gift from the estate of the long-time benefactor allows the university to expand its footprint to now comprise 2,350 acres across all its campuses, and to consider its long-term potential uses.
Rankings and reputationEdit
|U.S. News & World Report||44|
|U.S. News & World Report||619|
U.S. News & World Report ranked Lehigh tied for 44th among national universities in its 2017 edition of "Best Colleges". The Economist ranked Lehigh 7th among national universities in its 2015 ranking of non-vocational U.S. colleges ranked by alumni earnings above expectation. Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review named Lehigh the 24th best undergraduate college for entrepreneurship in 2012.
Lehigh has appeared in several international university rankings. The university ranked 301–350 overall in the 2013–2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 401–500 overall in the 2012 edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and 551-600 overall in the 2013 QS World University Rankings.
U.S. News & World Report classifies Lehigh's selectivity as "more selective." For the Class of 2020 (enrolled fall 2016), Lehigh received 13,403 applications and accepted 3,499 (26%). The middle 50% range of SAT scores for the enrolled freshmen was 630–730 for critical reading and 660–755 for math, while the ACT Composite middle range was 30–33.
Lehigh's average class size is 27 students; 80% of classes have fewer than 35 students. The undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.
Lehigh University offers undergraduate enrollment in all colleges but the College of Education: the P.C. Rossin School of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are able to take courses or major/minor in a subject outside of their respective college. The university operates on a semester system.
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied ScienceEdit
Graduates of Lehigh's engineering programs invented the escalator and founded Packard Motor Car Company and the companies that built the locks and lockgates of the Panama Canal. Other notable alumni include Roger Penske and Lee Iacocca. Tau Beta Pi, the renowned engineering honor society, was founded at Lehigh.
College of Business and EconomicsEdit
In 2012, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's College of Business and Economics 31st in the nation among undergraduate business programs. Lehigh's finance program is particularly strong, ranked as 7th overall undergraduate finance program in the nation by BusinessWeek. The accounting program is also strong, ranked as the 21st best undergraduate program in the nation by BusinessWeek. Accounting and finance majors at Lehigh are heavily recruited by Big Four auditors and many consulting firms. Additionally, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's part-time MBA 15th in the nation and third in the region in 2011. Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review named Lehigh the 24th best undergraduate college for entrepreneurship in 2012.
College of Arts and SciencesEdit
Based in Maginnes Hall, Lehigh offers a variety of humanities courses and visual arts programs. In particular, it has many music programs, including a marching band, the Wind Ensemble and the Philharmonic orchestra. In addition to the sciences, English and Journalism are particularly strong, with a long history dating back to Richard Harding Davis's days. It has a dedicated Humanities Center, which is the site for many literature and other arts-based programs, including the DWS, or Drown Writers Series.[vague]
Lehigh also has a program called ArtsLehigh, oriented towards enhancing interest in the arts on campus.
College of EducationEdit
The College of Education offers graduate programs in Counseling Psychology, Educational Leadership, School Psychology, Special Education, "Teaching, Learning, and Technology", and "Comparative and International Education" (see comparative education). More than 6000 students have received one of these degrees as of 2007, with some of them going on to receive awards such as MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year.
As of 2012, Lehigh has 681 faculty members teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses, and 482 of whom are permanent full-time faculty. 99% of tenure-track faculty hold a doctorate degree or the highest degree in their field. About 68% of all full-time faculty are tenured. Faculty members are required to have a minimum of four office hours per week.
Reducing high-risk behaviorsEdit
Lehigh has joined top schools across the country as a part of an innovative program focused on reducing high-risk drinking behaviors. Lehigh has created alternative programs that offer students more social and recreational options on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The new "Lehigh After Dark" program began in the Fall 2012 semester.
Path to ProminenceEdit
In October 2016, the university unveiled plans for expansion to increase diversity among the student body. Named the Path to Prominence, the plan would include adding up to 1,800 students, creating a new College of Health and constructing a new science and research center. The plan is estimated to take 10 years to implement.
Called the Engineers until 1995, Lehigh's teams are now officially known as the Mountain Hawks. Teams prior to 1995 may be referred to by the historic title, Lehigh Engineers.
As a member of the Patriot League, Lehigh competes in 25 different NCAA Division I sports. Lehigh's 2006 student-athlete graduation rate of 97% ranked 12th among all 326 NCAA Division I institutions. In 2002, it won the inaugural USA Today/NCAA Foundation Award for having the nation's top graduation rate of all Division I institutions. Lehigh student-athletes' success on the field and in the classroom has resulted in Lehigh being one of the 20 Division I schools included in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best College Sports Programs."
Lehigh graduates have gone on to professional careers in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer,and the National Basketball Association as players, scouts, coaches and owners. Lehigh graduates have competed in the Super Bowl and won gold medals for the USA at the Olympics. And while not a school sport, a number of graduates such as Roger Penske, Al Holbert, and John Fitch went on to successful careers in auto racing.
Lehigh's fifth trip to the NCAA tournament in 2012 proved to be their most notable to date, thanks to its first-round game as a #15 seed on March 16, 2012 against the #2 seed Duke Blue Devils. Despite being a heavy underdog, thanks to C. J. McCollum's 30-point heroics, the Mountain Hawks pulled off the stunning upset, defeating the Blue Devils 75-70 and making it only the sixth time that a 15th seed has defeated a 2nd seed.
The most storied athletic program at Lehigh is its Wrestling team dating back to 1910. Over the past several decades it has turned out 136 All-Americans and had numerous squads finish with Top 20 NCAA national rankings, including the highest finish at the NCAA tournament as 2nd in 1939. Under coach Greg Strobel, recent teams have dominated the EIWA (The Patriot League does not sponsor wrestling). On April 15, 2008, the athletic department announced the hiring of former assistant coach and two-time national champion and two-time winner of the EIWA Coach of the Year (2009, 2012) Pat Santoro as Lehigh's next head wrestling coach. Home dual meets and tournaments take place on campus at the Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Grace Hall has historically been the site of Lehigh's matches, but in 2013 the entirety of the building had been converted into the Caruso Wrestling Complex, with a visiting area and a 'Wall of Fame'. The latter lists various Lehigh National Champions, in their respective weight class.
Lehigh University is notable for its rivalry in sports and academics with nearby Lafayette College. Since 1884, the two football teams have met 150 times, making "The Rivalry" the most played in the history of college football. It is also the longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football, with the teams playing at least once every year since 1897. The Rivalry is considered one of the best in all of college athletics and ESPNU recently ranked The Rivalry #8 in their Top Ten College Football Rivalries. This game is sold out long before gameday each year. For the 150th meeting the teams played in Yankee Stadium in New York City on November 22, 2014. Lafayette won, 27-7.
Greek letter organizationsEdit
A large majority of Lehigh's social fraternities and sororities have their own houses which are owned by the university; most of the fraternities and sororities are located on the "Hill" along Upper and Lower Sayre Park Roads. Approximately 34% of undergraduates are members of a fraternity or sorority. During new member education, Greek membership rises to almost 45%. There are currently 16 fraternities, 15 of which are housed on campus, and 9 sororities, all of which are housed on campus:
CGC fraternities and sororitiesEdit
In addition to the 31 social fraternities and sororities, there are also a number of professional and honor fraternities and sororities on campus. It is most well known for Tau Beta Pi the engineering honor society since it was founded at Lehigh.
Professional fraternities and sororitiesEdit
- Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering
- Alpha Sigma Mu Materials Science Engineering
- Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering
- Eta Kappa Nu 1 Electrical/Computer Engineering
- Kappa Kappa Psi Music
- Phi Alpha Theta History
- Phi Beta Delta 1 International
- Phi Beta Kappa 1 Liberal Arts
- Phi Eta Sigma 1 Freshman Honors
- Phi Sigma Pi 1
- Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy
- Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering
- Sigma Alpha Pi 1 Leadership
- Sigma Tau Delta English
- Sigma Xi 1 Research
- Tau Beta Pi Engineering
Spirit and traditionsEdit
Lehigh students have several lasting traditions: Lehigh's school colors, brown and white, date back to 1874, and the school newspaper of the same name was first published in 1894.
Following the death of Asa Packer in May 1879, the University established "Founder's Day" to be held in October to remember and recognize those have contributed to the success of the University. The event remains an annual tradition.
Freshmen are traditionally inducted into the University in a convocation in the Zoellner Arts Center and welcomed at a Freshman-Alumni Rally where their class flag is given to them by the class from fifty years before.
Until the 1970s, freshmen wore small brown hats with their class numbers called "dinks" from the beginning of the fall semester until the Lafayette football game. The week leading up to the big game was full of festivities created to unite the students and fuel spirit. In one of these events, "The Pajama Parade," the freshmen were led across the penny toll bridge in their pajamas singing "We Pay No Tolls Tonight" to the Moravian College dormitories where they would serenade the women. The week before the game still involves decoration of the Greek houses, a bonfire, parties, rallies and the Marching 97 performing unexpectedly during classes the Friday before the game.
In January 2012, Lehigh announced plans to celebrate the University's 150th anniversary in 2015. A steering committee was formed that oversaw planning and implementation of the university's celebratory events. The sesquicentennial year coincided with the class of 2016's senior year. “Lehigh’s 150th anniversary will provide an opportunity to celebrate the university’s founding and its wonderful traditions, and to focus on its direction for the future,” said then-president Alice Gast.
Notable alumni include Lee Iacocca (longtime CEO of Chrysler Corporation), Pongpol Adireksarn (deputy prime minister of Thailand), Richard Hayne (co-founder of Urban Outfitters), Joe Morgenstern (Film critic and Pulitzer Prize winner), Dr. Harry J. Buncke ("father of microsurgery"), Stephen J. Benkovic (notable chemist and National Medal of Science recipient), Clare Burchi (Distinguished professor of the Lawrenceville School), Jesse W. Reno (inventor of the escalator), and Robert Durst (suspected serial killer and the subject of The Jinx, a 2015 HBO miniseries). Faculty members include Joanna B. Michlic (professor of Polish-Jewish history) and Norman Melchert (Selfridge Professor of Philosophy from 1962 until his retirement in 1995.)
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