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Lehigh University
MottoHomo minister et interpres naturae (Latin)
Motto in EnglishMan, the servant and interpreter of nature
Endowment$1.036 billion (2012) [1]
PresidentAlice P. Gast
Admin. staff1,196
LocationBethlehem, PA, USA
CampusUrban and Suburban; 2,350 acres (9.5 km2)
AthleticsNCAA Division I
25 varsity teams
ColorsBrown and white          
MascotMountain Hawks
File:Lehigh University text.png

Lehigh University is an American private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. As of 2012, the university comprises 4,883 undergraduate students and 2,187 graduate students.[2] Lehigh has long been known as one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States.

Lehigh is ranked 12th in the nation, according to The Wall Street Journal, in college Return on Investment (ROI).[3] The university boasts over 680 faculty members; awards and honors recognizing Lehigh faculty and alumni include the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, Fulbright Fellowship, and membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.[4]

The university 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% percent of the university's students.[5] 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.


File:Asa Packer.jpg

Asa Packer, a 19th century U.S. businessman, donated land and money to found the university

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.[6]

From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the institution to offer its education free of charge by competitive exam.[6] 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.

Unlike other engineering schools of the day, Lehigh was envisioned 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.[6] Initially there were five schools: four scientific (civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mining and metallurgy, and analytical chemistry) and one of general literature. Over time, additional areas of the arts and sciences were added and engineering curricula were both merged and expanded.

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.[6] As a consequence, Lehigh decided to drop its Episcopal Church affiliation in 1897, allowing it to qualify for state and federal government aid.

Based on the experience of Lehigh engineers who went into industry[7] a College of Business & Economics was added in 1910. Lehigh's business curriculum was unique[7] 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.

A similar emphasis on the well-rounded graduate can be seen in Lehigh's approach to education degrees. Lehigh's respected School of Education started as (and remains) a solely graduate-level program. This is based[7] 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 Bachelors Degree in a specialized field and a Masters Degree in Education.

File:Lehigh original seal.jpg

Lehigh's seal, adopted in 1866, incorporates the university motto Homo Minister et Interpres Naturaeman which is loosely translated as "Man, the servant and interpreter of nature"[8]

Presidents of Lehigh

  1. Henry Coppée (1866–1875), soldier, author, and engineer
  2. John McDowell Leavitt (1875–1880), Episcopal clergyman
  3. Robert Alexander Lamberton (1880–1893), lawyer
  4. Thomas Messinger Drown (1895–1904), chemistry professor
  5. Henry Sturgis Drinker (1905–1920), the only alumnus to serve as president
  6. Charles Russ Richards (1922–1935), presided over the first graduate degrees awarded to women
  7. Clement C. Williams (1935–1944), civil engineer
  8. Martin Dewey Whitaker (1946–1960), who worked to develop the atomic bomb
  9. Harvey A. Neville (1961–1964), the only faculty member ever elected president
  10. W. Deming Lewis (1964–1982), presided over the admission of undergraduate women
  11. Peter Likins (1982–1997), civil engineer
  12. William C. Hittinger (1997–1998), electrical engineer
  13. Gregory C. Farrington (1998–2006), chemist
  14. Alice P. Gast (2006–present), Lehigh's first female president, chemical engineer


File:Lehigh University Alumni Building.jpg

Alumni Memorial Building on the Asa Packer campus

Located in the Lehigh Valley, the university is a 70-mile (110 km) drive from Philadelphia, and an 85-mile (137 km) drive from New York City.[9]

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 four 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.
File:Lehigh University Mountain Top Campus.jpg

Iacocca Hall on the Mountaintop Campus.

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.[10]


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.[2]

The 2013 edition of US News & World Report's Best Colleges ranked Lehigh in its "Most Selective" admissions category and 38th in the "National Universities (Doctoral)" category.[11] The Princeton Review classifies it among the "Best Northeastern Colleges."[12]

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.[13] The university operates on a semester system.[14]

P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduates of Lehigh's engineering programs invented the escalator[15] and founded Packard Motor Car Company[16] 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.[17]

College of Business and Economics

In 2012, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's College of Business and Economics 31st in the nation among undergraduate business programs.[18] 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.[18] 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.[19] Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review named Lehigh the 24th best undergraduate college for entrepreneurship in 2012.[20]

College of Arts and Sciences

Based in Maginnes Hall,[21] Lehigh offers a variety of humanities courses and visual arts programs. In particular, it has many music programs, including its Marching 97,[22] 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.[23][vague]

Lehigh also has a program called ArtsLehigh,[24] oriented towards enhancing interest in the arts on campus.

College of Education

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).[25] 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.[26]


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.[2] Faculty members are required to have a minimum of four office hours per week.

Strategic Plan

In 2009, Lehigh announced a comprehensive strategic plan.[27] The plan has four key components:

  1. Addressing Grand Challenges and National Needs in Strategic Areas of Focus[28]
  2. Investing in Faculty and Staff: A Strategic Expansion[29]
  3. Providing a Best-in-Class Experience: Promoting Student Success through Core Competencies and Student Engagement[30]
  4. Partnering in the Renaissance of the Local Community [31]

Progress in the above areas was reported at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. Cluster hires in Africana Studies and Smart Grid Electricity Systems were approved during the strategic plan's first implementation phase.[32]

Reducing High-Risk Behaviors

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.[33]


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.[34] In 2002, it won the inaugural USA Today/NCAA Foundation Award for having the nation's top graduation rate of all Division I institutions.[34] 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.

Each summer, Lehigh also hosts the training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles, which draws thousands of spectators to the Eagles' twice-daily practices and scrimmages.

File:Goodman Stadium.JPG

Goodman Stadium in the Murray H. Goodman Campus.

NCAA Basketball

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.[35]


The most storied athletic program at Lehigh is its wrestling team. Over the past several decades it has turned out several All-Americans and had numerous squads finish with Top 20 NCAA national rankings. 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 Pat Santoro as Lehigh's next head coach.

"The Rivalry"

Lehigh University is notable for its rivalry in sports and academics with nearby Lafayette College. Since 1884, the two football teams have met 147 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.

Fraternities and sororities

Nearly all of Lehigh's 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 20 fraternities, 16 of which are on campus, and 10 sororities, 9 of which are on campus:[36]



[1] Non-Residential [2] Non-Affiliated [3] Colony

Professional Fraternities

  • Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry
  • Alpha Omega Epsilon Engineering
  • Alpha Phi Omega Service
  • Kappa Kappa Psi Band
  • Phi Sigma Pi Honors
  • Sigma Phi Delta Engineering

Honor Societies

  • Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering
  • Alpha Sigma Mu Materials Science Engineering
  • Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering
  • Eta Kappa Nu [1] Electrical/Computer Engineering
  • Phi Alpha Theta History
  • Phi Beta Delta [1] International
  • Phi Beta Kappa [1] Liberal Arts
  • Phi Eta Sigma [1] Freshman Honors
  • Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering
  • Sigma Alpha Pi [1] Leadership
  • Sigma Xi [1] Research
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering

[1] Non-Affiliated with the Association of College Honor Societies

Spirit and traditions

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.

While the riots to rip down the goal posts in Taylor Stadium are a thing of the past, many alumni return for the Lafayette game (which is usually sold out three months in advance) to root Lehigh on, to attend parties at their former fraternities and sororities, and to see old friends.[7]

Sesquicentennial Class

In January 2012, Lehigh announced plans to celebrate the University's 150th anniversary in 2015. A steering committee was formed that will oversee planning and implementation of the university's celebratory events. The sesquicentennial year coincides 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 university president Alice Gast.[37]


University rankings
U.S. News & World Report[38] 38
Times[39] 351-400

The 2013 edition of Best Colleges from US News & World Report ranked Lehigh as "Most Selective" in admissions and 38th in the "National Universities (Doctoral)" category. It ranked as follows among the 126 top-tier universities:[11]

  • 26th in student selectivity.
  • 28th in best value.
  • 30th in retention rate.
  • 33nd in graduation and retention.
  • 37th in alumni giving.
  • 38th in faculty resources.

The magazine also included Lehigh in its "America's Best College Sports Programs " list[11]

According to a 2012 PayScale report, Lehigh ranked 6th among the nation's colleges and universities in mid-career salary at $118,000.[40]

BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's undergraduate College of Business & Economics 31st overall in the nation in 2012. The school was ranked 7th in finance, 17th in median starting salary for graduates, and 21st in accounting.[18]

Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review named Lehigh the 24th best undergraduate college for entrepreneurship in 2012.[20]

The Wall Street Journal in June 2010 ranked Lehigh as number 12 in the nation for return on investment (ROI) when comparing the average career earnings of a graduate to the cost of an education.[41]

The Clery Act

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.[42][43] 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”.[44]

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.[45]

Notable alumni

Photo gallery

See also

  • Lehigh University Press


  1. As of June 30, 2012. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Lehigh at a Glance". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  3. "Top 20: Colleges That Offer Best Return on Investment". June 30, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  4. "Sahagian plays role in IPCC receiving 2007 Nobel Peace Prize". November 5, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  5. "Class Summary" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Yates, W. Ross. "An Institution is Born, A Tradition Begins". Lehigh University. Retrieved August 14, 2006.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Plotnicki, Rita M., Looking Back: A Lehigh Scrapbook, Lehigh University, 1991
  8. Lehigh University (2013). "Lehigh University Traditions". Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  9. "Driving Directions to Lehigh from New York, Philadelphia". 1970-01-01.,+ny&daddr=27+Memorial+Dr+W,+Bethlehem,+PA+18015+(Lehigh+University)+to:philadelphia,+pa&geocode=FR1AbQIdK8KW-yk7CD_TpU_CiTFi_nfhBo8LyA%3BFbKdawIdy8uB-yEgs29k7emwXQ%3BFc-fYQIdcxeF-ylfd6CC9qjGiTHBWD6M2BT1iQ&hl=en&mra=ls&sll=40.34549,-74.789725&sspn=1.080165,2.403259&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=9. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  10. "Message from the President on Stabler Foundation Gift". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Lehigh University at a Glance from US News & World Report.
  12. "Lehigh University on the Princeton Review". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  13. "Chart Showing Undergraduate Enrollment". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  14. Lehigh University – U.S. News & World Report.
  15. "Stairways to Heaven: Escalators in the Vernacular". 2007-05-16. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  16. "Packard, James Ward – Lehigh Engineering Heritage Initiative". 2011-04-20.,_James_Ward. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  17. "Tau Beta Pi Founder, Dr. Edward Higginson Williams, Jr". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 BusinessWeek rankings.
  19. "The Best Part-Time MBA Programs". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 25 Undergraduate Colleges Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  21. "College of Arts & Sciences". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  22. "The Marching 97 website". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  23. "Department of English". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  24. ArtsLehigh from the Lehigh website
  25. COE Academic Programs from Lehigh's website
  26. "COE Alumni page". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  27. ["" "Lehigh University Strategic Plan"]. "". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  28. Addressing Grand Challenges and National Needs in Strategic Areas of Focus Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  29. Investing in Faculty and Staff: A Strategic Expansion Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  30. Providing a Best-in-Class Experience: Promoting Student Success through Core Competencies and Student Engagement Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  31. Partnering in the Renaissance of the Local Community Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  32. ["" "First two cluster faculty proposals selected"]. "". Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  33. ["" "Lehigh joins a national effort to promote students’ health"]. "". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  34. 34.0 34.1
  35. Housenick, Tom (March 16, 2012). "NCAA basketball: Lehigh pulls off monumental upset of Duke". The Morning Call.,0,6364456.story. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  36. "List of all Greek Life at Lehigh". Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  37. Steering committee named for 150th celebration Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  38. "National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  39. "World University Rankings 2012-2013". The Times Higher Education. 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  40. 2012-2013 PayScale College Salary Report Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  41. Zhao, Emmeline (2010-06-30). "Top 20: Colleges That Offer Best Return on Investment - Real Time Economics - WSJ". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  42. Gross, Ken (1990-02-19). "After Their Daughter Is Murdered at College, Her Grieving Parents Mount a Crusade for Campus Safety".,,20116872,00.html. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  43. "Complying With The Jeanne Clery Act". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  44. "Ranking the Safest (and Least Secure) College Campuses". Readers Digest. 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  45. "National campus safety issues are focus of summit". 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-27.

External links

Coordinates: 40°36.43′N 75°22.74′W / 40.60717°N 75.37900°W / 40.60717; -75.37900