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Linderman Library 1800s, Linderman today
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Lehigh Timeline

1864 - 1899 | 1900 - 1999 | 2000 - Present


1865

Asa Packer gives $500,000 for the purpose of founding an educational institution in the Lehigh Valley and donates a plot of 56 acres in South Bethlehem for the new institution.

Henry Coppee is named the first president.

1866

The Governor of Pennsylvania signs an act to establish The Lehigh University.

Seal of the university is adopted.

College officially opens with the first classes in Christmas Hall.

1867

Seven additional acres of ground are donated to the university by Charles Brodhead.

1868

The President's House is built on campus.

Packer Hall is opened for classes.

1869-1870

Phi Sigma Kappa becomes the first Greek-letter fraternity on campus.

1870-1871

The first professorship of engineering is established.

1871-1872

Tuition is declared free to all students in all classes.

1872-1873

Saucon Hall, a dormitory and mess hall, becomes the third building on campus.

1873-1874

The Athletic Association is organized.

The Lehigh Journal becomes the first Lehigh publication.

1874-1875

Brown and white are named as the school colors.

The university starts a varsity basketball team.

1875-1876

John M. Leavitt is named president.

Asa Packer gives an additional 52 acres for campus use.

The first Epitome yearbook appears.

The Alumni Association organizes.

1877-1878

The University Library is dedicated in memory of Asa Packer's daughter Lucy Packer Linderman.

Lehigh offers first post-graduate degrees: Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, and Doctor of Science.

1878-1879

Asa Packer dies May 17, 1879.

1879-1880

Robert A. Lamberton is named president.

1881-1882

The university organizes into a School of General Literature and a School of Technology.

The first graduate degree, an M.A., is conferred on T.H. Hardcastle, B.A. '80.

1882-1883

A new gymnasium, now Coppee Hall, is erected.

1884-1885

Lehigh participates in its first intercollegiate competition in football.

The first Lehigh-Lafayette football game is played.

The Mustard and Cheese dramatic society gives its first performance.

1885-1886

The cornerstone of Packer Memorial Church is laid.

1886-1887

Lehigh establishes a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

1887-1888

Packer Memorial Church is consecrated.

1890-1891

The university abolishes free tuition and establishes free scholarships.

1893-1894

President Lamberton dies. Henry Coppee is named acting president.

The Brown and White newspaper begins publication.

1894-1895

Acting President Henry Coppee dies. William H. Chandler is named acting president.

1895-1896

Thomas Messinger Drown is named president.

A combined curriculum, leading to a degree in Arts and Engineering, is announced.

Lehigh's Alma Mater is written.

1903-1904

Williams Hall opens and the Sayre Observatory annex is completed.

1904-1905

Henry S. Drinker '71 is named president.

1907-1908

Drown Hall, Taylor Hall, and College Commons dining hall are completed.

1908-1909

The Lehigh band is founded.

1909-1910

Land and money are donated for the development of Sayre Park.

The flagpole is presented by the Class of '78.

1910-1911

Fritz Laboratory is completed.

1912-1913

The Alumni Bulletin is first published.

1913-1914

Taylor Gymnasium and Taylor Field are completed. A stadium is erected on Taylor Field.

1918-1919

The university divides into three colleges: College of Arts and Science; College of Business Administration; and College of Engineering.

Women are admitted as graduate students.

1921-1922

Charles Russ Richards is named president.

The cornerstone of the Alumni Memorial Building is laid.

1923-1924

The Lehigh Institute of Research is organized.

1924-1925

The Alumni Memorial Building is completed as a memorial to the Lehigh men who served in the World War and the 46 men who died in the service.

1933-1934

A division of intercollegiate athletics and physical education is established.

1934-1935

The Office of Admissions is established.

1935-1936

Clement Clarence Williams is named president.

1940-1941

Grace Hall and Lamberton Hall are dedicated during the 75th anniversary of the university.

1942-1943

A female biochemist, Margaret Lams, is the first to receive a research scholarship at the university.

Women are enrolled in a war-time emergency course.

1945-1946

The University Choir forms.

1946-1947

Martin D. Whitaker is named president.

1947-1948

Extensive penicillin research is conducted under Dr. Basil Parker, a foremost authority.

Lehigh enrolls its largest freshmen class of 677.

1951-1952

Bethlehem Steel Company creates the world's largest tension-compression testing machine to be placed in Fritz Engineering Laboratory.

1952-1953

Lehigh becomes one of the first in the country to offer a Civil Rights course.

1957-1958

Monroe J. Rathbone is named president.

1961-1962

Harvey A. Neville is named president.

1964-1965

W. Deming Lewis is installed as the 10th president.

1968-1969

Faculty approve making Lehigh coeducational.

1969-1970

Lehigh is given lunar samples for testing by Dr. Charles Solar and Dr. Joseph I. Goldstein.

1970-1971

Maginnes Hall of Liberal Arts is opened.

1971-1972

Lehigh welcomes its first female students.

The Centennial School is completed.

Energy Research Center opens.

1974-1975

Lee A. Iacocca, president of Ford Motor Company, is named as a University trustee.

Alpha Phi becomes the first women's sorority on campus.

1979-1980

Stabler Arena, a 6,000-seat venue, opens on the Goodman Campus.

An International Center opens to serve foreign students.

1981-1982

Peter Likins is named president.

1982-1983

Lehigh opens the Hillel House.

Ben Franklin Technology Center forms.

1985-1986

Lehigh University Press is established.

Mountaintop Campus is acquired from Bethlehem Steel Corp.

1987-1988

A new stadium is being designed for the Murray H. Goodman Campus.

Plans begin for a new College of Business and Economics on the site of Taylor Stadium.

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

1988-1989

The Murray H. Goodman Stadium is officially dedicated.

The Iacocca Institute is formed to try to make American industry competitive again.

1990-1992

Rauch Business Center is formally dedicated.

1997-1998

Zoellner Arts Center opens for its first season.

1998

Gregory Farrington is named president.

2001

The Center for Optical Technologies opens.

2002

Campus Square opens on the northern edge of campus.

2003

The Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology opens and houses two of the world's most powerful electron microscopes.

2006

Alice P. Gast is named president.

2008

His Holiness the Dalai Lama conducts six days of public teachings at Lehigh's Stabler Arena.

Construction begins on STEPS building.

2010

STEPS building officially opens.

Pictured here:
The University Library was dedicated on June 21, 1878. The building was erected by founder Asa Packer in memory of his daughter Lucy Packer Linderman. Renovations to Linderman Library have preserved the beauty of its original architecture.

 
 

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