Skip navigation
Engraving, historic sports photo
About  >  Traditions  

Traditions

School Colors

Our School Colors

Lehigh students have been fond of brown and white since 1867 – two years after the school's founding. Why did it take so long to choose official school colors? When the school was founded, individual classes had their own unique colors. But soon the university realized it needed colors that could unify the entire student body. Hoping to create greater school spirit, Lehigh selected brown and white as the official school colors. Why brown and white? It seems that explanation has gone missing from the official history books. But Lehigh folklore offers up one suggestion: A woman wearing fashionable brown and white stockings crossed the path of a group of men discussing school colors and, as they say, the rest is history. Brown and white stockings may not be as popular today, but both colors are still proudly worn across campus.

 

Mascot

Our Mascot

Lehigh didn't debut its first official mascot, the Mountain Hawk, until 1995. Prior to that, Lehigh athletic teams were known as the Engineers. While many believe the Engineers referred to Lehigh's strong engineering program, it in fact reflected the university's early ties to the railroad industry. Lehigh's founder, Asa Packer, built the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company right here in eastern Pennsylvania. To preserve Lehigh history, the university still refers to athletic teams prior to 1995 as the "Engineers" or even the "Brown and Whites." While there is no species of bird known as the "mountain hawk," it is not uncommon to spot hawks sailing over Lehigh's home on South Mountain. And our fine feathered fan, Clutch, can always be spotted cheering his fellow Mountain Hawks to victory.

 

Seal and Motto

Our Seal and Motto

Lehigh trustees followed several principles in setting up the university. One was that of combining scientific and classical education; they considered both to be practical. The principle carried forward an ideal of the great 17th-century Moravian educator John Amos Comenius. A motto taken from the works of Francis Bacon was used to summarize this principle, namely, "Homo Minister et Interpres Naturaeman," which translates loosely to "Man, the servant and interpreter of nature." This motto lives on at Lehigh, being an element in the university seal, which was officially adopted in 1866.

 

 

Alma Mater

Our Alma Mater

Listen to the alma mater

From "The Brown and White Album" by the Lehigh University Glee Club, © 2007



Where the Lehigh's rocky rapids
Rush from out the West,
Mid a grove of spreading chestnuts
Walls in ivy dressed.
On the breast of old South Mountain
Reared against the sky,
Stands our noble Alma Mater,
Stands our dear Lehigh.

Like a watchman on the mountain
Stands she grandly bold,
Earth's and Heaven's secret seeking,
Hoarding them like gold.
All she wrests from Nature's storehouse
Naught escapes her eye,
Gives she gladly to her dear ones,
While we bless Lehigh.

We will ever live to love her,
Live to praise her name,
Live to make our lives add luster
To her glorious fame.
Let the glad notes wake the echo,
Joyfully we cry:
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater;
Hail, all hail, Lehigh.


Words by John J. Gibson, Class of 1895. Tune "Amici" arranged by Thornton W. Allen.

 

Our Fight Songs

Lehigh Will Shine


Lehigh will shine tonight, Lehigh will shine;
Lehigh will shine tonight, Lehigh will shine;
Lehigh will shine tonight, Lehigh will shine;
When the sun goes down
and the moon comes up,
Lehigh will shine.



Rearing, Tearing


Rearing, tearing down the field, down the field,
Lehigh's team will never yield, never yield!
Past the last white line that marks the goal,
And brings a victory again to old Lehigh.
And when the big Brown team goes
crashing through, crashing through,
Rivals don't know what to do, what to do. Rooters cheer another victory for old Lehigh.

Pictured here:
Left: The letters "LU" are engraved on the steps leading to Linderman Library. The steps were a gift from the Class of 1887.
Right: In 1903, Lehigh was a power in lacrosse. One neighborhood boy even climbed a pole for a bird’s eye view.

 
 

Lehigh University • 27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015 USA • (610) 758-3000