Whether it is inventing a solar generator as part of the Integrated Product Development (IPD) program or pursuing groundbreaking health research in a state- of-the-art facility, students at Lehigh are offered a host of ways they can bring new ideas to life. It is these kinds of innovative, interdisciplinary opportunities, which exemplify the power of a Lehigh education, that have been made possible through the generosity and leadership of Nan and Chuck Strauch.
Chuck, who holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, was involved in many activities at Lehigh, including four years on the lacrosse team, president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee.
He served with the U.S. Army before joining Union Carbide where he ran a small start-up division. His career was spent in leading technology-based businesses, ultimately as CEO of publicly traded, international corporations. These included Gould Inc., Memorex, Magnusson Computer, MSI Data, and PairGain Technologies, covering a diverse range of technologies. He led the successful 1993 IPO at PairGain, which developed and implemented the DSL technology used by worldwide local telecommunication systems providers. He remains active in business as an entrepreneur-owner of two businesses and a finance company that provides loans to start-up technology companies.
As an alumnus, Chuck was integral in the creation of Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program. He led the fundraising effort and was on the advisory board. His support of curricular innovations and renewed facilities, including the Health Research Hub in Iacocca Hall, have helped Lehigh lead in teaching and research. He served on his 50th Reunion Fund Gift Committee and has been a member of the Engineering Advisory Council since 2008. In 2012, he earned the Lehigh University Alumni Association Award for his service, loyalty, and dedication.
Nan Strauch earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Cornell in 1958. She served as vice chair of Hood College’s Board of Trustees, and she was on the Board of Directors at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School and the South Coast Hospital Foundation. The Strauchs are the primary benefactors of Landmark College where Nan is a current Trustee and Chuck—as a founding trustee and chair emeritus—received an honorary degree in humanities for his service.
The Strauchs are long-time members of the Asa Packer Society and the Tower Society, Lehigh’s leadership giving societies. They have supported the Athletic Partnership, the Lehigh Fund, and the Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. They have also made a provision for Lehigh through their estate plans to support the engineering college’s Facilities Renewal Initiative and to further the development of Lehigh’s integrated educational programs.
The Strauchs live in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and New York, New York. They have five children and 16 grandchildren. Chuck’s father, brother, and nephew are Lehigh University alumni. Their grandson is a member of the Class of 2015.