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Lehigh alum endows head men’s lacrosse coach position

Daniel E. Smith Jr. '71

Daniel E. Smith Jr. ’71 and his wife, Elizabeth Riley have endowed the Smith Family Head Lacrosse Coach position at Lehigh University. The gift from Smith, a Lehigh University trustee, is part of the University’s $500 million Shine Forever campaign. A primary focus of the campaign is to endow chairs at the university.

Smith, a former lacrosse player at Lehigh, endowed the coaching position because of his love of the sport and of the university.

“My family and I are very pleased to be able to contribute to Lehigh’s athletics program,” said Daniel E. Smith. “Athletics is an integral part of Lehigh’s leadership training process and the coaches that lead its sports programs—together with Lehigh’s faculty and administration—play a critical role in successfully developing leadership skills. Lehigh has a long and illustrious tradition in lacrosse. We hope this gift will help further strengthen this program and continue to support Lehigh’s outstanding reputation for developing world-class leaders in all disciplines.”

“This generous gift by the Smith Family will help Lehigh athletics develop future generations of student-athletes by enabling us to attract and retain outstanding coaching staff,” says Lehigh President Alice P. Gast. “Their generosity also complements expansions and improvements that the athletics department has made in recent years to create an athletics program that is nationally respected both for results and for the way those results are achieved.”

“Lehigh is deeply honored by the Smith Family Gift,” said Joe Sterrett, the Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics. “As an alumnus of our lacrosse program, Dan has values and aspirations for Lehigh and our athletics program that are well aligned with our own. He is a great competitor and holds an inspiring vision for Lehigh and for Lehigh lacrosse. This gift allows us to continue to invest in our coaching staff and actually helped us attract the high quality individuals who are now leading our program.”

Smith and his wife have been loyal and generous benefactors to Lehigh for many years. They previously endowed the Daniel E. ’39 and Patricia M. Smith Professor and Director of the Center for Optical Technologies at Lehigh, in honor of his parents. Smith and his wife are also members of the Tower Society and the Asa Packer Society at Lehigh. Smith’s parents were members of Lehigh’s Tower Society and President Associates of the Asa Packer Society, and Smith established an endowed scholarship fund in his parent’s honor in 2001.

In addition, Smith has provided for the creation of the Smith Family Laboratory for Optical Technologies and has also supported the renovation of historic Grace Hall as well as final stage construction of the Ulrich Sports Complex for lacrosse, soccer and field hockey. Smith was recently named Chair of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees.

Smith and Gururaj Deshpande founded optical networking pioneer Sycamore Networks (NASDAQ: SCMR) in 1998. The company develops and markets a broad range of optical networking products that enable network service providers to transform the capacity created by their fiber optic networks into bandwidth for the delivery of high-speed data services.

Previously, he co-founded and led Cascade Communications, another pioneering and very successful data communications company, which is now part of Alcatel-Lucent.

A native of Nyack, N.Y., Smith graduated from Lehigh in 1971 with a B.S. in industrial engineering from the P. C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

As an undergraduate, Smith was a member of the men’s varsity lacrosse and swimming teams. He served as vice president and treasurer of the class of 1971 and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He continued studies at Harvard University and received an MBA in finance and general management in 1976. He served as an officer in the United States Navy from 1971-73.

--Janet Norwood

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007

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