Founder's Day celebrates Lehigh founder Asa Packer (pictured above) as well as today's leaders.
On October 11, Lehigh will hold its 129th annual Founder’s Day ceremonies to honor current Lehigh leaders who have helped make founder Asa Packer’s vision a reality.
The ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. in Packer Memorial Church, the church that Asa Packer’s daughter Mary built in his memory.
The annual event honors hundreds of Lehigh leaders—including members of the Board of Trustees, new deans and faculty in endowed chairs, generous donors, and students—who are selected for their academic pursuits and leadership accomplishments.
After the processional into Packer Church, the invocation by Lehigh chaplain Lloyd Steffen and a formal welcome from Lehigh President Alice P. Gast, this year’s Founder’s Day exercises will include:
• Formal installation of Daniel E. Smith Jr. as the new chairman of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees.
• Formal installation of College of Business and Economics Dean Paul Brown.
• The annual Founder’s Day address by Michael G. Kolchin, a Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Faculty Award-winning professor of management and the associate dean for graduate studies. Kolchin's remarks will center around the challenge Asa Packer posed to the faculty back when he gave $500,000 to found Lehigh University—namely, he wanted them to contribute to the intellectual and moral development of students of that day—and will examine whether today's faculty is living up to that challenge.
• Performance of the Tibetan piece “Desh” by the Lehigh University choir.
• Dedication of the Smith Family Men’s Lacrosse Coach and the Helene and Allen Apter ’61 Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values.
• Recognition of the recipients of endowed chairs, coaching positions, and professorships.
• Special recognition of Louis “Luke” Weinstock '36, whose name will be engraved in gold on the Leadership Plaza, because his lifetime giving to Lehigh has exceeded $10 million. In addition, Leadership Plaza donors (those whose giving to Lehigh has reached/exceeded $1 million), will be honored by having their names newly engraved. That list includes Lee Butz '55, Greg Butz '79, William Hecht '64, John Cable '45, and six donors who are deceased—Elizabeth and Blair Deale '35, Lillian and Harry Eisenhart 1903, Glenn Gibson '35, and Joseph Stone '36.
• Formal recognition of new administrators J. Leon Washington (dean of admissions and financial aid) and Peter M. Gilbert (chief investment officer) and of the newly promoted/tenured faculty.
• Installation of student class presidents for the Classes of 2008-2011, the newly elected members of the student senate, the graduate student council and the Association of Student Alumni.