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Alum’s generosity boosts research in the humanities and social sciences

Dale S. Strohl '58 has made a $1.1-million gift to support graduate and undergraduate student research in the humanities and social sciences.

Research in the humanities and social sciences at Lehigh will benefit from a gift of $1.1 million by Dale S. Strohl, who earned a B.A. in psychology from the university in 1958.

The Dale S. Strohl ’58 Awards for Research Excellence in Social Sciences and Humanities provide support for graduate and undergraduate student research, including doctoral dissertation fellowships, senior thesis grants and summer research fellowships.

Strohl, a retired senior vice president for Tiffany & Co., is a longtime supporter of Lehigh whose generosity was instrumental in the renovation of Linderman Library and the construction of the STEPS (Science, Technology, Environment, Policy and Society) building.

“Over the years since I attended Lehigh in the 1950s,” Strohl says, “I’ve seen the university transition and place greater emphasis on the arts and sciences. This has motivated me to want to do something for Lehigh.”

Strohl says he was also inspired by “Advancing Our Intellectual Footprint,” the strategic plan that Lehigh President Alice P. Gast has outlined for Lehigh. The plan envisions Lehigh as a premier residential research university that addresses global grand challenges by investing in faculty and students while partnering in the rebirth of the local community.

'Invaluable support for people, programs and places'

“I am absolutely impressed with Alice Gast’s vision and with the strategic plan for Lehigh,” he says. “I’m hoping this gift will help enhance Lehigh’s reputation as a premier research institution by giving the president and her leadership team the flexibility to do things that have a measurable impact on people.”

Expressing her appreciation for Strohl’s gift, Gast says his longstanding support has been invaluable to the university’s “people, programs and places.”

“This new gift will provide an opportunity for Lehigh to reward and promote our very best scholars by augmenting their research support,” she says.

“It will also help us advance our strategic plan, through which we are enhancing our research and teaching to benefit society and to produce new approaches to challenging problems.”

Enhancing a distinctive student experience

Alan J. Snyder, vice president and associate provost for research and graduate studies, says Strohl’s gift will help Lehigh attain its goal of international recognition for research excellence and distinctive student experiences.

“The research environment contributes to a distinctive student experience for both undergraduate and graduate students,” says Snyder. “The Strohl Awards will support students both in pursuing their own research projects and also in their involvement in faculty research.

“The social sciences and humanities are critically important to addressing grand challenges. To properly appreciate and address complex problems requires a deeper understanding of human experience, thought, motivation and behavior.”

Strohl’s gift is the second major gift in support of Lehigh’s vision of a student-centered, societally engaged research university. Last year, Daniel E. Smith, Jr. ’71, president and CEO of Sycamore Networks, Inc., and chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Elizabeth Riley, established an endowment to support the Smith Funds for Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering, which rewards innovative thinking and collaboration.

Strohl’s generosity to the renovation of Linderman Library resulted in the naming of the Strohl Family Information Center, the Dale Strohl e-Stations, and the Dale Strohl Stairway Lounge.

His significant support for the STEPS building made possible the “Hub of Life” art installation and outdoor courtyard.

Story by Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011

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