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Founder’s Day puts focus on students, leadership

Every October since 1879, Lehigh students, faculty, and alumni have gathered to honor Asa Packer, Lehigh’s founder. This Friday, Oct. 21, the Lehigh family is once again invited to be part of the tradition that remembers the contributions of Asa Packer and celebrates leadership among students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are following in his footsteps.

The 133rd Founder’s Day ceremony begins at 4:10 in Packer Memorial Church, and will be followed by a rally at the STEPS building. A keynote address will be given by Andrea Lavin ’12, a finance major with a minor in engineering. Lavin is also campus relations chair for the Panhellenic Council and a member of the Council of Student Presidents. Born in New York, she was raised outside Chicago.

Chad Davis, senior associate director of student and young alumni development, says the ceremony focuses on students. “Highlighting student leaders and their organizations is a big part of what today’s Founder’s Day is all about,” he says. “Having a speaker like Andrea, featuring students in the ceremony, and finishing with a celebration at STEPS brings the event to life.” 

In addition to Lavin’s presentation, the ceremony will include the installation of Donald Hall as the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recognition of class presidents and other student leaders, and the formal recognition of new administrators Henry Odi, vice provost for academic diversity and Emil Gnasso, registrar. The Lehigh women’s choral group Dolce will perform.

The ceremony will also celebrate faculty appointed to existing endowed positions, as well as the dedication of several new endowed chairs:

• Jesus Salas has been appointed to the Francis J. Ingrassia and Elizabeth McCaul Endowed Professorship, endowed by the Ingrassias.

• Andrew Ward has been appointed to the Charlot and Dennis E. Singleton ’66 Endowed Chair in Corporate Governance, endowed by the Singletons.

• Ajai Singh has been appointed to the Bolton-Perella Chair, endowed by Joseph and Amy Perella.

• Dena Davis has been appointed to the Presidential Chair in Health.

There will also be special recognition of the new Leadership Plaza donors—those whose giving to Lehigh has reached or exceeded $1 million and will have their names etched in the benches outside the Alumni Memorial Building: Jane ’75 and Frederick Jamieson ’74, Karen and Steven Lee ’69, and Kathryn and Mark Yeager ’81.

Immediately following the ceremony, a Founder’s Day Rally will be held at STEPS featuring refreshments and music, the Marching 97, cheerleaders, Lehigh mascot Clutch, and more. All students attending the Founder’s Day Ceremony will receive a T-shirt.

To RSVP or learn more, visit the special Founder's Day website.

Story by Janet Norwood

Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011

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