Our Class of 2015 won’t be arriving on campus for another few weeks, but the Lehigh University Alumni Association has already begun to welcome them into the Lehigh family.
This month and next, alumni from all around the country are hosting incoming students and their parents at more than two dozen Sendoffs. These long-standing events give our newest students a chance to not only meet each other, but also connect with alumni and current students who are eager to share their Lehigh experiences.
I just had the pleasure of attending our Rocky Mountain Sendoff Tuesday night at the gorgeous Englewood, Colo., home of Gerri and Joe Morahan. Their son, Jim Morahan ’06, is a great role model for our Class of 2015ers to follow because he’s living proof that hard work truly pays off.
I was an assistant soccer coach at Lehigh a few years ago, so I had the pleasure of coaching Jim while he was here. In his first four seasons at Lehigh, Jim made just one appearance in a game in goal. Despite the lack of playing time, he showed up for practice every day, never complained and worked extremely hard—blocking literally thousands and thousands of his teammates’ shots in hopes of making them and himself into better players.
The hard work paid off big-time as Jim stayed for a fifth year and was our No.1 goalie in what turned out to be a really magical year for the program. We won the 2006 regular season Patriot League crown, went to the NCAA playoffs, and ended the year as the No. 15 team in the nation—with the top-ranked defense in the country. Jim set a new school record for shutouts (12) and captured all-region honors. I told Jim’s story to the Class of 2015 members the other night in Denver, so they, like Jim, will know that if they keep working, great things will happen for them at Lehigh, too.
Jim is now a teacher at Arapahoe High School, where, as assistant coach for the soccer team, he continues to impart the lessons he learned at Lehigh.
The terrific night at the Morahans reminded me that few events exude the Lehigh family spirit quite like Sendoffs. To see our outstanding (and sometimes nervous) new students connecting with those who came to Lehigh before them brings to life the way our Lehigh network spans the past, present, and future. It’s a great example of how alumni can connect with this latest generation, impart the Lehigh traditions that mean so much, and pave the way for success in the years to come.
While some Sendoffs have already taken place, there is still time to register for others. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.
Hope to see you soon!
Robert W. Wolfenden
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations