Brad Eric Scheler ‘74 has been elected chairman of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees effective July 1. A nationally renowned corporate restructuring attorney and senior partner of the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Scheler has served in key leadership roles as a member of Lehigh’s board for the past seven years.
Elected as vice chairs were Jane P. Jamieson ‘75, who retired as executive vice president for marketing at Fidelity Investments after a 28-year career at the firm, and Kevin L. Clayton ‘84, a principal and director of Oaktree Capital Management, a leading global investment management firm.
Scheler succeeds Daniel E. Smith Jr. ‘71, president and CEO of Sycamore Networks Inc., who has served as the chair of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees since 2007. During Smith’s tenure, Lehigh experienced a time of significant growth and change that included the development and implementation of Lehigh’s Strategic Plan, the successful conclusion of the Shine Forever Campaign, the launch of a new Campus Master Plan and the addition of 755 acres to Lehigh’s campus through the generosity of the Stabler Foundation.
“A continuation of visionary leadership”
“Brad Scheler’s election as board chairman assures a continuation of the bold and visionary leadership that defines Lehigh’s success,” said Lehigh President Alice P. Gast. “Like Dan, Brad has the experience and integrity to lead Lehigh during a time of great opportunity and change in higher education.
“We are all very grateful to Dan for his guidance, service and leadership, and I am particularly thankful for his professional advice and mentoring. We will move confidently into the future under Brad’s direction, and I look forward to working with him.”
A member of the Board of Trustees since 2006 and a Corporate trustee since 2010, Scheler has served on the Executive, Student Affairs, Advancement, Public Affairs, Campus Planning, and Nominating committees.
He chaired the Linderman Project Advisory Committee charged with raising funds and awareness for the $19 million renovation of Linderman Library, which was completed in 2007. He also served as the immediate past Chair and is a current member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics.
Drawing on an “extraordinary education”
“I received an extraordinary education at Lehigh that I continue to draw on each and every day,” Scheler says. “I can never repay Lehigh for the opportunities this wonderful university has made possible in my life, and I can think of no better legacy than to work diligently to ensure that the Lehigh we leave to future generations is even better than the one that so profoundly affected our lives.”
Scheler graduated from Lehigh with high honors (B.A., Interdisciplinary History and Government), and earned a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, where he was research editor of the Hofstra Law Review.
He is the chairman of Fried Frank’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice and has represented numerous clients in both out-of-court debt and equity restructurings and the rehabilitation of financially distressed businesses under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Scheler’s experience on some of the largest and most complex transactions has given him perspective and insight into the challenges of realizing maximum value and recovery from both distressed and non-distressed businesses and assets.
A teacher, author and frequent speaker
He acts as outside general counsel and as a strategic adviser to a number of financially strong corporate and institutional clients in connection with financings and capital market transactions, including the issuance and restructuring of debt and equity securities and the structuring and implementation of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.
A Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Scheler is also the Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Board for his law school alma mater, Hofstra University School of Law (J.D., 1977). He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
In addition, Scheler writes on subjects related to his experience and is a frequent speaker at professional seminars. He is a contributing author of Collier on Bankruptcy, the leading treatise on bankruptcy and restructuring.
Scheler regularly co-teaches a course on Investing in Distressed Securities at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and he has delivered the Benjamin Weintraub Distinguished Professorship Lecture as well as the Orientation Address to the incoming Class of 2011 at Hofstra University School of Law.
Passing along the Lehigh tradition
He has served on the boards of other charitable and not-for-profit organizations, including inMotion: Justice for All Women (chair emeritus), Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Committee of UJA-Federation of New York, and the Village of Larchmont Library Board.
Scheler resides in Larchmont, N.Y., with his wife, Amy Frolick. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Ali Siotkas, Maddie Scheler and Zoey Scheler. Scheler’s love for Lehigh has become a family tradition, as Ali and Maddie earned Lehigh undergraduate degrees with honors, with Maddie then earning her master’s in education at Lehigh.
In addition to electing Scheler, Jamieson and Clayton to new leadership roles, the board also welcomes five new members. Appointed to three-year terms are Marinee G. Cabrera ‘05, Thomas J. Campbell ‘80 ‘13P ‘14P, Andrew C. Fiala ‘92, Anne R. Kline ‘81, and Mark R. Yeager ‘81.
Retiring from the board are Nancy M. Berman, Janet G. Davidson ‘78, Patrick A. Fischer ‘97, Kathleen D. Trimble ‘87, Ronald J. Ulrich ‘66 ‘98P ‘99P, and Wendell P. Weeks ‘81.
For the complete list and bios of Lehigh University Board of Trustees members, visit the Board of Trustees Profiles page.