Lehigh University
Lehigh University

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Interdisciplinary programs get state-of-the-art home

The programs are Integrated Product Development (IPD), Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE), and Integrated Design Arts Initiative (IDAI).

The ceremony took place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30.

The Wilbur Powerhouse renovation will offer a permanent facility in which to pair the top academic programs with the most promising students and faculty. The multi-disciplinary programs have come to define the educational philosophy at Lehigh, offering students real-world experiences that prepare them for an increasingly complex world after graduation. The interdisciplinary programs also allow Lehigh to attract the best and brightest faculty and staff to South Mountain.

Renovations to Wilbur Powerhouse include a CAD and 3D virtual modeling computer lab, prototyping shops with rapid prototyping and 3D scanning equipment, student team work areas, and meeting rooms.

The building is named in honor of Warren A. Wilbur; the son of Asa Packer’s nephew, Elisha Packer Wilbur, who in the 1880s donated the funds to modernize Lehigh’s heating system. This facility provided steam heat to buildings all across the lower campus for nearly 100 years. In 1976, the building was converted into a workshop theater and was used by Lehigh thespians for 21 years until the completion of Zoellner Arts Center in 1997.

Although he did not live to see the fruits of his generosity, Chester Allen Frank ‘64 provided the lead gift to the Wilbur renovation project. His kindness, pride in Lehigh and memory will live on for generations through the Lehigh students whose personal and professional lives will be enriched by this facility.

Speaking at the dedication ceremony will be Charles Strauch ‘57, a generous donor who also spearheaded the campaign to raise additional funds; Gregory Farrington, Lehigh president; John Ochs, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics; and Holly Thompson ‘03, a senior mechanical engineering and mechanics major from Auburn, Cal.

After the dedication ceremony, participants are invited to explore the new Wilbur Powerhouse and see firsthand the exceptional facilities and technologies available to Lehigh students. Participants may also view special exhibits, showcasing the projects completed by current students in the IPD program.

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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