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“Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh” kicks off in style

President Gregory Farrington and Lehigh University have announced the largest capital campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise $500 million to support and increase Lehigh’s endowment by funding academic programs, endowing scholarships, enriching the living and learning campus community, and building the Lehigh Fund to sustain ongoing university operations.

To date, “Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh” has raised $198 million.

The announcement was made at a gala celebration Friday evening, marking the public phase of the campaign in conjunction with the university’s annual Founder’s Day celebration.

“Today we are formally launching our campaign focused on smart people: endowed chairs for faculty and endowed scholarships for students. Actually, that’s what a university is all about – smart faculty, staff, and students,” Farrington said during the Founder’s Day ceremony at Packer Church earlier Friday.

“This campaign will make an enormous difference to the future of Lehigh,” he said. “Lehigh does not exist in isolation. Our competition comes in only three forms: tough, tougher, and toughest. We must succeed brilliantly. And we will.”

Installing new leaders

As part of the official launch of the campaign, Murray H. Goodman ’48 has made a $6 million gift to his alma mater to create new funding for Lehigh’s nationally regarded athletics program and to endow the Collins-Goodman Chair of Real Estate. With his latest gift, Goodman has become Lehigh’s most generous living donor, with lifetime commitments of more $20 million, including $8.7 million to the “Shine Forever” campaign. Goodman is one of the campaign’s honorary chairs and is among the top five donors.

Goodman’s donation establishes the Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics position, reflecting Goodman’s strong belief in the complementary role of athletics and academics at exemplary institutions like Lehigh. Joe Sterrett ’76, a former All-American quarterback who has served as athletics director since 1989, was formally installed Friday as the first Goodman Dean of Athletics.

(For full details on Goodman’s gift, see related story.)

During this year’s Founder’s Day ceremony, Farrington also installed three educators in key leadership roles: Anne Meltzer as the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Ron Yoshida as senior vice president for external relations and campus life; and Mohamed El Aasser as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Farrington said Sterrett, Meltzer, Yoshida, and El Aasser each “combines outstanding leadership skills with creative vision and true dedication to this marvelous university.”

He said the College of Arts and Sciences must creatively develop programs that are integrated throughout the university’s curricula to prepare students to lead in a global world.

“Anne’s job is to lead the college that is home to the liberal arts,” Farrington said. “Taking full advantage of Lehigh’s strengths in the liberal arts is a challenge critical to the future of Lehigh. Anne is exceptionally talented, and it is good to know the College of Arts and Sciences is in her hands.”

Meltzer, who began her Lehigh career in January 1990 as assistant professor, is the former chair of the university’s department of earth and environmental sciences.

Under an administrative reorganization announced by Farrington last month, the major responsibilities of the Office of the Provost have been separated to allow greater attention to be paid to both academic and student life. As a result, Yoshida, who previously served as provost, now assumes the new position of senior vice president for external relations and campus life.

Yoshida will have responsibility for student life, including the ongoing Greek life initiative; admissions and financial aid; and institutional research. In addition, he will work closely with Lehigh’s advancement staff, serving as a major external spokesman as the capital campaign progresses.

“One of our most important challenges in the next few years is to rethink student life at Lehigh: to ensure that we are offering the best opportunities for our students,” Farrington said. “Ron has done a wonderful job as provost. Now, he will have the time to bring greater focus to a new set of challenges. He is a natural with students and alumni—and obviously he has a broad understanding of Lehigh’s academic and campus life. His success as provost makes him ideal for his new portfolio, and I am very pleased that he will be taking it on.”

El Aasser, former chair of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, was named to the provost’s post Thursday.

“Our goal should be to have more of our graduates pursue graduate and professional degrees, more students win prestigious prizes, more offered top jobs, and an even livelier and more diverse intellectual and artistic life on campus,” Farrington said. “The provost will lead us in accomplishing these goals.”

--Sue Hofmann

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004

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