Greg and Jean Farrington
Next week, we will celebrate Lehigh’s 136th Spring Commencement. The word “commencement” implies a time of beginning, a time to get on with things, in this case life after Lehigh. Commencements are also times of reflection. If you have a son or daughter who will be graduating with the Class of 2004, you probably share these mixed emotions.
It may seem like only yesterday that you first arrived on campus to move your son or daughter into their residence hall, and then went home with an empty car and a head full of emotions. I still think that when we left our son off at college and made the long trip home that we were more apprehensive than he was.
On that first move-in day, you were probably surprised to be greeted by Lehigh staff and students offering to help you with all the lifting and toting. Fortunately, most of the time, we got the right stuff to the right room. When we didn’t, it was often the beginning of great new friendships.
From your very first encounter on campus, we hope you quickly realized that you, as well as your son or daughter, were being warmly welcomed into the Lehigh family.
The first year on campus is one of enormous growth and change. Those of you with students completing their first year at Lehigh will surely sense all that has already happened as you get reacquainted with them this summer.
For those of you who will be joining us for graduation next week, even bigger changes are now in store. At Lehigh, we have high expectations for our students. We challenge them to excel, to take risks, and most importantly, to learn to think for themselves. But there is always a safety net.
When they leave school and go to work or graduate school, the world becomes very real, very quickly. Alums often say that after Lehigh, life is not so hard! It’s a tribute to what we try to do here on campus.
We hope you’re pleased with all that has happened with your sons and daughters during their time on campus. We certainly are. Just as the Class of 2004 now joins the ranks of our alumni, so, too, do all of you, their parents. We’ve shared some extraordinary experiences these past four years. And for those of you whose children will be returning in the fall, many more adventures await!
We look forward to seeing you on campus and wish you and your families all the best for the summer and the years beyond.
Greg and Jean Farrington
Lehigh University President’s Office
Posted on Friday, May 14, 2004