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Discussing the vast possibilities of Mountaintop

Faculty, students and staff gathered at Lamberton Hall on Wednesday for the first of two Town Hall meetings about Mountaintop.

The Lehigh community is invited to join Provost Pat Farrell and other senior leaders on Friday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to Noon in Lamberton Hall to share ideas regarding development of the Mountaintop Campus.

This second Town Hall—the first took place Nov. 20—is devoted to eliciting ideas regarding how Lehigh can best leverage this rare opportunity. All are welcome.

In May, Lehigh acquired the last two buildings on the Mountaintop campus and a generous $20M gift from Scott Belair '69 is enabling renovation of the buildings to begin. These massive industrial-era buildings with 50-foot ceilings and more than 120,000 square feet of available space have the capacity to support any number of programs for students, faculty and staff to work together in new ways.

The question before Lehigh—and Town Hall participants—is how the university can use the space to create the most vibrant environment possible for 21st century learning and engagement. The wide open spaces of Mountaintop will inspire fresh thinking about how we do our work across the university and how we prepare students for constructive action in the world.

At Wednesday’s Town Hall, students, faculty and staff from across the university came together to discuss how Mountaintop could help Lehigh define the future of higher education—with no idea too small or too grand to be added to the mix. Student suggestions included a new, third library at Mountaintop that would house tools instead of books—a sort of 21st century garage space for creation. Faculty, meanwhile, wondered aloud about the value of a totally immersive educational experience (the kind envisioned as a possibility for Mountaintop).

Almost all of the ideas centered on the need for greater collaboration across disciplines and an interest in addressing big ideas and big concepts—notions that were reflected in the pilot projects that unfolded at Mountaintop this past summer.

Many questions remain, and it will take the combined energies and imagination of the Lehigh community to address them. Anyone with an interest in helping define this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and potentially setting an example for the future of higher education, are welcome to join the Town Hall on Friday.

Watch the Mountaintop Video

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013

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