Kevin Clayton ’84, vice chair of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees, believes the right kind of leader can make a difference. He also believes in leading through his own example.
That is why Kevin and his wife, Lisa, have now made a substantial gift to establish the Kevin L. Clayton ’84 ’13P and Lisa A. Clayton ’13P Deanship for the College of Business and Economics, a strategic endowment intended to bring to Lehigh top leadership that will drive the upward trajectory of the college and university.
By building on the college’s historic strengths, the resources provided by the endowed Clayton Deanship will attract an esteemed leader in the field who, by example of his or her vision, professional experiences, networking, and leadership, will continue the success of the college and its students. In addition, the prestige of the named position sends a signal to the academic community that allows Lehigh University to stand out among the nation’s prominent business schools.
“Lehigh University’s impressive business program is one of the most innovative in the country,” said Clayton, director and principal of Oaktree Capital Management L.P. “The right leadership will keep the college in the forefront of an ever-changing global marketplace, attract prominent business leaders to faculty positions, and most importantly, recruit and educate the best students to learn in this renowned program.”
The Clayton’s gift comes at an important time, as the university has undertaken a national search for the new dean. To succeed and advance the college to an even stronger position of national prominence, visionary leadership is essential.
“Lisa and Kevin’s investment in endowing a chair for the dean is a true testament to their confidence in Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics,” said President Alice P. Gast. “Their gift will have a great impact on our ability to attract and support talented leaders for the college. This recruitment of talent will benefit Lehigh students for years to come.”
Recruiting talented leadership, particularly at the level of a dean, is highly competitive. The Clayton Deanship will give Lehigh a significant advantage in the search to fill this pinnacle position.
A graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kevin Clayton earned a bachelor of arts in government from Lehigh in 1984 and an M.B.A. degree from St. Joseph’s University in 1988. While at Lehigh, he was four-year class president, a member of the Newman Association and Alpha Tau Omega, and elected to Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.
Clayton has been a dedicated Lehigh leader, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 1999 and 2005 to present. He currently serves as a vice chair of the board. He is active on many Lehigh planning committees and advisory boards including the Endowment Fund Investment Committee, the College of Business and Economics Advisory Board, and Campus Planning and Operations. Additionally, he chairs the Advancement Committee and is on the planning committee for his 30th reunion in 2014.
Lisa Clayton has deep family roots in the Lehigh Valley. She was born and raised in Bethlehem, and her great-grandfather founded the A-Treat Bottling Company. She is the daughter of Jim and Lorraine Egizio of Center Valley, Pa.
Long-time members of the Asa Packer Society and the Tower Society and generous Lehigh benefactors, Kevin and Lisa Clayton were honored last fall at Lehigh’s Founder’s Day ceremony. For that celebration, their names were engraved on Leadership Plaza, outside of the Alumni Memorial Building, in recognition of their previous gifts. Kevin’s parents, Carol and William, are also recognized on Leadership Plaza.
“Lisa and Kevin’s support is an example of the exemplary leadership that they have brought to Lehigh, especially at a time when we are seeking to attract the best candidate for the dean of the College of Business and Economics,” said Joe Kender ’87 ’93G, vice president for advancement.
The Claytons reside in Far Hills, New Jersey. This past May, the Clayton’s son, Patrick, became a member of the third generation of Claytons to earn a Lehigh degree. The Claytons also have two daughters, Jessica and Grace.
Photo by Theo Anderson