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Lehigh University
Motto Homo minister et interpres naturae (Man, the servant and interpreter of nature)
Established 1865
Type Private
Endowment $886 million[1]
President Alice P. Gast
Staff 1,255
Undergraduates 4,856[2]
Postgraduates 2,118[2]
Location Bethlehem, PA, USA
Campus Suburban and Urban; 1,600 acres (6.5 km2)
Athletics NCAA Division I
25 varsity teams
Colors Brown and white          
Mascot Mountain Hawks
Affiliations MAISA

Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United States. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school, but has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. As of 2009, the university comprises 4,856 undergraduate students, 2,118 graduate students, 648 professors, and a staff of 1,255.[2]

The university has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. While the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college today, home to roughly 40% percent of the university's students,[3] the university is historically known for engineering[4] and business. The university offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy.



Alumni Memorial Building on the Asa Packer campus

Located in the Lehigh Valley, the university is a 70 mile drive from Philadelphia, and an 85 mile drive from New York City.[5]

Lehigh encompasses 1,600 acres (6.5 km2), including 180 acres of recreational and playing fields and 150 buildings comprising four million square feet of floor space. It is organized into three contiguous campuses on and around South Mountain:

  • the Asa Packer Campus, built into the Northern slope of the mountain, is Lehigh's original and predominant campus;
  • the Mountaintop Campus, atop South Mountain, featuring an intramural sports field as well as Iacocca Hall; and
  • the Murray H. Goodman Campus, immediately south, where a 16,000-seat stadium and other sports facilities are located.


Lehigh's average class size is 25–30 students; 80% of classes have fewer than 36 students. The undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1.[2]

The 2009 edition of US News & World Report's Best Colleges ranked Lehigh in its "Most Selective" admissions category and 35th in the "National Universities (Doctoral)" category.[6] The The Princeton Review classifies it among the "Best Northeastern Colleges".[7]

Lehigh University offers undergraduate enrollment in all colleges but the College of Education: the P.C. Rossin School of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are able to take courses or major/minor in a subject outside of their respective college.[8]


P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduates of Lehigh's engineering programs invented the escalator[9] and founded Packard Motor Car Company[10] and the companies that built the locks and lockgates of the Panama Canal. Other notable alumni include Roger Penske and Lee Iacocca. Tau Beta Pi, the renowned engineering honors society, was founded at Lehigh.[11] Today, graduates of the P.C. Rossin school have the seventh highest Engineering salary potential in the country.[12]

College of Business and Economics

In 2008, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's College of Business and Economics 25th in the nation among undergraduate business programs.[13] Lehigh's accounting program is particularly strong, ranked as the number one undergraduate accounting program in the nation by BusinessWeek. The finance program is also strong, ranked as the 18th best undergraduate program in the nation by BusinessWeek.[14] Accounting and finance majors at Lehigh are heavily recruited by Big Four auditors, consulting firms, and investment banks. Additionally, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's part-time MBA fifth in the nation and first in the region in 2007.[15]

College of Arts and Sciences

Based in the Zoellner Arts Center,[16] Lehigh offers a variety of performing and visual arts programs. In particular, it has many music programs, including its Marching 97,[17] the Wind Ensemble and the Philharmonic orchestra. It has a dedicated Humanities Center, which is an active center for discussions in philosophy, literature, religion studies, and other subjects.

Lehigh also has a program called ArtsLehigh,[18] oriented towards enhancing interest in the arts on campus.

The College of Education's logo:
Bold, Connected, Innovative

College of Education

College homepage:

The College of Education offers graduate programs in Counseling Psychology, Educational Leadership, School Psychology, Special Education, "Teaching, Learning, and Technology", and Transcultural Comparative International Education.[19] More than 6000 students have received one of these degrees as of 2007, with some of them going on to receive awards such as MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year.[20]


As of 2009 Lehigh has 648 instructional faculty. Over 99% of the faculty hold a Ph.D. or the highest terminal degree in their field. About 70% of all full-time faculty are tenured.[2] About three-quarters (74%) are male. Faculty members are required to have a minimum of four office hours per week.


Lehigh University Mountain Hawks logo

Called the Engineers until 1995, Lehigh's teams are now officially known as the Mountain Hawks. Teams prior to 1995 may be referred to by the historic title.

As a member of the Patriot League, Lehigh competes in 25 different NCAA Division I sports. Lehigh's 2006 student-athlete graduation rate of 97% ranked 12th among all 326 NCAA Division I institutions.[citation needed] In 2002, it won the inaugural USA Today/NCAA Foundation Award for having the nation's top graduation rate of all Division I institutions.[citation needed] Lehigh student-athletes' success on the field and in the classroom has resulted in Lehigh being one of the 20 Division I schools included in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best College Sports Programs." Lehigh graduates have gone on to professional careers in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer,and the National Basketball Association as players, scouts, coaches and owners. Lehigh graduates have competed in the Super Bowl and won gold medals for the USA at the Olympics.


To be determined if they deserve an entry for the basketball team. Made it to the first round of the NCAA tourney in 2010


The most storied athletic program at Lehigh is its wrestling team. Over the past several decades it has turned out several All-Americans and had numerous squads finish with Top 20 NCAA national rankings. Under coach Greg Strobel, recent teams have dominated the EIWA league. On April 15, 2008, the athletic department announced the hiring of former assistant coach and two-time national champion Pat Santoro as Lehigh's next head coach.

"The Rivalry"

Lehigh University is notable for its rivalry in sports and academics with nearby Lafayette College. Since 1884, the two football teams have met 145 times, making "The Rivalry" the most played in the history of college football. It is also the longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football, with the teams playing at least once every year since 1897. The Rivalry is considered one of the best in all of college athletics and ESPNU recently ranked The Rivalry #8 in their Top Ten College Football Rivalries. This game is sold out long before gameday each year.


Asa Packer named his university 'Lehigh' after his other passion, the railroad, despite suggestions from some to call it 'Packer University'. It was founded to provide a well-rounded education for young men, combining a liberal and scientific education with the technical skills necessary to increase the prosperity of the region. According to William Bacon Stevens, the first president of the board of trustees, Asa Packer's founding gift of $500,000 was the largest single endowment for a literary institution at that time.[21]

From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the institution to offer its education free of charge by competitive exam.[21] This, plus its blend of engineering and liberal arts, attracted some of the nation's brightest students, many of whom went on to distinguished careers in industry and engineering.

Unlike other engineering schools of the day, Lehigh was envisioned as a university instead of an "institute of technology," offering an education that was rooted in both scientific and classical traditions as espoused by John Amos Comenius.[21] Initially there were five schools: four scientific (civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mining and metallurgy, and analytical chemistry) and one of general literature. Over time, additional areas of the arts and sciences were added and engineering curricula were both merged and expanded.

Lehigh's seal

The stock market crash accompanying the Panic of 1893 was a major financial blow to the university, since its endowment was largely invested in stocks, particularly shares of Lehigh Valley Railroad donated by the founder.[21] As a consequence, Lehigh decided to drop its Episcopal Church affiliation in 1897, allowing it to qualify for state and federal government aid.

Based on the experience of Lehigh engineers who went into industry[22] a College of Business & Economics was added in 1910. Lehigh's business curriculum was unique[22] in that it combined both the abstract emphasis on Economics seen in the Ivy League with the practical skills of management seen in more common business administration degrees given by other universities.

A similar emphasis on the well-rounded graduate can be seen in Lehigh's approach to education degrees. Lehigh's respected School of Education started as (and remains) a solely graduate-level program. This is based[22] on the principle that you need to learn primary subject matter well before you can learn how to teach it to others. Thus future teachers at Lehigh often take a five year program earning both a Bachelors Degree in a specialized field and a Masters Degree in Education.

In July 2008, the Dalai Lama held a public lecture and conducted a series of teachings at Lehigh University.[23]

The Clery Act

Between 1982 to 1985 there were 38 violent crimes involving rape, robbery and assault at Lehigh University [24]. On April 5, 1986, 19 year old freshman student Jeanne Ann Clery was raped, sodomized, strangled, and mutilated to death in her campus residency. The culprit Joseph M. Henry was sentenced to the electric chair. The parents of Jeanne, Connie and Howard, settled out of court with Lehigh University for an undisclosed amount. The backlash of numerous unreported crime cases on university campuses lead to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The Clery Act requires that colleges and universities reveal information regarding crime on their campuses[25].

Presidents of Lehigh

  1. Henry Coppée (1866–1875), soldier, author, and engineer
  2. John McDowell Leavitt (1875–1880), Episcopal clergyman
  3. Robert Alexander Lamberton (1880–1893), lawyer
  4. Thomas Messinger Drown (1895–1904), chemistry professor
  5. Henry Sturgis Drinker (1905–1920), the only alumnus to serve as president
  6. Charles Russ Richards (1922–1935), presided over the first graduate degrees awarded to women
  7. Clement C. Williams (1935–1944), civil engineer
  8. Martin Dewey Whitaker (1946–1960), who worked to develop the atomic bomb
  9. Harvey A. Neville (1961–1964), the only faculty member ever elected president
  10. W. Deming Lewis (1964–1982), presided over the admission of undergraduate women
  11. Peter Likins (1982–1997), civil engineer
  12. William C. Hittinger (1997–1998), electrical engineer
  13. Gregory C. Farrington (1998–2006), chemist
  14. Alice P. Gast (2006–present), Lehigh's first female president, chemical engineer

Notable alumni

Greek life

Nearly all of Lehigh's fraternities and sororities have their own houses which are owned by the university; most of the fraternities and sororities are located on the "Hill" along Upper and Lower Sayre Park Roads. Approximately 34% of undergraduates are members of a Greek organization. There are currently 22 fraternities, 18 of which are on campus, and 9 sororities, 8 of which are on campus:



Spirit and traditions

Lehigh students have several lasting traditions: Lehigh's school colors, brown and white, date back to 1874, and the school newspaper of the same name was first published in 1894.

Following the death of Asa Packer in May 1879, the University established "Founder's Day" to be held in October to remember and recognize those have contributed to the success of the University. The event remains an annual tradition.

Freshmen are traditionally inducted into the University in a convocation in Packer Chapel and welcomed at a Freshman-Alumni Rally where their class flag is given to them by the class from fifty years before.

Until the 1970s, freshmen wore small brown hats with their class numbers called "dinks" from the beginning of the fall semester until the Lafayette football game. The week leading up to the big game was full of festivities created to unite the students and fuel spirit. In one of these events, "The Pajama Parade," the freshmen were led across the penny toll bridge in their pajamas singing "We Pay No Tolls Tonight" to the Moravian College dormitories where they would serenade the women. The week before the game still involves decoration of the Greek houses, a bonfire, parties, rallies and the Marching 97 performing unexpectedly during classes the Friday before the game.

While the riots to rip down the goal posts in Taylor Stadium are a thing of the past, many alumni return for the Lafayette game (which is usually sold out three months in advance) to root Lehigh on, to attend parties at their former fraternities and sororities, and to see old friends.[22]

Detailed rankings

US News & World Report

The 2008 edition of Best Colleges from US News & World Report's ranked Lehigh as "Most Selective" in admissions and 31st in the "National Universities (Doctoral)" category. It ranked as follows among the 126 top-tier universities:[6]

  • 8th in Alumni Giving.
  • 16th in Classes with fewer than 20 students.
  • 28th in Best value.
  • 30th in Retention rate.
  • 32nd in Student selectivity.
  • 32nd in Graduation rate.
  • 36th in Percentage of students in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
  • 36th in Average standardized test scores.

The magazine also included Lehigh in its "America's Best College Sports Programs " list[6]


BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's undergraduate College of Business & Economics 25th overall in the nation in 2007. The school was ranked 1st in accounting, 11th in median starting salaries for its graduates, and 21st in academic quality.[13]. In BusinessWeek's 2008 ranking of Which College Grads Earn the Most, Lehigh ranked #14.

Photo gallery

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lehigh at a Glance
  3. ^ Class Summary
  4. ^ Introduction to Lehigh University at
  5. ^ Driving Directions to Lehigh from New York, Philadelphia
  6. ^ a b c Lehigh University at a Glance from US News & World Report.
  7. ^ Lehigh University on the Princeton Review
  8. ^ Chart Showing Undergraduate Enrollment
  9. ^ Stairways to Heaven: Escalators in the Vernacular
  10. ^ Packard, James Ward - Lehigh Engineering Heritage Initiative
  11. ^ Tau Beta Pi Founder, Dr. Edward Higginson Williams, Jr.
  12. ^ Payscale Engineering Salary Potential
  13. ^ a b BusinessWeek rankings.
  14. ^ BusinessWeek Undergrad B-School Specialty Rankings: Accounting Rankings
  15. ^ The Best Part-Time MBA Programs
  16. ^ Zoellner Arts Center website
  17. ^ The Marching 97 website
  18. ^ ArtsLehigh from the Lehigh website
  19. ^ COE Academic Programs from Lehigh's website
  20. ^ COE Alumni page
  21. ^ a b c d Yates, W. Ross. "An Institution is Born, A Tradition Begins". Lehigh University. Retrieved 2006-08-14. 
  22. ^ a b c d Plotnicki, Rita M., Looking Back: A Lehigh Scrapbook, Lehigh University, 1991
  23. ^ Lehigh University : His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  24. ^ After Their Daughter Is Murdered at College, Her Grieving Parents Mount a Crusade for Campus Safety
  25. ^ Complying With The Jeanne Clery Act

External links

Coordinates: 40°36.43′N 75°22.74′W / 40.60717°N 75.379°W / 40.60717; -75.379


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