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Lehigh University is a private, co-educational university located in Bethlehemmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, in the Lehigh Valley region of the United Statesmarker. It was established in 1865 by Asa Packer as a four-year technical school and has grown to include four diverse colleges. The university comprises 4,856 undergraduate students, nearly 2,000 graduate students, 600 professors, and 1,500 staff.

The university has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the nationally ranked College of Business and Economics, and the graduate-only College of Education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college, home to roughly 40% percent of the university's students. The colleges offer 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. Additionally, they collaborate on a variety of cross-disciplinary programs and on cross-college faculty research. In the 2010 U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities Ranking, Lehigh was ranked 35th overall. In BusinessWeek's 2008 ranking of Which College Grads Earn the Most, Lehigh ranked #14.


Alumni Memorial Building on the Asa Packer campus
Located in the Lehigh Valley, the university is within driving distance of Philadelphiamarker and New York Citymarker.

Lehigh encompasses , including 180 acres of recreational and playing fields and 150 buildings comprising more than four million square feet of floor space. It is organized into three contiguous campuses:
  • the Asa Packer Campus, Lehigh's main campus;
  • the Mountaintop Campus, featuring an intramural sports field as well as Iacocca Hall; and
  • the Murray H. Goodman Campus, where a 16,000-seat stadium and other sports facilities are located.

Lehigh's main campus is built into the side of South Mountainmarker.


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.

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. The The Princeton Review classifies it among the "Best Northeastern Colleges".

Lehigh University offers undergraduate enrollment within three different colleges. These divisions, however, do not restrict students from taking courses or majoring/minoring in a subject outside of their respective college. This option allows students at Lehigh to enhance their education and take full advantage of all that Lehigh academics have to offer.

P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduates of Lehigh's engineering programs invented the escalator and founded Packard Motor Car Company and the companies that built the locks and lockgates of the Panama Canalmarker. Roger Penske of Penske Racing is an alumnus. Students from Lehigh's Materials Science and Engineering department were chosen to assist in the analysis of debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Tau Beta Pi, the renowned engineering honors society, was founded at Lehigh.

College of Business and Economics

In 2008, BusinessWeek ranked Lehigh's College of Business and Economics 25th in the nation among undergraduate business programs. 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. 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.

Most business college classes take place in the Rauch Business Center, which includes four computer labs. The Rauch Business Center also includes a financial services lab where students have access to premium investment research equipment.

College of Arts and Sciences

Based in the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh offers a variety of performing and visual arts programs. In particular, it has many music programs, including its Marching 97, 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, 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. 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.


As of 2009 Lehigh has 629 instructional faculty, 443 of whom are full-time. Over 99% of the faculty hold a Ph.D. or the highest terminal degree in their field, and about 70% of all full-time faculty are tenured. About three-quarters (74%) of them are male. Faculty members are required to have a minimum of four office hours per week.


Called the Engineers until 1995, Lehigh's teams are now officially known as the Mountain Hawks, although teams prior to 1995 may be referred to by the older title. They mostly compete in the Patriot League as part of NCAA's Division I.

Lehigh competes in 25 different NCAA Division I sports. Despite the rigor of its academic programs, its 2006 student-athlete graduation rate of 97% ranks 12th among all 326 NCAA Division I institutions. In 2002, it won the inaugural USA Today/NCAA Foundation Award for having the nation's top graduation rate of all Division I institutions. 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.


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 Collegemarker. 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.

From 1871 to 1891, Packer's endowment allowed the institution to offer its education free of charge by competitive exam. 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. 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. 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 a College of Business & Economics was added in 1910. Lehigh's business curriculum was unique 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 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.

The Clery Act

Between 1982 to 1985 there were 38 violent crimes involving rape, robbery and assault at Lehigh University . 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 Josoph 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.

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 Collegemarker 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.

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:

  • 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


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.

Photo gallery

File:Gymnasium (Coppee Hall) 1896.jpg|Coppee Hall Gymnasium (built 1882).Image:Lehigh_University_Packard_Lab.jpg|Packard Laboratory, home of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied ScienceImage:Lehigh_University_Rauch.jpg|Rauch Business CenterImage:Fairmart.jpg|The Fairchild-Martindale LibraryImage:Lehigh_University_Packard_Windows.jpg|Packard Lab windowsImage:Lehigh_University_Christmas_Saucon.jpg|Christmas Saucon Hall, home of the Department of MathematicsImage:Lehigh_University_Admissions_Stairs.jpg|Stairs Leading to Alumni Memorial BuildingImage:Lehigh_University_Asa_Packer.jpg|A statue of founder Asa Packer, by the Admissions BuildingImage:Packer_Memorial_Church_Door.jpg|Above an entrance to Packer Memorial Church

See also


  1. Class Summary
  2. U.S. News Best Colleges
  3. [1]
  4. Lehigh University at a Glance from US News & World Report.
  5. BusinessWeek rankings.
  6. BusinessWeek Undergrad B-School Specialty Rankings: Accounting Rankings
  7. The Best Part-Time MBA Programs
  8. Zoellner Arts Center website
  9. The Marching 97 website
  10. ArtsLehigh from the Lehigh website
  11. COE Academic Programs from Lehigh's website
  12. COE Alumni page
  13. Plotnicki, Rita M., Looking Back: A Lehigh Scrapbook, Lehigh University, 1991
  14. Lehigh University : His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  15. [2]
  16. [3]

External links

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