UCPA Test Mobile Hero

Compelling Perspectives

Compelling Perspectives is a program that widens the aperture on issues of societal importance by encouraging open conversations and modeling respectful discourse on challenging topics.

About Compelling Perspectives

Hosted by President Joseph J. Helble '82, and presented by Lehigh University, Compelling Perspectives aims to create a forum for fostering respectful discourse and engaging across differing perspectives on issues of critical and societal importance.

The exchange of diverse ideas about substantive topics and the consideration of alternative viewpoints helps to promote critical thinking, empathy and openness—all essential to helping individuals and communities address complex challenges. Such dialogue serves as a powerful tool to foster social cohesion, build trust and strengthen community bonds. At a time when echo chambers and surface-level sound bites threaten to replace healthy societal discourse, this forum is one way in which Lehigh seeks to foster principled dialogue, build understanding, and bridge divides.

Inaugural Topic: National Security
National security is a timely topic of discussion with far-reaching impacts around the globe. This will be the series focus for 2023 – 2024.
Leon Panetta
Secretary Leon Panetta
U.S. Secretary of Defense (2011-2013)

Secretary Panetta served as the 23rd US Secretary of Defense and was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He began his long and distinguished public service career as a First Lieutenant in the army and served in Congress for 16 years. He has served multiple presidential administrations, including the Clinton and Obama administrations.


Advance registration is required for attendance at Compelling Perspectives programs (opening soon for the spring semester). 

Please note that government-issued photo ID must be brought to these events. No recording devices will be permitted.

Compelling Perspectives Stories

Theresa May, MP, Prime Minister (2016-2019) Launches Lehigh's Compelling Perspectives Program

Mrs. May spoke on national security and reflected on her career in politics.

Lehigh Launches New Program, 'Compelling Perspectives'

Hosted by Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble ’82, Compelling Perspectives aims to widen the aperture on issues of societal importance by encouraging open conversations on challenging topics and modeling constructive discourse.

President Helble

"Universities and colleges are not just centers of teaching, learning and scholarly work. At their best, colleges and universities play an important role in modeling respectful public discourse and dialogue on complex issues."