Thrilled that Lehigh was the right choice for two of their children, James recalled his own experience as a computer science engineering (CSE) major and said that Lehigh taught him the problem-solving and real-life skills he needed to figure things out on his own.
“That is the true value of a Lehigh education. Not the classes … not the major … but in every part of the university — engineering, business, arts and sciences, education, and soon health — you are taught how to solve problems that you have never seen before,” said James, who also earned a juris doctorate from Rutgers Law School in 1990.
James chose the university not because his father and brother attended before him, but because Lehigh technology was well ahead of the other schools that he visited, including Duke, Brown, and Cornell. He credits CSE professor and then department chair Edwin Kay as being a mentor who was his single biggest influence while at Lehigh and when he co-founded his business, Gaming Laboratories International, in 1987. The company now has more than 1,300 employees throughout six continents and provides a wide range of services to regulators, suppliers, and operators in the gaming industry.
The Maidas, who married in Packer Memorial Church more than three decades ago, are long-standing benefactors to Lehigh and are members of Leadership Plaza, the university’s top giving society. They have provided for the Lehigh Fund and launched numerous initiatives to benefit students, including a scholarship fund and an international internship fund. They also helped transform historic Williams Hall into the university’s global hub with the Sharon O. Maida and James R. Maida Family Terrace.
Regarding their recent gift, Sharon said, “When you go and see a campus, yes, you are drawn to it by its great reputation. You are drawn to it by the program of study that matches your interest, but parents are also looking and thinking ‘My child is going away, and I want to feel good about where they are living. I want them to be somewhere where they feel safe and inspired.’”
--Dawn Thren ’21P
GO: The Campaign for Lehigh
Our community is going all in on GO: The Campaign for Lehigh — an ambitious $1 billion-plus fundraising and engagement initiative that is strengthening our efforts to attract the best students, develop new facilities and programs, and support the research of our renowned faculty.
For more information on how you can support the student experience, please contact the Development and Alumni Relations Office at (610) 758-6748 or GOcampaign@lehigh.edu.