Amid Change, Forever Lehigh

A letter from President John D. Simon

Lehigh President John D. Simon

Lehigh President John D. Simon
Photo: Christa Neu

In late December, just as our students were finishing up with their finals and heading home for winter break, I gathered with members of the Lehigh community to celebrate the formal groundbreaking for the New Residential Houses, originally known as the Bridge West project by its designer, Sasaki of Watertown, Mass.

After the ceremony wrapped up, we lingered there, halfway up South Mountain, and enjoyed the spectacular view of the city and valley that unfolded below. It is a view that, within only a year or so, will be enjoyed by hundreds of students who will call the New Residential Houses home. I know I was not alone in feeling a sense of excitement about what these dorms will mean for student life at Lehigh. The New Residential Houses will be more than just dorms. They will be places where friendships are made, and where memories are made.

For all of us here at Lehigh, that groundbreaking marked just the latest in a string of proud moments that, taken together, represent the ever-building momentum of our great university. When our shovels hit the ground on that December afternoon, we took another big step toward realizing the Lehigh of the future. It is a future that I truly believe in.

This is a university that was founded on the idea that institutions of higher education exist to educate individuals who can, and will, change the world. We are a practical, hands-on, hard-working institution, and more than 150 years after our founding, we remain a leader in the business of creating leaders. It’s what we’ve always done, and it’s what we will continue to do in the years and decades to come.

As our student body grows, we will open up the life-changing Lehigh experience to more bright young people from more diverse backgrounds than ever before, extending our influence the world over. As we launch our College of Health, we will unleash Lehigh’s entrepreneurial, can-do spirit to foster change and innovation in the critically important health care sector. And as we build new facilities on our campuses—facilities that will support academics, research, student life, athletics and more—we will expand our capacity to challenge, support, educate and motivate our students.

Yes, Lehigh is changing. And this change is both empowering and energizing. Our collective efforts at this critically important moment in our university’s history bring forth countless new opportunities. We will seize on these opportunities to build a stronger university, to honor the contributions of those who came before us, and to expand our impact as an institution dedicated to changing lives through our teaching, research and service to the world.

I thank you again for your support during this exciting time for your alma mater.

Go Lehigh!

John D. Simon ’19P, President

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