Lama Nassar ’16 spoke from the heart when she said the Schaufelds felt like family to her. An international student from Palestine, Nassar received the Karen Shihadeh Schaufeld ’83 and Fredrick D. Schaufeld ’81 Endowed Scholarship to attend Lehigh. When she arrived in the United States in 2012, the family immediately took her under its wing.
During a panel presentation at the 2019 Scholarship Celebration on April 24, Nassar and current Schaufeld scholars Tariq Al-Serhan ’21 and Rafi Naber ’22 spoke about their Lehigh experiences and how much they feel at home with the Schaufeld family.
Al-Serhan first met Karen at last year’s Scholarship Dinner and immediately accepted her invitation to join them for Thanksgiving. “I felt the warmth of having a home away from home,” recalled Al-Serhan who is from Amman, Jordan.
He subsequently met Fred Schaufeld at the Donald M. Gruhn ’49 Distinguished Finance Speaker Series lecture in November and learned of Fred’s journey from Lehigh to successful entrepreneur.
“They are two people who I look up to a lot, and there is a lot to learn from them and their story,” said Al-Serhan, a computer engineering major and business and Spanish minor. “The way they give back to Lehigh is definitely something that I am going to work on in the future. I am lucky to know them.”
Karen shared with a rapt audience of more than 200 guests in the Wood Dining Room that she and Fred were scholarship recipients themselves. She spoke of receiving The Class of 1955 Memorial Scholarship as a student and meeting a member of the Class of 1955, Richard Thall ’55 ’87P ’15GP ’18GP ’19GP, and his wife, Alice, earlier in the evening. She said, “To me, they are my heroes because I got to benefit from a Lehigh education.”
Karen and Fred always knew they would give back so other students could receive the same benefit.
“We thought, ‘What can we do globally?’” said Karen, a member of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. Recognizing the importance of providing students from different backgrounds the opportunity to interact with each other to gain a broader viewpoint, the Schaufelds decided to provide Lehigh scholarships for talented high school students from the King’s Academy in Jordan.