Daniel E. Smith Jr. '71 named Chairman of Board of Trustees at Lehigh


Daniel E. Smith Jr. '71

Daniel E. Smith Jr. ’71 was recently named the chairman of the Board of Trustees at Lehigh University. He succeeds James R. Tanenbaum ’70, who presided over the board from June 2002 through June 2007.

Smith joined the board in 2000 as an appointed trustee, serving two terms (2000-2003) (2003-2006). In June of 2006 he was elected as a corporate trustee, and will serve an initial five-year term from 2006-2011. William F. Hecht ’64 and Dennis E. Singleton III ’66 will serve as the co-vice chairs on Lehigh’s Board of Trustees.

“I am one of many board members excited by the prospect of Dan’s leadership and know that Lehigh will be in good, capable hands,” says Ronald J. Ulrich ’66, Chairman Emeritus of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees. “Dan will be supported by a strong board and be assisted by two able vice chairs in Bill Hecht ’64 and Dennis Singleton ’66.

“We laud the tenure of retiring board chair James Tanenbaum ’70.”

Smith is president and CEO of Sycamore Networks, Inc., and member of Lehigh University’s Board of Trustees. Smith established the Daniel E. ’39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair of the Center of Optical Technologies at Lehigh, in honor of his parents. He provided for the creation of the Smith Family Laboratory for Optical Technologies, a three-story addition to Sinclair Laboratory housing an optoelectronics cleanroom and epitaxial growth facility. The Center for Optical Technologies advances research and commercialization of optical technologies. Smith has also supported athletics projects, including the renovation of historic Grace Hall and final stage construction of the Ulrich Sports Complex for lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.

Smith and Gururaj Deshpande founded optical networking pioneer Sycamore Networks (NASDAQ:SCMR) in 1998. The company develops and markets a broad range of optical networking products that enable network service providers to transform the capacity created by their fiber optic networks into bandwidth for the delivery of high-speed data services. Previously, he co-founded and led Cascade Communications, another pioneering data communications company, which is now part of Lucent Technologies.

A native of Nyack, N.Y., Smith graduated from Lehigh in 1971 with a B.S. in industrial engineering. As an undergraduate, Smith was a member of the men’s varsity lacrosse and swimming teams. He served as vice president and treasurer of the class of 1971 and a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He continued studies at Harvard University and received an M.B.A. in finance and general management in 1976. He served as an officer in the United States Navy from 1971-73. Smith and his wife are members of the Tower Society and the Asa Packer Society. Smith also serves as honorary co-chair of Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh.

Smith and his wife, Elizabeth Riley, live in Wellesley, Mass. They have two children.

“While Lehigh has made great progress in recent years raising our academic profile, recruiting high-quality faculty, and improving campus facilities, our needs going forward for campaign priorities—scholarships, faculty support, and new academic facilities—are just as great, as the competition increases for talented students and faculty,” says Ulrich. “Dan has the right combination of characteristics for the work before us. He is a competitor, a risk taker, a listener, and he makes things happen. Given his tremendous devotion to Lehigh, I am energized about our future with Dan Smith at the board’s helm.”

William F. Hecht ’64

Hecht earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Lehigh University in 1964, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970. He spent his entire career with PPL Corporation (formerly Pennsylvania Power & Light Co.), holding a number of management and executive positions before being named executive vice president-Operations in 1990, when he was elected to the company's board of directors. He became president of the company in 1991 and assumed the additional role of chairman and chief executive officer in 1993. Between 1995 and 2006, under Hecht’s leadership, PPL provided a total return of 271 percent to its shareholders, nearly twice the return of the S&P Index. Hecht retired as chairman and C.E.O. in 2006.

As well as serving as a co-vice chair on Lehigh’s Board of Trustees, Hecht is actively involved at Lehigh, serving in various capacities for the Alumni Association, Lehigh Fund, and reunion planning committees.

In addition to his Lehigh service, Hecht has served on numerous boards of local non-profit organizations, including the Allentown Symphony, Easter Seals Society, and Lehigh Valley United Way. He is currently serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, DENTSPLY International, York, Pa., one of the world's leading manufacturers of dental products; on the board of directors of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., a global provider of reinsurance and insurance; and on the board of directors of Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network.

Hecht and his wife, Margaret, live in Allentown, Pa. They have two children.

Dennis E. Singleton III ’66

Singleton III graduated from Lehigh in 1966 with a B.S. in industrial engineering. He was actively involved in a number of campus organizations and was a member of Alpha Pi Mu Honor Society. He was also the treasurer of his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta. Singleton earned an M.B.A. from Harvard in 1968.

Singleton worked for the Trammell Crow Company before starting a real estate business with three other partners in 1987. He was most recently vice chairman of Spieker Properties, Inc., a public real estate investment trust, headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif. Dennis retired in 2001 and now manages his own real estate portfolio.

Singleton has been involved with Lehigh for many years, serving as director of the Alumni Association, head of the Northern California Club, and a volunteer for Preserving the Vision campaign. Singleton also serves as a Lehigh Agent. Singleton established the Dennis E. Singleton III ’66 Endowed Scholarship Fund and has also provided significant support for marketing and outreach. He is a member of both the Asa Packer Society and the Tower Society.

Singleton is an elder of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a board member of the Edna Gladney Fund, board chairman of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and a member of the Young Life San Francisco Regional Committee.

He and his wife, Charlot, the parents of three grown children, make their home in Atherton, California.

Bill Doherty