Health, Science and Technology building

Linda and D. Brooks Zug ’67 have endowed the Community Health Student Internship Fund with a gift of $1 million. The endowment will support College of Health students who undertake summer internships, providing them with a stipend for educational, travel, or living expenses. Photo: Douglas Benedict.

 

Enabling Internships

A gift by Linda and D. Brooks Zug ’67 endows College of Health fund. 

Putting classroom learning into action through hands-on internships is a longstanding tradition at Lehigh. A recent gift will help fund those opportunities for students in the College of Health.

Linda and D. Brooks Zug ’67 have endowed the Community Health Student Internship Fund with a gift of $1 million. This endowed fund will ultimately support 10 to 12 College of Health students who undertake summer internships, providing them with a stipend for educational, travel, or living expenses while they work in positions at community organizations, not-for-profits, and other organizations. 

The internships, with preference for students working with organizations in the Lehigh Valley, will benefit both College of Health students and the local community. A goal of the College of Health is to ensure that 100 percent of its students participate in experiential learning, such as internships, research projects, and study abroad. Health nonprofits, however, are rarely able to offer paid internships, and many students are unable to take on unpaid experiences for financial reasons. 

“This is a special moment for the College of Health and for Lehigh. Gifts like this one – as the College of Health is developing its programs and its culture – will shape the college and provide opportunities for some of its very first graduates. This gift will allow us to ensure that the College of Health will be a leader in educating students who gain the practical experience that they need to shape the future of health and of our region,” said Provost Nathan Urban on the impact of the gift.     

"With their gift, Brooks and Linda help make it possible for more students to accept an internship with a health nonprofit, including students who need to earn income in the summer,” said Elizabeth Dolan, interim dean of the College of Health. “The College of Health seeks to educate students from communities with health disparities so that they can go back to their communities to make a difference. The Zug fund will enable students to build crucial experiences to fulfill that career vision."

Linda and D. Brooks Zug ’67

Linda and D. Brooks Zug ’67 endowed the Community Health Student Internship Fund with a gift of $1 million.

The program is already having an impact. The first Zug intern, population health major Carson Snyder ’23, is applying her knowledge this summer at Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia, a regional non-profit provider of more than 350 public health programs in 70 locations. She writes newsletters for the Pennsylvania Public Health Association and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded “My Vaccine Counts” program. She also collaborates between the agency and its clients and partners to assess the success of HRSA grants.

"This internship is helping me take the leap into the rest of my career,” Snyder said. “I am in the perfect place to find my niche in public health and learn how I can best contribute to this field."

She became interested in how health care intersects with people’s lives when she had successful heart surgery at age 13. Snyder said the College of Health’s population health major is a good fit for her because it “looks at social, biological, and psychological health with the goal of understanding health trends and equalizing accessibility to quality health choices for all.”

As Lehigh’s newest college, the College of Health’s mission is to understand, preserve, and improve the health and well-being of populations, communities, and individuals through education, research, and service. Dean Dolan’s enthusiasm provided the inspiration for Brooks Zug’s gift. 

“She has great ideas about how to make the College of Health special, and particularly special for students,” he said. 

Giving to the College of Health helped Brooks honor the vision of  his late brother, Charles Zug III ’52, a physician and chief of surgery at St. Luke’s until his death in 1982. Dr. Zug had explored the possibility of forming a medical school at Lehigh. The college’s population health mission is something Brooks says his brother would’ve found meaningful.

The Zugs are also excited about offering students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to make Bethlehem -- where they both grew up -- and other communities better. 

“The interns will learn from their experiences in the community and bring that knowledge back to their classrooms,” Linda said. “It’s a wonderful loop.”

Brooks followed a well-worn family path to Lehigh, in the footsteps of his father, Charles Jr. ’26, and brothers Charles III ’52 and Barry ’61. In total, there are seven members of the extended Zug family who have earned Lehigh degrees. Brooks majored in accounting and received an MBA from Harvard. His early career in investment banking and investment management led to his co-founding HarbourVest Partners in 1982, a venture capital and private equity firm that has grown to more than 1000 employees with offices in 12 countries. 

Brooks was president of his alumni class for more than 25 years and served as a university trustee from 2000-2008. His philanthropic support of Lehigh over the years is diverse, including  establishing the D. Brooks Zug Endowed Scholarship, endowing a junior faculty research fund for the business school and supporting the Center for Financial Services and the new Business Innovation Building. Brooks and Linda live in Sherborn, Massachusetts, and spend time in Boca Grande, Florida, and Pocono Lake Preserve, Pennsylvania.

Story by Cynthia Tintorri

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