Honored to Lead
The 80,000-strong Lehigh University Alumni Association (LUAA) just finished another great year.
We began the year in summer, with alumni welcoming new students to the Lehigh family at Sendoffs across the world. Shortly after arriving on campus, the freshman class was further introduced to the strength of LUAA, as the Class of 1971 adopted the Class of 2021 at the Rally.
As the fall progressed, alumni activity picked up in earnest, on-campus and off. Lehigh alumni gathered at tailgates and venues across the country, heartily cheering for our Mountain Hawks. Accounting alumni gathered at Ernst & Young in New York City to reconnect and reminisce. Lehigh Lawyers networked in eight cities. Industry leaders in Seattle met for an interactive professional networking reception. The Wall Street Council hosted their Financial Services Forum. We held symposiums on Sustainability and Big Data at venues such as Rauch Business Center and Linderman Library. And of course, there was the 153rd Lehigh-Lafayette game, complete with the first all-alumni tailgate tent, which attracted 500-plus alumni and friends!
Alumni activity continued strong as the spring semester started. We launched the Women’s Professional Alliance in NYC. Alumni shared stories about working with the United Nations. The hot technologies of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies were discussed at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center. Meanwhile, Lehigh alumni were interviewing and offering jobs to outstanding Lehigh seniors, which contributed to 96 percent of our 2017 graduates being employed or attending grad school!
The year culminated with Commencement and Reunion. New Lehigh graduates embarked on their adventures, well-prepared for anything, taking comfort in the fact that the Lehigh alumni network will always be here for them.
LUAA’s strength comes not only from its members, but the tireless support of Lehigh’s world-class Alumni Relations Team led by Jennifer Cunningham and the monumental efforts of our 1,200 alumni volunteers. Of particular note, Jim Duane ‘73 and Gary Liddick ’76 led the Awards Committee for many years and are now preparing their successors to fill their big shoes. We humbly thank them for their service.
I have been honored to lead the LUAA Board of Directors over the past year. The LUAA Board is an outstanding group of individuals who serve as ambassadors for Lehigh and advise the Alumni Relations Team as they’re planning new initiatives and strategies. Their dedication to LUAA is immensely appreciated. The Board is in great shape with Jill Triani ’94 taking over as president and Lauren Manduke ’05 stepping up as senior vice president. I look forward to my three-year term as an alumni trustee on the Lehigh University Board of Trustees.
My final request is that you remain strong ambassadors for Lehigh. When a prospective student from your high school asks about Lehigh, return her call or take her for a tour. When an aspiring Lehigh accounting student asks for career guidance on Lehigh Connects, the new online mentoring platform, happily provide it. You get the picture: We’re the network, and it’s up to us to keep it strong and vibrant for the future generations of Lehigh alumni!
Patrick Fischer '97 '98G, Outgoing President of the Lehigh University Alumni Association (LUAA)