Presidential Inauguration

Inauguration of President Joseph J. Helble ’82 Set for Founder’s Weekend

The schedule of events begins Friday, Oct. 15, with the formal inauguration ceremony of Helble as Lehigh’s 15th president.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

An annual tradition since 1879, members of the Lehigh community commemorate Founder Asa Packer with a celebration each October. This year, during Founder’s Weekend 2021, the Lehigh community celebrates Packer’s legacy with a full weekend of festivities featuring the inauguration of Lehigh’s 15th president, Joseph J. Helble ’82.


The following inauguration events are open to all members of the Lehigh community to attend.

President Joseph J. Helble '82 Inauguration Ceremony- Friday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. EDT

Following an academic procession, the formal inauguration of President Joseph J. Helble ’82 will take place on Friday, Oct. 15, at 4 p.m. The ceremony will be broadcast live from the Tamerler Courtyard Tent to the Clayton University Center lawn and streamed online. Due to capacity limitations, seating at the ceremony in the tent is by invitation only. All are welcome to watch the ceremony on the Clayton University Center lawn.

President Joseph J. Helble '82 Inauguration Festival- Friday, Oct. 15, 5-7 p.m. EDT

After the formal inauguration ceremony, all members of the Lehigh community are invited to join an evening celebration on the Clayton University Center lawn. The event will feature a presidential welcome as well as entertainment, food trucks, giveaways, student performances and more.

Inauguration Fun Run: Pace the Prez- Saturday, Oct. 16, 9-11 a.m. EDT

Share in President Helble’s love of running and “pace the president” on a 2.8-mile run through Lehigh’s iconic campus. Following the run, all can enjoy cider and donuts at the STEPS lawn tent. Check-in for the run will begin at 8 a.m. at the STEPS lawn tent. Register for the on-campus run.

There is also the option to join the run virtually. Participants can run, walk, jog, bike or follow their favorite route however they choose any time between Oct. 16 and Oct. 24. After completing the Virtual 5K, participants can enter their time through their runner’s account to download their Finisher’s Certificate. All registrants will receive a commemorative 2021 Pace the Prez runner’s kit, which includes a shirt, race bib and Lehigh-themed finisher medal. Everyone and anyone can participate in the 2021 Virtual Pace the Prez 5K, so tell friends and family, create a team, and connect with fellow Mountain Hawks from across the globe. Register for the virtual run.

Founder’s Weekend Tailgate- Saturday, Oct. 16, 4-6 p.m. EDT

Enjoy refreshments and fun at this family-friendly tailgate at the tent at Rauch Fieldhouse on Goodman Campus, then cheer on men's soccer as they take on Lafayette at 6 p.m. The cost to attend the tailgate is $20 for those 21 and older and $10 for those 20 and under. The men's soccer game is free to all spectators. The Ulrich Sports Complex is open at 100 percent capacity this fall. A section will be marked for fans who desire physically distanced seating.

Visit the Office of the President to read more about President Helble.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

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