Marching 97 on Packer Ave

Family and Founder's Weekend festivities took place all weekend long across campus.

Lehigh Celebrates Family and Founder’s Weekend

President Joseph J. Helble ’82 announces plans to make a Lehigh education more accessible and to extend its fundraising campaign.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

John Kish IV

To open Family and Founder’s Weekend Friday afternoon at the Brown and White BBQ, President Joseph J. Helble ’82 stood on the stage on Packer Avenue, behind Packard Laboratory, and announced The Lehigh Commitment, a plan to make a Lehigh education more accessible to students, and GO Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers.

Helble took to the stage to welcome alumni, family and students as they indulged in offerings from food trucks that lined the main street on the Asa Packer campus. While attendees enjoyed tacos, brisket and poutine while waiting for giveaways, such as the annual Lehigh Founder’s Weekend shirt and brown and white socks, Helble made the two major announcements.

The Lehigh Commitment, beginning in the fall of 2024, will provide a full tuition grant to all admitted and current undergraduate students from families with a household income of less than $75,000.

President Joseph J. Helble '82

President Joseph J. Helble ’82 announced The Lehigh Commitment and GO Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers.

“In other words,” Helble said, “for those families, the tuition costs will be zero.”

Helble noted Lehigh’s recent No. 14 ranking on The Wall Street Journal’s 2024 Best Colleges in America and attributed it to the importance the university has placed on student outcomes and the commitment to make a Lehigh education accessible to students regardless of financial circumstances. The Lehigh Commitment is among the initiatives to elevate the university’s impact as part of its Strategic Plan, according to Helble.

“It's a promise to make the transformative Lehigh education more accessible and to make that promise clear and unequivocal,” Helble said. “This reinforces our commitment to enrolling talented students from across all socio-economic backgrounds.”

In addition to expanding student aid, Helble said Lehigh’s Strategic Plan also focuses on making the university’s undergraduate and Ph.D. programs more interdisciplinary and increase investment in Lehigh’s core areas of research. To support these efforts, Helble announced the launch of GO Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers, an extension of Go: The Campaign for Lehigh, the university’s fundraising and engagement effort.

The original campaign, launched in 2018, set a goal of $1 billion.

“That philanthropic support has helped Lehigh accomplish so many important initiatives, the new business innovation building, new endowed scholarships, support for new members of the faculty, the Singleton, Hitch, Maida residential complex and so much more.”

GO Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers extends the total goal to $1.25 billion.

Off the Record performing

Off the Record, a student a cappella group, was one of the many performances Friday afternoon at the Brown and White BBQ.

GO Beyond: The Campaign for Future Makers “will continue to build a community of engaged philanthropists and volunteers,” Helble said. “It's an ambitious goal, but I'm confident that we can reach it together.”

Helble’s remarks followed performances by student groups such as the Marching 97, the Lehigh dance team and Off the Record, a cappella group, and the unveiling of the Class of 2024’s numbers.

Lehigh football viewing party

A viewing party for Lehigh's football game against Monmouth was held for those who remained on the Asa Packer campus Saturday afternoon.

It helped kick off a weekend that featured numerous open houses and tours around campus, including tours of the Business Innovation Building and Health, Science and Technology Building. Helble held a special Pace the Prez, a four-mile run with the president, Saturday, while the football team hosted Monmouth on the Goodman campus. For those who didn’t attend, there was tailgating and a viewing party of the football game on the Asa Packer campus.

Festivities continued Sunday with events including a bagel brunch at the Jewish Student Center, a Catholic Mass at Packer Memorial Church and yoga at Taylor Gym, while the women’s soccer team hosted Army on Goodman campus.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Photography by

John Kish IV

Related Stories

Pumpkin carved with LU

Pumpkins and Power Tools

Festivities for the 2023 Family and Founder's Weekend took place across campus throughout the final weekend of September.