“I wish you great success during your four years at Lehigh and in the years after that,” Donchez said. “You have the opportunity to receive an excellent education at one of America's outstanding collegiate institutions. I hope that you will get to know our city. And maybe some of you might make Bethlehem your home in a few years.”
In addition to the processional music by Mainstreet Brass, the Lehigh University Choir, under the direction of Steven Sametz, the Ronald J. Ulrich Professor of Music, performed the song “Magnificent Horses” and led the singing of the Alma Mater. University Chaplain Lloyd Steffen offered the invocation, and Walead Mosaad, director of Muslim Student Life, offered the benediction.
Embracing Shared Responsibility
“Convocation is a good opportunity to reaffirm the shared responsibility among students, staff, and faculty for every student's success and to helping make the Lehigh community one in which we all can thrive,” said Farrell.
In his address to students, Simon noted that while members of the Lehigh community have great love for the institution, Lehigh is not perfect. Quoting football coach Vince Lombardi, Simon said, “‘Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can attain excellence.’”
Lehigh, he said, “cannot catch excellence without each one of you.” He encouraged students to embrace this shared responsibility and to avoid waiting for others to fix problems. Students’ actions, decisions and voices are essential to the university’s success, he said.
Hall said he believes the year of shared responsibility will resonate with incoming students.
“Beginning with their campus tours while they were still in high school and continuing through Orientation, Lehigh has consistently been presented to them as a place where greatness occurs,” said Hall. “Now, they're actually Lehigh students, and the first official message from President Simon is an invitation—even an expectation—for the Class of ’23 to take a co-lead role in our university's ongoing efforts to reach even higher heights. Our focus is a true shared responsibility of the entire community, with our students front and center.”