“It’s time.” That’s President Joseph J. Helble’s answer when alumni ask why we’re developing a strategic plan for Lehigh. I encourage you to read more about why and why now via his column, and then also read the Q&A with Provost Nathan Urban and Vice President of Strategic Planning and Initiatives Chris Cook, which describes the process, called “Our Future, Our Lehigh—an open dialogue on the strategic direction of the university.”
Elaborating a bit more on how alumni can get involved…in fact, we’re already beginning to listen, starting with your most involved and invested alumni ambassadors: the Lehigh University Alumni Association (LUAA) Board of Directors. In October, Nathan and Chris came to our fall meeting, where they shared that come early spring there will be a mechanism for gathering and considering your thoughts. I hope you’ll participate when the time comes. While you were only on campus for a small percentage of your life, Lehigh’s impact and the opportunities offered by our community can last a lifetime—if you participate!
Speaking of strategic and important milestones at Lehigh, as you know, about five decades ago Lehigh welcomed the first full class of undergraduate women. We’ve been celebrating Soaring Together: 50 Years of Coeducation for the last couple years, and the response has been astounding! So much so that last month we created a full-time position and then promoted staff member (and alumna) Morgan Nelson ‘19G to wake up every day thinking about how we Let’s Stay Connected could more proactively engage with alumnae. She’s already produced an event for 50 highly involved women on campus and four regional Soaring Together Series events across the country. Plus, we have nearly 15 alumnae-driven gatherings in the books or in the works in places including Columbus, Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tucson. If you’d like to get involved or host an alumnae-driven event, email AlumniRelations@lehigh.edu and we’ll get connected.
In June, we gave a giant round of applause for the alumni volunteers who made our three-cycle Reunion in June a smash hit. In that same category of astounding alumni responses, we learned that people really, really enjoyed the multi-class gathering. So while the five-year class volunteers will still plan the dinners and other activities, we’ll be actively inviting their shoulder classes to attend their festivities. For example, it’s Class of 1992’s official Reunion, but Class of 1991 and 1993 will be invited to the Class of ’92’s dinner. That said, of course, anyone can come to Reunion any year! It’s always on the second full weekend in June, so save the date for the next hundred years!
Finally, we recently celebrated the 100th sending of the Digital Dose, which we started in April 2020. Its intent is to communicate ways you can engage with Lehigh no matter where in the world you are. We continue to see strong open and click-through rates every week, so we’ll keep on publishing every week. I especially appreciate those of you who take the time to email me after you’ve read something noteworthy or participated in one of our featured events. Keep that feedback coming! Soaring Together Series event in New York City on Sept. 28, 2022.
Yours in Brown & White,
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations