Nancy Trainer to Join Lehigh as Associate Vice President for Facilities and Campus Planning

Trainer will begin her tenure at Lehigh at the end of May.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

Nancy Trainer

Nancy Trainer, photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Chapter of the AIA.

Nancy Trainer, the current university architect and associate vice president for facilities at Drexel University, has been named Lehigh’s new associate vice president for facilities and campus planning.

She succeeds interim associate vice president Don Pasda and will start her work at Lehigh on May 30, 2023.

Trainer will be responsible for the oversight of the design, physical development, and preservation of Lehigh’s unique and nationally recognized facilities. She will oversee Lehigh’s design review process, campus planning, and designer selection, as well as zoning and accessibility requirements, and provide overall management direction for the offices of Facilities Services and Campus Planning, Design and Projects teams, among other responsibilities.

Before joining Drexel University in 2013, Nancy was a principal at Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates and its successor firm, where her work focused on planning and design for colleges, universities, and cultural institutions. She was a William Penn Foundation Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, Chair of the 2021 American Institute of Architects College of Fellow Selection Jury, and the inaugural Chair of the Philadelphia Civic Design Review Committee. Both a registered architect and certified planner, she has presented widely on topics related to campus planning, design, preservation, and sustainability.

“Nancy’s vision, expertise, and leadership will be a major asset to Lehigh as we implement our new strategic plan and begin a new campus master planning process,” said Michael Todd, vice president for finance and administration. “She has a strong track record of directing complex projects for academic and cultural institutions and a deep understanding of how such projects support the institutional mission and values. I look forward to her collaboration and partnership.”

He continued: “I am grateful to the search committee for their efforts in identifying an exceptionally strong pool of candidates and leading a comprehensive national search. Search chair Mark Ironside and all committee members did a tremendous service for Lehigh.”

Trainer was selected as part of a rigorous search process led by the WittKieffer search firm.

The search committee included:

  • Mark Ironside - Assistant Vice President of Business Services, and Chair for the Search Committee
  • Allen Biddinger - Associate Athletic Director for Facilities & Events, Athletics
  • Lucy Bowen - Administrative Director, Provost's Office
  • Steve DeWeerth - Dean, College of Engineering
  • Lori McClaind - Associate Dean of Students, Students Affairs
  • Jesse Pearson - Director of Administrative Services, Library and Technology Services
  • Deidre Kwiatek - Senior Director of Development, Campaign Director, Development and Alumni
  • Janice Stoudt - Executive Assistant, Finance & Administration Office, and Administrative Coordinator for the Search Committee

“I'm thrilled to be joining the Lehigh community,” said Trainer. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the campus and to working with its community of faculty, staff, students, and neighbors as we plan for its future.”

Trainer holds a master of architecture from University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of science in architecture from The Catholic University of America. Her work has received numerous historic preservation awards and design awards, including a national award from the Society of College & University Planners (SCUP) for the Haverford College Campus Plan.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

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