President Video Message: Semester Highlights and Congratulations to Our Graduates

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community.

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Taylor Stakes and Christa Neu

As we conclude the academic year, President Helble underscores some of the highlights of the spring semester, congratulates the Class of 2023, and invites the community to celebrate the release of Lehigh's new strategic plan in early June.

“... [The] campus this semester has felt fully alive and energized ... And it isn’t just that the campus ‘feels’ more vibrant this academic year—the numbers make it clear that there is more of almost everything happening."

Watch the video to hear President Helble's update.

Transcript of video:

As we approach the end of the semester, congratulations to everyone for a successful academic year and especially to those students who'll be graduating in less than two weeks. We're excited and proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our Lehigh graduates and commemorate this year's commencement with two outstanding speakers, CJ McCollum and Amy Weaver. It's sure to be an inspiring occasion for the class of 2023, their families, and all who will be joining us to honor this year's graduates. Recently, students faculty and staff joined me for a live community conversation, our fourth town-hall style forum open to all members of the campus community. We've experimented with different formats with this one being hybrid and based on your feedback it's an approach we plan to continue next year. As I mentioned at that event, the campus this semester has felt fully alive and energized and events I've attended recently, including faculty and staff award celebrations and the 38th Annual Student Life Leadership Awards reminded us all of the great work being done by and for our community in every corner of the campus. And it isn't just that the campus feels more vibrant this academic year, the numbers make it clear that there's more of almost everything happening. We see it in athletics where attendance at sporting events has increased, we see it in student life where Lehigh After Dark attendance is up 25%, and we see it in the arts where attendance at events in Zoellner for the first part of the year has more than doubled, we see it in admissions where the number of all prospective student visitors is up by more than 30% for the January to April period. I firmly believe that that bodes well for the year ahead and will follow a year in which we saw the largest, most international, most geographically broad, and most diverse undergraduate applicant pool in Lehigh's history. Graduate program applications were also up to 9% over last year, and the level of faculty scholarly activity also bodes well for the year ahead. Research expenditures increased 25% last year and are on track for another significant increase this year. Finally, this past year we saw our campus-wide strategic planning process take shape and move forward and it's worth recognizing just how far we've come. In a few short weeks, we'll be releasing the plan that will guide us for the next decade. It's a testament to the work of the entire Lehigh community for getting us to this point. This summer, we'll be laying the groundwork for the implementation of the plan. When we come back together in the fall we'll have a more structured campus event with a deeper look at the plan and its implementation. Until then, I encourage everyone to explore the plan when it's released on June 6th. For those who are on campus the next day, June 7th, we'll enjoy an informal gathering to celebrate our community's hard work and engagement. Thanks to everyone for enabling us to conclude the academic year on such a high note. I wish everyone an enjoyable summer and look forward to our work together in the months and in the academic year ahead.

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Taylor Stakes and Christa Neu

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