Racially Motivated Assault of Lehigh Student

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community.

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community,

Today I was notified by Lehigh police that a Black student who was walking off campus in the early morning hours was physically assaulted by two white assailants who directed racist epithets at the student.

This serious and disturbing incident leaves our entire community shaken. Lehigh police and staff are in contact with the student, who is recovering, and are working closely with Bethlehem police, the lead investigating agency.

Many will understandably feel unsettled following this incident. I want to assure all of our students, especially our students of color, of our commitment to your safety and well-being. I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for you. Racism, hate, verbal and physical violence have no place at Lehigh. As a community that welcomes and supports every member, this is a stark reminder that in a challenging world we have work to do, and it is up to all of us to stand up and speak out.

As we grapple with the impact of this incident as a community, I encourage students, faculty and staff who feel unsafe or are struggling in light of this information to seek support.

We will keep the campus community informed of updates on the investigation and are addressing this serious matter with the utmost vigilance and care.


Joseph J. Helble ’82