Herbert J. Siegel ’50, an investor, philanthropist and former trustee of Lehigh University, passed away Aug. 12 at the age of 95.
Siegel received his B.A. in journalism from Lehigh in 1950. During his undergraduate years, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, the Brown and White staff, Interfraternity Council and the band. He also participated in swimming and J.V. football teams.
Siegel established numerous endowed funds for scholarships as well as faculty support. In 1987, he created the Franz Faculty Development Fund and Franz Fellowship Fund to honor the retirement of Paul J. Franz, Lehigh’s first vice president of development. In 1990, Siegel established the Ann L. Siegel Scholarship in honor of his first wife, Ann, to support female students majoring in journalism or pre-med. He also created the General Colin L. Powell Scholarship in 1996, and, in October 2000, the Peter Maas Endowed Journalism Scholarship Fund.
Siegel also supported the Siegel Gallery, part of the Lehigh University Art Galleries, and established the Ann and Herbert Siegel Chair for the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1994. More recent gifts included annual support and endowment for athletics.
“Mr. Siegel made lasting gifts that honored and supported the people and programs he believed in,” said Dean Robert Flowers II, who currently holds the Siegel Deanship. “The impact of his generosity will continue to be felt in the College of Arts and Sciences and across Lehigh for generations to come.”
Siegel built his career at Chris-Craft Industries, a boat manufacturer and chemical business. From 1968-2001, Siegel served as president and chairman of the board. A prolific investor with a passion for the entertainment industry, Siegel evolved Chris-Craft into a non-network television organization. In 2001, Chris-Craft Industries was acquired by News Corporation of America, where Siegel served as a senior advisor. He was also a director at Citadel Broadcasting. A graduate of Blair Academy, Siegel served on the board of trustees at the school from 1985-1992 and was chair of the finance committee. He was also a benefactor of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
Siegel was honored by the New York Alumni Club with the “L-in-Life” award in 1992 for his outstanding service to Lehigh. He served as a university trustee from 1989-1992.
His notable career has been covered in his obituary in The New York Times.