In 2012, Lehigh was the recipient of one of the most generous gifts in its history, a donation from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation of 755 acres of land in Upper Saucon Township. At the time, it was one of the largest land donations to an institution of higher education. This year, the university honors the 10-year anniversary of the gift that then-president of Lehigh, Alice Gast, said had the potential to be “an important part of Lehigh’s long-term future.”
“Working with our partners and the community, our plans continue to be guided by a need to maximize benefits in support of Lehigh’s mission, while ensuring responsible use in line with Mr. Stabler’s vision of economic development for the region and good planning that benefits the community,” says Lehigh’s President Joseph J. Helble ’82. “Lehigh views the gift as a long-term asset of the university that is part of planning that is measured in decades as opposed to years.”
The Stablers were longtime donors to Lehigh. Donald B. Stabler ’30, who passed away in December 1997, was one of Lehigh’s leading benefactors. In 2008, under the terms of his will, the Stabler Foundation made a gift of $34.2 million to the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Scholarship Fund originally created in 1965. More than 5,500 students have benefited from this gift as part of the Stabler Scholarship program, including 400 during the 2021-2022 academic year. Mr. Stabler also served on Lehigh’s Board of Trustees and as president of the Alumni Association. The gift of land from his estate, which included an additional gift of $1 million in scholarships, extended his legacy and highlights his positive impact on the university and the region.