Vice President for Student Affairs Ricardo Hall to start new role as the Vice President for Student Life at Denison University

Hall’s seven-year tenure saw the focus on the mental and physical well-being of students and sense of belonging reach new heights at Lehigh

Photography by

Christa Neu

Ricardo Hall

Ricardo Hall, Vice President for Student Affairs, will be starting a new role as the Vice President for Student Life at Denison University after seven years at Lehigh.

His visionary leadership and dedication significantly advanced Lehigh's focus on students’ well-being and sense of belonging. Recent priorities included the redesign and relaunch of bLUeprint, the student life curriculum, and promoting well-being, community and a sense of belonging.

Hall and his team played a pivotal role during the pandemic and afterwards as he spearheaded key efforts to support students who were struggling in both remote and in-person settings.

“Providing resources for physical and mental wellness is a cornerstone of providing a Lehigh for Everyone. During the pandemic, Ric stood up an ad hoc Committee on Wellness, which was Lehigh’s first campus-wide effort to better coordinate and prioritize our wellness efforts," said Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble '82. “With his capable leadership, the renamed Well-Being Committee is now permanent and includes faculty, staff and student representation. Denison is fortunate to gain Ric’s leadership and presence in their community."

Coming out of the pandemic, student’s sense of belonging at Lehigh took on even greater importance. Special attention was paid in “re-orienting” students to an in-person campus experience resulting in the creation, under Hall’s leadership, of student affairs re-orientation programs and activities such as the Year2@LU, a sophomore student experience specifically designed to reacclimate students who had begun their college experience online.

This past year saw the creation of Lehigh’s student affairs well-being chair. The role was tasked with being a primary voice and thought leader among the student affairs offices responsible for key well-being services, while better coordinating Student Affairs services and resources. These offices include Health & Wellness Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Survivor Support & Intimacy Education, Case Management Services, and Disability Support Services.

Among the many milestones achieved under Hall’s guidance was the focus on improving students' sense of belonging. Student Affairs has worked closely with Diversity, Inclusion & Equity (DI&E) to ensure that the student experience took into account the richly diverse makeup of Lehigh’s student population, resulting in the revamping of First Year Orientation as well as incorporating diversity and inclusion workshops in Greek life’s new member orientation and in Gryphon training.

“The Lehigh for Everyone strategic plan initiative states Lehigh will be a place everyone is valued,” said Donald Outing, vice president for equity and community. “Ric’s commitment to promoting diversity as an essential part of the learning experience has helped us continue to build a better environment for all of us.

“Ric has been an incredible administrator, colleague, and close friend during his seven years at Lehigh,” Outing continued. “Together, we enjoyed attending Lehigh basketball games and hosting bimonthly lunches for men of color in the Valley. Ric’s dedication and passion have made a lasting impact on our community, and we wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”

Under Hall’s guidance, the student affairs division has been recognized three times (2020, 2023, 2024) as a “Most Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs” by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as a direct result of Hall’s intentional efforts to recruit and support a highly skilled and richly diverse staff of professionals.

“Ric’s leadership in the Division of Student Affairs and across the Lehigh community has been exemplary,” said Katherine Lavinder, assistant vice president and dean of students. “His unwavering advocacy for the campus experience of Lehigh students and his consistent commitment to fostering a workplace that values quality of life for our staff, both professionally and personally, are testaments to his thoughtful leadership.”

Hall said he is grateful for the support of Lehigh’s leadership, his team, and the entire Lehigh community. “I always struggle with accepting credit for student affairs accomplishments and successes,” said Hall. “The reality is that I have a great leadership team and excellent directors within Lehigh’s student affairs division. We’ve worked hard together to meet the high level foundational principles and strategic priorities as we go about division-wide planning efforts.”

Hall's influence extended beyond student affairs, as exemplified by Lavinder’s comments of Hall’s informal role as campus “tone” setter. “Ric’s dedication, humor, and approachable nature have left a lasting, positive impact on our community,” said Lavinder. “Many have caught glimpses of Ric gliding across campus on his longboard, effortlessly blending into the vibrant student life he champions. Others have observed the touch of nostalgia in his office, where rows of Pez dispensers stand as a testament to his lighthearted spirit. Ric’s leadership fosters a sense of community where individuals feel seen, valued, and empowered to thrive.”

Hall says he genuinely enjoyed his informal role as campus tone setter and worked hard to provide students with another positive, engaged and accessible campus leader.

Story by Amy Bilello

Photography by

Christa Neu

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