Where Do We Go From Here?

Even as we look back—and look back proudly—we must keep looking forward. We must always, always keep looking forward.

If there’s any one thing I took away from my mid-summer meeting with new Lehigh president John Simon to discuss this issue of the Lehigh Bulletin, that would be it. In many ways, in fact, it was that single takeaway that ultimately shaped the magazine that you hold in your hands.

This is, of course, a very special year for Lehigh, as the university community celebrates the historic occasion of our Sesquicentennial. For 150 years now, Lehigh has been educating future leaders, impacting the world around us, and contributing to society in so very many ways. Our past is certainly worth celebrating, and as anyone who attended the four-day party that was Lehigh’s Sesquicentennial weekend in early October knows, we certainly have been celebrating (and will continue to do so).

But as Simon has said several times since his arrival this past summer, our 150th anniversary should be more than just a year of celebration. It should also be one of reflection, as it represents an important opportunity to assess where we stand today—and where we must go in the years to come. That’s precisely the conversation we hope to kick-start with this issue of the Bulletin.

Staff writer Kelly Hochbein spent several months interviewing dozens of members of our campus community—from Simon and his senior leadership team to numerous faculty, staff, students and alumni—as she developed her wide-ranging feature about the future of Lehigh (‘His Vision, Our Vision, Our Future,’ pg. 22). The story explores the many challenges facing Lehigh (and higher education as a whole, for that matter) today, and as even Simon will tell you, those challenges are real. But as Kelly’s story also makes clear, Lehigh is also well-positioned to meet those challenges; in fact, to hear Simon tell it, the university may be on the cusp of greater things than ever before.

It is a timely, important piece—one well worth reading—and we hope that you will do precisely that. We also hope you enjoy the rest of this issue, from our look back at the 150 people, places, traditions and breakthroughs that have helped make what Lehigh is today (pg. 28), to our visit with Mountain Hawks baseball star Mike Garzillo (pg. 18) to our latest update on the ever-evolving Mountaintop initiative (pg. 12) and more.

We thank you, as always, for reading, and welcome you to share your thoughts as well. You can write us via snail mail at the address at the right, or contact me directly at tih313@lehigh.edu