Meet the Lehigh Visionaries


of the Past and Present

A Distinguished 150-Year History, A Promising Future

As we celebrate Lehigh’s 150th anniversary, it is an ideal time to reflect on our past and envision our future. The work and determination of great visionaries and leaders secured for the university its place today among the finest institutions of higher learning in the world.

Our founder, the Honorable Asa Packer, was the first of many Lehigh visionaries and leaders who would follow. Judge Packer conceived and brought to life a model for education that would shape and launch visionaries and leaders needed to rebuild our nation after the devastation of the Civil War. Anticipating the needs of an ever-evolving society and our place in global affairs, Judge Packer wanted Lehigh to provide “an education that was purposeful in its intent and wide-ranging in its application.”

This Annual Report highlights lasting contributions of just some of Lehigh’s visionaries and leaders over the last century and a half. The Report also focuses on the creative thinking, innovation and remarkable work that is taking place at our university every day.

This report is further confirmation that now, and for our next 150 years, with our continued development of much-needed visionaries and leaders, Lehigh will continue to answer the call of our nation and our world.

Photo of John Simon

John D. Simon
President, Lehigh University

Photo of Brad Scheler

Brad Eric Scheler '74, '05P, '08P
Chair, Lehigh University Board of Trustees

Picture of Asa Packer

150 Years of Visionaries

By founding Lehigh, 19th century industrialist Asa Packer changed the notion of what a university could be, fusing together a unique blend of academic options to provide an education that was both theoretical and practical. Packer had the vision to anticipate the needs of a rapidly evolving world—one that would demand that Lehigh continues to evolve as well.

Through a century and a half that saw two world wars, the expansion of a cross-country railroad system, the rise of the space program, life-extending breakthroughs in medicine, the marvels of modern cities and feats of engineering that literally helped build this country, Lehigh led the way.