The Religious Program is under the general supervision of the university chaplain. The chaplain participates in the ceremonial life of the University and conducts special university worship services throughout the year. All worship services are interdenominational, with some being inter-religious. Roman Catholic masses are held regularly. The Newman Hall can be contacted for a schedule of services.
Lehigh University is non-denominational. Packer Memorial Church, dedicated in 1887 in honor of the University’s Founder, Asa Packer, continues to be the center for campus worship services.
The University Chaplain works with representatives of campus religious groups of all faiths and assists students in planning religious life programming. The chaplain’s office sponsors an Oxfam Fast in November, organized the original Community Service Desk that helps coordinate volunteer services on campus, and creates opportunities for discussion of moral and spiritual issues through the Chaplain’s Forum. In addition to providing pastoral counseling, supporting religious groups, and helping bring speakers to campus, the chaplain seeks to provide leadership to the university on religious and ethical issues.
Over fifteen religious groups on campus provide opportunities for religious fellowship. The groups include the Catholic Student Union for Roman Catholic students under the guidance of a resident priest; the Jewish Student Center, which sponsors various activities for Jewish students; and organizations for Hindu and Muslim students. A variety of Protestant Christian organizations are available to students, including the Lehigh Christian Fellowship and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The chaplain’s office makes information about religious life available to all students through the Chaplain’s web page and can be contacted at any time for information about worship opportunities and religious activities either on campus or in the local Bethlehem community.
Lehigh offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities and student organizations. The student-run campus newspaper keeps the campus informed while the student- run campus radio station and the many drama and musical organizations entertain. Additionally, the Lehigh University Student Senate recognizes over 150 student clubs ranging from academic organizations and cultural groups to competitive club sports and political organizations. Student club activities are open to everyone.
Students are invited to view a complete list of campus organizations by going to the following UR www.lehigh.edu/~instuact or by visiting the Lehigh University homepage and selecting the link to clubs and organizations.
Lehigh University Theatre
In Spring, 1997, the department of theatre moved to the Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh’s impressive performing arts facility. Three theaters, scene and costume shops, a dance studio, music practice rooms, classrooms and more enhance the department’s curricular activities. The department of theatre’s annual production program includes four productions in the three hundred-seat Diamond Theater and multiple lab productions in the one-hundred seat Black Box Theater. The plays range from classics to world premieres and recent mainstage seasons have included: Dusty and The Big Bad World, Top Girls, The Little Foxes, and The Belle’s Stratagem.
Shows directed and produced by students as class projects or independent work occur regularly in the Black Box Theater. Recent lab theatre productions have included: The Listener, Knowing Cairo, Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry, Auto Da-Fé, The Pretty Trap, The Case of the Crushed Petunias, Interior: Panic. Many events are sponsored by the Mustard and Cheese Drama Society, the country’s second oldest collegiate drama club.
Auditions and production crews are open to all members of the university community. Production opportunities exist in performance, choreography, set and costume construction, properties management, lighting, sound, house management and publicity. Advanced students have opportunities to direct or design, under faculty supervision.
Outstanding work in the Diamond or black box theaters may be recognized with Williams Prizes and theatre department prizes in acting, directing, design, playwriting and technical production.
Professional guest artists - directors, playwrights, designers, and actors - frequently visit the Lehigh campus to work on productions, teach classes, and conduct seminars and workshops for all interested students. The department also sponsors artists-in-residence, guest lecturers, workshops, and touring performances.
The music department offers students an array of ensembles in which to perform and develop leadership skills. The choruses, bands, orchestra, and ensembles are conducted by members of the faculty and managed by elected student leaders. Nearly all performances except Christmas Vespers are held in Baker Hall in the Zoellner Arts Center.
Students earn one credit per semester for each ensemble or lesson course in which they are registered.
The Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Eugene Albulescu, is a body of 60-70 players from diverse backgrounds. Though primarily a student orchestra, faculty and community members also participate, creating an ensemble that contains unique intersections between students of all majors and professionals, campus and community. Students will bring the great works of orchestra repertoire to life in four concerts a year in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center. Membership is by audition.
The Jazz Ensemble, Bill Warfield, director, performs contemporary literature as well as the music of the more traditional bands such as Basie, Ellington, Goodman and Herman. In addition to performances on campus each semester, other concerts take place in New York City and the surrounding areas. Membership is by audition.
The Jazz Band, directed by Bill Warfield, consists of student, faculty, and community musicians performing contemporary and traditional big band literature. Concerts are performed in the fall and spring at Lehigh as well as in the surrounding communities. Membership is by audition or invitation.
The Jazz Combo is an advanced combo (chamber group) for the most experienced improvisers under the direction of Dave Riekenberg. The group performs several times each semester on and off campus. Membership is by invitation only. Other combos are formed to accommodate student interests.
TheMarching 97 meets during the fall semester and plays at each Lehigh home game, as well as several away games. Made up of students from all of the colleges at Lehigh, the band is a student-run organization dedicated to building a positive Lehigh spirit at games and off the field. Band camp is held three days during the week prior to the start of classes. No audition is required.
The Symphonic Band meets and performs only in the spring semester of each year. The ensemble consists of students, faculty and staff who are interested in playing music. No audition is necessary.
The Wind Ensemble under the direction of David B. Diggs, is a select group of students dedicated to performing music for woodwinds, brass and percussion. These students represent many diverse majors. In 1999 the Wind Ensemble was honored by Downbeat Magazine, receiving the award for the most outstanding college classical symphonic band.
The Lehigh University Choir, directed by Steven Sametz, is an active force in campus life. The 60 mixed voices of the Choir, drawn from all majors of the University, are auditioned at the beginning of the academic year. They give four major concerts on campus and tour internationally. The Choir frequently performs with orchestra and regularly performs new music, including many works written especially for them. They have been heard five times on National Public Radio. The Choir has toured to Austria, China, France, Germany, Korea, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan, and has performed in Avery Fisher Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center.
The Lehigh University Choral Union, composed of students, faculty, staff, and Lehigh Valley community members under the direction of Steven Sametz, performs three times a year with internationally known soloists and a full symphony orchestra. The 200 singers of the Choral Union bring major works such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second Symphony, and the Brahms Requiem to a broad audience. No audition is required.
The Lehigh University Glee Club – The recently revived Glee Club sings traditional and new music for male voices under the direction of Steven Sametz. Enthusiastically welcomed by alumni and the university community, the Glee Club has thrilled audiences on campus, on tour in China, and at Lincoln Center, where they performed with the University Choir.
Dolce – Lehigh University’s Women’s Ensemble begins a new tradition of women’s music on campus. They perform on campus and in the community. This group sings a variety of music written especially for female voices as well as music adapted for the group. Members of Dolce also sing with the University Choir.
Volunteer and Community Services
Lehigh’s Community Service Office, located in the Ulrich Student Center, is a place where students, faculty, staff, and student organizations interested in volunteering in the community can get information. The Office is staffed by students who serve as Community Service Assistants, a Graduate Assistant, an Administrative Coordinator and the Director of Community Service.
Students are involved in a wide range of service programs. Some of the projects include tutoring and mentoring programs with local youth through opportunities such as the America Reads and America Counts program. Many students are also active in local hospitals, with environmental groups, senior citizen centers, and shelters. In addition to the work with outside agencies, the Community Service Office has its own major programs that aim to meet the needs of the South Bethlehem community, such as Lehigh’s Move Out Collection Drive, Parents’ Night Out, Spring Fling, Spooktacular, Wonderful World of Sports and Livin’ La Vida Lehigh. The Office also provides students with week-long service initiatives over break giving students the opportunity to travel around the country to serve in homeless shelters, on environmental projects, Habitat for Humanity and with youth programs.
Part of the Lehigh experience is getting involved. If you are interested in making a difference in the greater Lehigh Valley area, contact the Community Service Office at (610) 758-6674 or check out our web site at www.lehigh.edu/service.
Students have the opportunity to hear a wide variety of notable speakers. Among those to visit the campus have been former Attorney General Janet Reno; Rwandan genocide survivor Paul Rusesabagina; writer Salman Rushdie; poet and writer Maya Angelou; playwright Edward Albee; former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; author Elizabeth Gilbert; Lee Iacocca; General Colin Powell; author and comedian John Hodgman; Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard; and novelist John Irving. Thomas Armstrong, director of the Whitney Museum, spoke with students during a week-long residency. An Engineering Expo with speakers representing many prominent industries featured Peter Bridenbaugh, former vice president of science and technology. From art to engineering, the campus stays in touch with current issues, trends, and movements through its many and varied speaker series.
Speakers are invited by various committees and academic departments. Several of the committees, including the Visiting Lecturers Committee, welcome participation by students as well as faculty and staff. Major lectureships include the Connell Lecture (on religion), the Distinguished Lecture Series: Leaders of Practice (Education Department), and The Kenner Lecture on Tolerance. Lectures are also presented by the Humanities Center and the Friends of the Library.