Lehigh University logo
Lehigh University logo


Learn more about the projects and challenges that Lehigh students will be tackling during our third year on Mountaintop.
Read more >

Freedom. Inquiry. Discovery. Purpose.

"This atmosphere of excitement, arising from imaginative consideration, transforms knowledge. A fact is no longer a bare fact: it is invested with all its possibilities. It is no longer a burden on the memory: it is energizing as the poet of our dreams, and as the architect of our purposes." ― Alfred North Whitehead

What does a 21st century environment for learning, discovery and engagement look like?

How should the development of the next generation and the process of discovery be interrelated? How should people in different fields of study challenge and enlighten one another? And how can universities foster these relationships in a way that stimulates learning and growth in participants, leads to insight, and enables action in a complex and changing world?

These are just some of the questions Lehigh University is asking—and answering—through its Mountaintop initiative.

Inside a former Bethlehem Steel research facility atop South Mountain, Lehigh is creating a vibrant and unique learning environment—a space in which students are given the freedom to pursue answers to open-ended questions while working in, and across, all disciplines. In the process, the students are challenged to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, for taking intellectual risks and learning from failures, for collaboration, for recognizing important problems and opportunities to effect constructive and sustainable change.

The 2014 Mountaintop Experience: The second summer of programming at Mountaintop saw more students and more faculty get involved in an initiative that is changing the way Lehigh thinks about teaching and learning.