Recognition Societies

1865 Society

Recognizing those whose lifetime cumulative giving has reached $1 million or more.

1865 Society

In 1865, railroad magnate Asa Packer donated 57 acres of land on Bethlehem’s South Mountain along with $500,000 of his own funds — then the largest gift ever made to an educational institution — to establish Lehigh University. Thus began the history of transformational giving to Lehigh. 

Transformational donors break new ground, begin new initiatives, and elevate existing programs. They are instrumental in inspiring visionary faculty, helping create a world-class student experience, and supporting programs and scholarships that will change the world. These exceptional donors, whose lifetime of giving is $1 million or more, and are recognized also at levels of $10 million and $20 million, are the reason Lehigh is a beautiful setting for boundless possibilities.

Asa Packer statue surrounded by the stone benches for Leadership Plaza

The 1865 Society recognizes donors for lifetime giving at $1 million, $10 million, and $20 million. The names of these esteemed philanthropists are engraved on the stone benches at Leadership Plaza, with special gold inlay signifying lifetime giving of $10 million. Additionally, these contributors are celebrated biennially at the Leadership Recognition Dinner.

Built in 1994 to honor alumni and friends of Lehigh who have made significant lifetime contributions to the university, Leadership Plaza sits on the east side of the Alumni Memorial Building.

Encircled by stone benches, the plaza features LU's seal prominently positioned in the center of the walkway and includes a life-sized bronze sculpture of Lehigh's founder, Asa Packer. The statue, gifted by the Class of 2003, weighs nearly 1,000 pounds. The presence of Asa Packer and alumni on the plaza symbolizes their enduring impact and pivotal contributions to the university.

Thank you to the donors who have given $20 million or more to Lehigh during their lifetime. Because of these philanthropic visionaries, Lehigh is able to expand access and opportunity; inspire innovation through an inclusive, interdisciplinary approach; and provide cutting-edge spaces on campus, and students can work alongside top-tier faculty, gain experiences that will change the way they see the world, and become empowered to think in new, groundbreaking ways.

Lisa A. and Kevin L. Clayton 1984 2013P

Daniel E. Smith, Jr. 1971

Dorothy L. and Donald B. Stabler 1930

Ada E. and Peter C. Rossin 1948

Victoria and Robert E. Zoellner 1954

Thank you to the donors who have given $10 million or more to Lehigh during their lifetime. Your distinguished generosity is transformational for Lehigh and is the foundation of why our university continues to be an extraordinary place for learning and discovery. 

Lisa A. and Kevin L. Clayton 1984 2013P

Joanie and Murray H. Goodman 1948

Elizabeth and Harry T. Martindale 1927

Asa Packer

Amy and Joseph R. Perella 1964

Ada E. and Peter C. Rossin 1948

Daniel E. Smith, Jr. 1971

Dorothy L. and Donald B. Stabler 1930

Ronald J. Ulrich 1966 1998P 1999P

Jane and Louis Weinstock 1936

Victoria and Robert E. Zoellner 1954

Thank you to all the donors of Leadership Plaza, who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to the university. 

View all Donors Recognized in 1865 Society

Why I give

Katherine L. Chen 1980G and John C. Chen


“John was an engineer at heart. He always liked to solve problems and kept a small notebook of ideas for inventions. He thought a chemical engineer could tackle most of our world’s problems.

After ten years working in the industry, he came to teach at Lehigh University. In his lectures, he emphasized how engineering principles were applied to solve practical problems. He wanted to teach the science of engineering as well as to guide his students in the art of thinking, such that they arrived at the answers themselves.

As his wife and a chemist and chemical engineer, I shared John’s passions and dreams. He taught at Lehigh for more than 40 years, but research must be continued to keep up with our constantly changing world.”

Wanda Rivera and Roy Cravzow 1961


“I came to Lehigh because I liked that it was strong in business, the arts, and my initial major, engineering. Little did I know that taking a Spanish class taught by Victor Valenzuela during my first year would change the entire trajectory of my life!

With Professor Valenzuela’s encouragement, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Lehigh and a master’s in Spanish from Columbia University New York (CUNY), where I was encouraged by Valenzuela to meet another life-influencing professor, Gregory Rabassa. I used the knowledge of Brazilian culture I learned from Professors Valenzuela and Rabassa, along with a doctorate in comparative literature (Portuguese) from the City University of New York, to start an industrial part and machinery export business serving clients in Brazil.

It was a desire to honor these two mentor-professors that led me to set up my first charitable gift annuity, with the intent of creating an endowed chair of Latin American literature at Lehigh named for Valenzuela and Rabassa, both of whom have passed away. Lehigh and these two mentors created lifelong relationships and the success I achieved in my careers.”

Cathy Engelbert 1986 2023P

1986 2023P

“Lehigh was such an important part of my formative years – from arriving on campus in 1982 as a shy freshman recruited to play lacrosse; to then walking on to the basketball team under now-Naismith Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw; to becoming an accounting major in a tough, competitive business school; and yes, to getting a good job through Lehigh’s placement office!

I will never forget when I was hired by Deloitte, the partner who interviewed me was struck by the well-roundedness of the Lehigh students he was interviewing. So now, as I approach the sunset of my working years – 36 years after graduation – giving back to Lehigh is so important, as I would not be where I am without the social, athletic, and academic experience it offered me.

Seeing women in the workforce continue to rise into key leadership roles, I decided to give back to Lehigh in a way that empowers young women to build their confidence to thrive in what is still a very male-dominated business world. The Leading Empowered Athletes to Distinction (LEAD) Scholars program announced in February 2022 aims to do just that.”

Alissa 2022P and Joel Isaacson 1980 2022P

1980 2022P

“I regret that I didn’t truly appreciate or take advantage of all Lehigh had to offer while I was there from 1976 to 1980. As I got older, I realized how privileged I was and how important college was – and how instrumental Lehigh was in all aspects of my life.

My internship through Lehigh led to a job offer before graduation, and my career took off from there. The Lehigh community was involved in many aspects of my business and had a major impact on my life. Fellow alumni, including my fraternity brothers, helped me grow my own business when I was just starting it.

My wife, Alissa, and I consider ourselves very fortunate and blessed people. We want to give back and feel education is the most impactful way we can do that. We have started three scholarships at three schools and have contributed to the Business Innovation Building and multiple other Lehigh initiatives. Supporting Lehigh in this way has been one of our most rewarding endeavors.

Having our son, Andrew ’22, attend Lehigh helped solidify our relationship, legacy, and admiration for the university. We look forward to a third generation attending in the future!”

Suzanne V. and Charles F. McClurg 1959


“Education was always a very strong value for my father. While he believed pursuing an education was important for students, he knew that, to have the best outcomes, it was important to support creativity and intellectual pursuit in faculty – that having a strongly motivated educator was one of the keys to the successful imparting of knowledge. His endowment is for faculty development, to support academic endeavors and development to make faculty stronger teachers.

Fostering the best for coming generations was something my father appreciated. He believed that, by supporting faculty, he was helping to provide a strong, impactful education for students of the future. While brick-and-mortar philanthropy is important, he felt that motivating people provided a gift for future generations.

When my father made commitments, he honored them strongly, and that shows in his commitment to Lehigh. Even though he lived in Florida, he really enjoyed – when Lehigh had events there – hearing about what was happening on campus and, in particular, with the chemical engineering department. Lehigh was very important to him.”
– Dr. Mark McClurg, son of Suzanne and Charles

Tara I. Stacom 1980 and Arthur H. Diedrick


“While serving as a trustee, I worked to create the real estate minor in the business college to help the university attract top talent and graduate exceptional students into an industry I dearly love. It was a very rewarding journey.

Our university continues to evolve in very meaningful ways, with initiatives that help continue to attract outstanding students who will be our future leaders. Lehigh maintains its greatness through the support of those who have had the privilege and honor of passing through its doors, who then carry the commitment to protect the legacy and its valuable traditions.

The total Lehigh experience was fundamental to my future success in life as well as in business. Giving back to this institution in a meaningful way is an honor and a privilege that I take very seriously.”

Priscilla K. and Lawrence A. Walsky 1958


“Larry’s years at Lehigh meant so much to him. He often referred to it in conversation: “Back when I was at Lehigh …” He felt Lehigh was the perfect place for him to develop and hone his critical thinking skills which ultimately culminated in establishing his own business.

After we educated our three sons, we wanted to help some young person along his or her career path, so we established our scholarship. Lehigh’s future was exciting to us – especially the new College of Health and the Business Innovation Building. Larry really wanted to be a part of it.

While I never went to Lehigh as a student (no females back then), I was Larry’s date for four years, and I loved it as much as he did. Larry was proud to be a Lehigh University alumnus.”

Hyo S. Lee

1976 1980

“There are several reasons why I support graduate education at Lehigh. Having earned both my master’s and doctoral degrees here, I am grateful to the university for giving me the foundation that started my own company, Science Engineering Services.  

Lehigh is also a place that values academic freedom, as I do. By supporting its dynamic research environment, I see my giving to graduate education as a way to train future generations of scientists to be the new knowledge creators and innovators the world needs. 

Finally, I give to Lehigh in honor of my faculty adviser, Professor Yong Kim, who was my most valued mentor when I was a graduate student.”

Julie and Jordan Hitch

1988 2020P 2021P

“Lehigh was a very important part of my growth and development, and I am honored to give back and support the institution. In particular, the student experience is very important to me, and I believe that at Lehigh this is distinguished by the university’s unique combination of medium size, culture of hard work, and wide set of interdisciplinary opportunities. I am excited that Lehigh has made financial aid a crucial initiative in the GO campaign, in order to ensure affordability and access for students who deserve the kind of life-changing experiences that Lehigh can offer. I believe that the university’s primary mission is to educate and develop young adults and young leaders, and because of Lehigh’s distinctive strengths, we will be able to carry out this mission and thrive well into the future.”

Hannah and James D. Miller

1964 1967G

“As a student, I felt extremely proud to be part of the Lehigh community. All these years later, I still carry forward that sense of pride and belonging. 

In my senior year, we pledged $20 per year for 20 years. Today, I give to athletics, endowed scholarship, and to Lehigh Business.

I admire how Lehigh continues to produce programs that are relevant in the world. It’s never stagnant. The university has adapted and changed with the times and done it well. The College of Health is a good example. Another is the effort to grow the undergraduate and graduate student populations. It’s important to have a mix of students on campus that reflects our society. It’s also important to give young people opportunities they otherwise would not have. Fortunately, we have the applicants and reputation to make that happen.

Lehigh has always taught practical skills and produced leaders. The success of its students, in whatever field they enter, is something else I continue to be proud of and always will be.”

Debra and Jeffrey Bosland

1988 2022P

“Lehigh is a second home to two generations of Boslands, and we are forever grateful for all the university has given our family. As a first-generation student, I was fortunate to receive a need-based scholarship, a great education, and the opportunity to start a successful career with a good job.

Supporting the education of Lehigh’s students and the growth and improvement of the university is important for all of us. This is a critical time in Lehigh’s evolution, and Lehigh students need help as they prepare to be leaders and make a positive impact on the world. It feels great to support this future. We are blessed to be part of this special place and fortunate to be in a position to give back.”

Vickie A. and Kenneth R. French


Ken French is inspired to give back to Lehigh because the university impacted his life in transformative ways. He views his philanthropy as a way to reciprocate the generosity that enabled his own experiences as a student and set him on a course for his professional career. Ken and his wife, Vickie, are passionate about providing opportunities for students that increase the likelihood of their graduation. Through their generosity, the Frenches hope to support and encourage a diverse, vibrant student body, and aid both low-income and first-generation college students. Ken believes in Lehigh’s ability to educate and shape the next generation of leaders and is dedicated to providing the resources these students need to reach beyond the limits of their potential.

Helaine B. and Fredric H. Gould


“I graduated from Lehigh in 1957 with a B.S. in business administration and a major in accounting. My Lehigh experience has allowed me to grow and prosper in both the business world and in my community activities. I consider myself blessed in many ways, helped a great deal by my Lehigh experience. It is wonderful to be at a stage in life where I can “give back” to organizations and people that have made my life successful.

Lehigh has grown into a major, high quality university, and the future looks brighter each year for the university and its students. We live in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever before, and in the future, these changes will continue to come at a faster and faster pace. Quality education allows one to grow and prosper in these changing circumstances.

As we all know, the cost of education has grown exponentially compared to almost any other costs other than perhaps medical. This means that in order to allow more and more students to enjoy what Lehigh has to offer, others, like myself, who were helped by Lehigh and have the capacity need to support the university so that others have the same experience.”

Patricia T. and Carl C. Greer


“My wife, Pat, and I set up the Greer Scholars Program at Lehigh in 2014 to help young people from low-income backgrounds earn a degree in engineering. We felt this degree would help these students be better able to get a good-paying job and perhaps help others, too.

We chose Lehigh because of its excellent reputation in training engineers. I had a very positive experience when I attended school there and received my degree in metallurgical engineering. Additionally, we know Lehigh values diversity and helping students with financial needs who come from families and communities where it’s not common to obtain an engineering degree.”

Sheree and Marc Holliday


“Lehigh University is a unique and special place, a small school with big ambitions and a total commitment to excellence. My time at Lehigh was formative, putting me on the path to success in life, and I want others to have the same experience. We as alumni have a responsibility to do what we can to support the school and ensure that its traditions are preserved for future generations of leaders.”

Frank E. (Ted) Walsh III


“Lehigh has given so much to my family and me that “giving back” comes easily. When the Lehigh name comes up in conversation, I hear repeatedly how our fellow graduates come prepared to work hard and make a difference in their chosen careers as well as in the lives of the people around them. Ensuring that that true Lehigh education of mind and spirit is available to any young person willing to put in the work is a legacy we must protect. 

We are at a very exciting time in the arc of Lehigh’s evolution. New programs and facilities are ensuring a bright future for the school we care so much about. All of us blessed to be part of the Lehigh family must strive to preserve this legacy for future generations of students.”

Karen and Paul S. Levy


“Karen and I hope our gift has the effect of diversifying the student body and exposes Lehigh students to as many different cultures as possible. The world is getting smaller, and we all need to prepare for change. Lehigh is a strong brand, and our ability to attract outstanding young students from across the world will only make Lehigh stronger. There is no turning back: Globalization is upon us, and Lehigh is moving to reflect that in its student body. Bravo!”

Amy R. Frolick and Brad Eric Scheler

1974 2005P 2008P 2009PG

“In the households of our parents and immigrant grandparents, education was revered. Likewise, for the two of us and for our three daughters, education is, and has been, a cornerstone and foundation for the myriad of opportunities and blessings that are ours. our nation’s greatest resource; it facilitates and ensures meritocracy, and it is and must be for all a segue to the best and brightest of futures. For each and for all of us who have benefited from higher education, we believe that it is incumbent on us to ensure that the opportunity to learn and flourish is available to and affordable for all. It is our collective duty and responsibility to afford to one and all learning, means, and a path to realize their utmost potential and to be best positioned to contribute to, and heal and make better, our world. 

For the two of us, philanthropy is mandatory and essential. As we have reflected on how to help transform the lives of others, our thoughts turn to South Mountain. How wonderful for us to try to follow in the footsteps of the Honorable Asa Packer whose goal was to bequeath to every generation of Lehigh students a haven of knowledge, learning, clarity of thought, and theory to practice, all without financial barriers and limits.

Sanjay D. Shah


“I have embraced the maxim Lifelong Learning. As a proud Lehigh business school alum and founder and CEO of Vistex, I wanted to identify an impactful way to help the university and the many business professionals seeking out new challenges as they continue on their career path. The creation of the Vistex Institute for Executive Learning and Research accomplishes this goal.

I’ve experienced firsthand a need for a more customized, research-based approach to learning for professionals which led me to approach Lehigh about making a major gift to create this new offering. Unlike other executive education programs at other top-tier universities, the Vistex Institute will take a more hands-on approach in providing participants with carefully-curated content and curriculum geared toward enhancing human capital and needed skills. Participants will take what they learn in the classroom and directly apply it to their professional roles.

I’m hopeful the addition of an executive education program to Lehigh University’s business school offering, combined with its unique, customized approach, will further elevate the university’s stellar national and global reputation.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to October 2022, recognition for Lehigh’s most generous donors focused on a place — Leadership Plaza. Donors whose lifetime giving surpasses $1 million are a community whose transformational giving we celebrate and honor through the newly named 1865 Society. 

Within this community, we celebrate philanthropy beginning at $1 million, and we are fortunate to have lifetime giving of $10 million and $20 million to recognize.

Lehigh automatically grants recognition to spouses. If you have questions, please contact Roma Narkhede at (610) 758-2822 or email

We are committed to honoring your recognition preference. You may designate your giving as public or anonymous, or you may indicate that some gifts are anonymous and others are public.

The 1865 Society comprises all donors whose names are engraved on the stone benches in Leadership Plaza in recognition of their extraordinary generosity.

Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

Absolutely. Our staff are happy to answer your questions. Simply call Roma Narkhede at (610) 758-2822 or email and allow a little time for a response. We look forward to speaking with you.

Check out our loyalty, leadership, lifetime, and legacy recognition programs to discover a variety of options to further your philanthropic journey with Lehigh University.

South Mountain Society »

Brown and White Society »

The New Asa Packer Society »

Tower Society »