Lehigh’s Visionaries of the Arts

For the past 25 years, Zoellner Arts Center has inspired creativity, innovation, and a passion for the performing arts at Lehigh University and in the community. We recognize and thank those whose philanthropy and commitment have made the center’s tremendous impact possible.

Philadelphia Orchestra on stage performing as seen from above
Mark Wilson standing behind a podium smiling at Zoellner Arts Center Gala2023

In This Image: Mark Wilson, executive director of Zoellner Arts Center, welcomes guests to Gala2023.

Vertical dance troupe, Bandaloop, performing inside Zoellner Arts Center

In This Image: Vertical dance troupe Bandaloop wows the audience at the Gala reception.

Victoria Zoellner '15GP speaking behind a Gala 2023 podium

In This Image: Victoria Zoellner '15GP reflects on 25 years of Zoellner Arts Center and her family's legacy.

Zia Victoria performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra while wearing a white gown

In This Image: Zia Victoria, granddaughter of Robert '54 and Victoria Zoellner '15GP, performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Brian Stokes Mitchell singing on stage with the Philadelphia Orchestra

In This Image: Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Philadelphia Orchestra

25th Anniversary: Honoring the Zoellner Family

Robert Zoellner '54 and his wife, Victoria '15GP made an inspirational gift to Lehigh University in the early 1990s to establish Zoellner Arts Center. Today, Zoellner is one of the premier performing and visual arts centers in the Lehigh Valley, providing students and the surrounding community with unique opportunities to learn, discover, and share cultural experiences.

Watch the Video on Youtube

Celebrating Cornerstone Families

The Ulrich Family

Zoellner Arts Center Honors The Ulrich Family

Emeritus trustee and former board chair Ronald J. Ulrich ’66 ’98P ’99P ’05H and his wife, Christie ’98P ’99P, are longtime benefactors of the performing arts at Lehigh and Zoellner Arts Center, especially the Music Department. They have established two endowed chairs: the Ronald J. Ulrich Endowed Chair in Orchestral Studies and the Ronald J. Ulrich Endowed Chair in Choral Arts. In 2006, the Ulrichs made possible the return appearance of the New York Philharmonic, which performed at the center’s opening in 1997. The Ulrichs are reprising their support in honor of Zoellner’s 25th anniversary.

View the Gallery

Watch the Video

The Baker Family

Zoellner Arts Center Honors The Baker Family

Dorothy and Dexter Baker ’50 ’57G ’81H were passionate about the arts and were passionate about bringing the performing arts to Lehigh. A longtime Lehigh trustee, Dexter co-chaired the $33 million capital campaign for the Zoellner Arts Center in the 1990s and made a generous contribution to name Baker Hall. Additionally, to support students in the performing arts, the Bakers created the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Gifted Arts Scholarship Program. Their support of Zoellner Arts Center is continued by their children and grandchildren through the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation.

View the Gallery

Watch the Video

The Diamond Family

Zoellner Arts Center Honors The Diamond Family

Claire and Ted Diamond ’37 ’85H established the Claire and Theodore Diamond Theater Endowment Fund, creating the Diamond Theater, with its distinctive stage and seating, in Zoellner Arts Center. They further invested in theatrical opportunities at Lehigh by establishing the Claire and Theodore Diamond ’37 ’85H Endowment Fund for the Department of Theatre. Ted, a longtime trustee, passed in 2012. Since then, Claire and their son, Peter, also a former Lehigh University trustee, have continued to generously support the arts at Lehigh.

View the Gallery

Watch the Video

The Fowler Family

Zoellner Arts Center Honors The Fowler Family

W. Beall Fowler ’85P ’89P ’16GP and his late wife, Marlene “Linny” Fowler ’85P ’89P ’16GP, provided the versatile Black Box Theatre in Zoellner Arts Center and supported the center’s community and outreach programs. Fowler, a Lehigh faculty member, former dean, and longtime benefactor of Bethlehem’s South Side neighborhood, continues to champion the power of the arts in community engagement, with a special focus on education, children, and at-risk youth.

View the Gallery

Watch the Video