Steeped in longstanding tradition, The Rivalry is an event many Lehigh alumni look forward to with great anticipation. But none more so than members of the 50-Game Club – an exclusive group of alumni who have attended at least 50 Rivalry games in their lifetimes. Only 100 alumni have earned membership rights, but all it takes is the dedication to attend and cheer for the brown and white. Meet two members who share some highlights from the many games they’ve seen.

Joe Workman ’53
71st Lehigh-Lafayette game on November 19

“My first game was as a freshman in 1949,” Workman says. “I’ve only missed three games since then – we treated the games as very important, weekend-long social events. I attended with my fraternity brothers and their families, and then we’d have dinner after the game, complete with Lehigh songs, and a Sunday brunch at the home of a local alumnus.”

Workman says one of the most satisfying games for him was actually held at Lafayette in 1996. “I had seats across the aisle from Lafayette fans, and one of them was the then-mayor of Easton, who was a Lafayette alumnus. He was smiling and cheering loudly during the first half because they were winning big, like 19-0. Then our coach brought in a freshman quarterback, Phil Stambaugh, who immediately turned the game around, and we won. It was a huge pleasure to look over and see how quiet the mayor became for the rest of the game.

The craziest game in Workman’s memory is the 1955 Rivalry held in Taylor Stadium. “The combination of snow, fog, and smoke from Bethlehem Steel’s furnaces made it almost impossible to see the game. It also made it impossible to see the Lafayette wide receiver they tried to hide near the sideline, where he melded in with their players hugging the sideline!”

Workman’s advice to future 50-Game Club members? “Just do it! It’s a great tradition that you want to be a part of!”

Barb Turanchik ’75
57th game this year

Turanchik is not only a member of Lehigh’s first coed graduating class, but she worked for the Lehigh Alumni Association from 1980 until 2002, serving as executive director from 1995 to 2002. She says she was inspired to attend so many Rivalry games by all the loyal alumni and students she met throughout her Lehigh career.

Turanchik’s best game was her senior year, 1974. “I knew everyone on the team and most of the people in the stands – and it was a celebration of an amazing four years of victories over Lafayette by both the men and our women’s Powder Puff team!”

Barb Turanchik ’75 posing in the stands

Her favorite tailgating memory, though, is the last game at Taylor Stadium in 1987. “It was below zero, and all food and drinks at the tailgates were frozen. I tailgated with many members of the Class of 1988, who stayed with me until the end of the game. If their classmates on the team were on the field freezing, they were going to be in the stands supporting them!”

The craziest thing she ever saw at a Rivalry game was the amazing pass and catch in the 1995 game. “In the darkness at the end of the game, in a packed Goodman Stadium, quarterback Bob Aylsworth completed a pass to Brian Klingerman to win the game – and the Patriot League title. Everyone went crazy and stormed the field to celebrate!”

Turnachik’s personal Rivalry superstition for the past 30 years is the wearing of a pewter pin engraved with a Lehigh helmet. “It was given to me by Coach John C. Whitehead – I’m probably one of the only women to ever have received that pin, so I wear it proudly in honor of all the coaches and the students who’ve played the game.”