The Baum Family during a Lehigh visit

Parents' Council Co-Chairs Karen and Garrett Baum 22P 25P share their reflections on their Lehigh experience. Visit the Parents' Council page or contact Victoria Aitchison ’92 ’20P ’26P, Director of Family Giving, for more information about becoming engaged as a Lehigh parent. 

What is your favorite place to eat in Bethlehem?
Each time we stay in Bethlehem, we make a point of trying new restaurants, but we always make sure to line up our dinner reservation at Apollo Grill. We have a few menu favorites such as the Black & Blue Tenderloin, Ahi Tuna Tartare, and the Shrimp Limonciello, which are simply delicious! Apollo has such a fun and friendly atmosphere, and we often bump into other Lehigh families there as well.

What is your favorite season on South Mountain and why?
Early fall is a favorite season. With the excitement in the air as the students sink into the new year and the leaves begin to change color, you start to feel the temperature cool down. As you walk onto campus and look up toward the Clayton University Center where the Adirondack chairs are scattered underneath the expansive trees on the great lawn, it is breathtaking. I always get goosebumps from the feeling that Lehigh’s campus is unlike any other.

What is your favorite Lehigh parent experience?
Our son’s graduation weekend. The weather was warm and perfect, the trees and flowers were blooming, and there was so much excitement in the air. We had just found out that our younger son was accepted as a transfer student to Lehigh a few days prior, so we were all together as a family to celebrate on both accounts! There were many dinners and parties planned as we gathered with our son’s friends and their families. The graduation itself was spectacular with cooperative, sunny weather. It was not only one of our most favorite experiences at Lehigh but one of our best weekends with the boys!

What did you value about Jordon’s experience at Lehigh?
We valued the strong friendships he made during his time at Lehigh. With a variety of clubs and activities to choose from, his involvement on campus kept him busy and he enjoyed meeting many people. Jordon became very close with his fraternity pledge class and asked if he could bring them all, plus a few more, to our house over his senior year holiday break! The list is long with what we valued. The buildings and campus are gorgeous and the academics are top-notch, but the people he met at Lehigh made the biggest impact on Jordon.

What do you like about being a part of the Parents’ Council?
We like being able to share our love for the Lehigh and greater Bethlehem communities. While many students come from the northeast, our son Jordon left his home state of Colorado for Lehigh, and we could not be happier with his decision. Our youngest son Alex just transferred to Lehigh, and our family will now have three more years to live Lehigh. We could not be happier.

Serving on the Parents’ Council gives us an opportunity to share with students and families our boy’s experiences, our experiences, and all of the things that we believe make Lehigh an amazing learning institution but also a great place for students to grow into adulthood.

What is your advice to first-time Lehigh Parents?
It’s always a challenge to not smother your kids and spend too much time around them as college is so important to their independence and growth. We found a very nice balance between giving our son space yet being a part of his college experience. We’ve gotten to know so many of his friends, friends’ families, and Lehigh administration through our many visits to campus. It’s been a wonderful experience for us, and we would encourage other parents to be involved and not be shy about attending Lehigh events. Memories that will live a lifetime.