Alumni Weekend & Sesquicentennial Close
The Next 150 Years
Closing Lehigh’s sesquicentennial year with an Alumni Weekend that looked to the future and raised the bar on alumni events.
Lehigh University closed out its 150th year by honoring beloved traditions in a fresh way during its annual Alumni Weekend festivities. Existing events were “sesquitized” and elevated, including the Alumni Awards Breakfast and the Parade of Classes. The weekend and anniversary culminated in a signature evening that celebrated Lehigh’s contributions to the world and a fireworks spectacular that truly lit up Mountaintop.
As the capstone for a year that began with a presidential installation and included a ten-city tour to engage all members of the Lehigh community, Alumni Weekend was an opportunity to leverage beloved traditions to re-engage and deepen alumni commitment to the university’s vision of the future. The milestone of the sesquicentennial was an opportunity to strategically retool Alumni Weekend to broaden its appeal and set a new standard for the intentionality and polish of alumni events across the university. Programming sought to highlight Lehigh’s contributions to the world through individual stories and accomplishments in order to paint a visual picture of where Lehigh is headed and how alumni can participate in its future.
A record number of alumni and their families gathered in Bethlehem for the weekend. The Alumni Awards Breakfast, now a seated breakfast open to all Alumni Weekend guests, drew a capacity crowd. Reunion classes developed parade performances around the theme Farewell 150, Hello Future! Their creativity and the authenticity of their efforts were infused with tradition through a special appearance by Asa Packer himself and fun facts from student life through the years.
The evening celebration provided the right mix of nostalgia, comradery, and excitement about Lehigh’s future as alumni engaged with one another and experienced close up the innovations of students and alumni, danced to alumni bands, and shared memories from the past year through live social media and photo feeds.