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Lehigh Athletics A Big Winner In "Shine Forever"

At Grace Hall - a venue better known for wrestling matches (and - back in the day - varsity basketball) - Lehigh recently held a gala event to celebrate the end of Lehigh's "Shine Forever" campaign.  By anyone's yardstick this donation campaign has been an incredible success, raising $508 million - $8 million over the target.

If you're an alum, you may look at this information, smile, and go about your day and not think about it anymore.  But if you're a fan of Lehigh Athletics, there's also plenty to celebrate when you look further at the numbers.  That's because the success of "Shine Forever" will also benefit the athletes currently at the university, too.  (more)

Lehigh's release goes into more details:

Two critical areas received significant support during the campaign: endowed scholarships and endowed faculty chairs and coaching positions. The university’s endowed scholarships nearly doubled from 554 to 1,091—adding more than $132 million in endowment funds, critical support for students in today’s economic climate. The percentage of annual financial aid budget funded through endowment jumped from 23 percent to 32.5.

A record-setting campaign gift of $34.2 million from the estate of the late Donald B. Stabler ’30 in 2008 will leave a lasting legacy on the university with more than 275 students earning Stabler Scholarships this year alone.

The number of endowed chairs and coaching positions more than doubled from 20 to 47, adding more than $131 million in support.
In an economic climate where schools are trying to find ways to cut costs - and athletic programs - Lehigh is in a position to expand their scholarship aid to all students and to endow multiple coaching positions at the university.  That's fantastic for Lehigh, but also for athletics.

More numbers:

More than $120 million in support of the Lehigh Fund. Supported by gifts made by alumni and friends, the Lehigh Fund powers the university on a day-to-day basis as a vital part of the operating budget, and provides critical support for athletics, student programs and financial aid resources. During the campaign, Lehigh directed 100 percent of unrestricted Lehigh Fund gifts to financial aid and scholarship programs. Gifts to the Athletics Partnership represent 56 percent of the income generated by athletics.

Almost $48 million in support of facilities. The Lehigh campus was revitalized from the stunning renovation of Linderman Library, to a beautifully refurbished Grace Hall and Coppee Hall, to the Cundey Varsity House for athletics, and the Science, Technology, Environment, Policy & Society (STEPS) building to open this fall—a place where engineers and natural and social scientists address the planet’s challenges. Funding also supported the restoration of Lehigh founder Asa Packer’s original vision of a pedestrian campus, with the opening of the Vresics Library Drive Walkway and the Alumni Memorial Walkway.
That folks give money to support new infrastructure at colleges and universities is not new; but that this donation effort was able to sponsor so many different scholarships, coaching positions and new infrastructure without taking on a lot of new debt.

And why is it important?

A critical aspect of facilitating positive final decisions for top prospects is the availability of competitive financial aid support.  Each endowed scholarship associated with a scholar athlete provides a connection for the donor with the academic mission and the athletics experience.

If Lehigh does indeed join Fordham in offering scholarship aid for footbll players - we may very well have the "Shine Forever" program to thank.


Anonymous said…
So when does the new scoreboard go up in Goodman?
Anonymous said…
When Andy gets fired and the fans start coming back.

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