The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most significant events in recent history. This public health emergency has affected every aspect of society, including colleges and universities. Given the historic significance of COVID-19, future generations will be interested in studying how different communities experienced and reacted to this crisis. When looking back on the most similar event, the 1918 Influenza, there are surprisingly few records describing how Lehigh University responded. More importantly, there is little information about the experiences of the people who lived through the 1918 Influenza.
As the department tasked with collecting and preserving Lehigh history, Special Collections is trying to compile a comprehensive record of the pandemic. While we are collecting official University communications and webpages, we need your help to form a more accurate and representative archive. One of the foremost issues faced by modern cultural heritage institutions is archival silence, gaps in the historical record created by ignoring or overlooking the records and voices of marginalized people. In an effort to address this problem, the Lehigh Libraries are asking for your COVID-19 experiences, so that the voices of community members can be preserved alongside the University’s official records. This call for submissions is open to anyone in the greater Lehigh community including: undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, faculty, staff, Bethlehem residents, and family members of these groups.
To submit your COVID-19 experiences, simply visit the Collecting COVID-19 page on the Libraries website and fill out the linked Google Form. This form will ask you some basic informational questions and give you the opportunity to upload files. You can upload any type of material, including written journal entries, recorded audio or video, or images. If you have related physical material that you would like to donate to Special Collections, let us know on the form and we will get in touch with more information. This form will also give you the opportunity to recommend web pages for inclusion in Lehigh’s web archive. We ask that you own the material you are uploading, otherwise we will be unable to provide access to it in the future. For more information about the rights and ethics involved in this collecting initiative, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
The Lehigh-Lafayette Rivalry Week is upon us again. We were flipping through past issues of the Brown and White, and decided to spotlight a year where Lehigh was victorious over the Leopards (surprise, surprise.) In the 1978 rivalry game, the 113th to be played, Lehigh triumphed, 35-17.
Lehigh trailed Lafayette until the third quarter of the game, but then had a 21-point burst. Who is especially interesting is the game-changer we found. His name is Steve Kreider. He’s cited as a major player in the game. Upon further research, we discovered that Steve Kreider may just be one of the most well-rounded people alive.
Kreider had a stellar college football career. He was named an All-American Wide Receiver by the Associated Press in 1977. That year, he helped the Lehigh Engineers snatch the Division II national championship. He had 72 catches, 1,567 yards, and 19 touchdowns (we don’t know much about football, but we assume this is all very good). His academics weren’t shabby either- he was a Rhodes Scholar candidate.
Kreider would go onto further success in the National Football League. After his senior year of college, he was drafted to the Cincinnati Bengals. He served as a wide-receiver for the team for seven years. He even played in the Super Bowl game against the 49er’s.
He dedicated himself to his studies in his spare time away from football. Though he was an exceptional electrical engineering student at Lehigh, he went on to graduate school for business (a bold jump from engineering). He studied at the University of Cincinnati and received his MBA and doctorate in finance from there.
Now, what is Steve Kreider up to? He’s was Chief Investment Officer of Legg Mason Inc.’s Western Asset Management and was hired in 2014 to be Chief Investment Officer of Western & Southern Financial Group Inc.
So, essentially, Steve Kreider may be one of the most impressive people you’ll ever hear about.
Now known as the Veterans Day, “Armistice Day” was declared as a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson to celebrate the end of the Great War on November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). Members of Lehigh University participated the World War I in many fronts, many lives were lost. To show the appreciation to their services and to honor their memory, Lehigh University dedicated the Alumni Memorial Building to “commemorate the services and sacrifices of Lehigh Alumni and undergraduates” in the World War I.
In 1948, Lehigh began a new tradition: the Lehigh Music Festival. The festival was well-met, with the first event attracting about 400 attendees. The next year, however, was the biggest festival year with 1100 attendees and plenty of publicity as seen with the billboard pictured above. The 1949 Music Festival was not a sign of years to come, though. The Festival would be cancelled several different times in the years leading up to 1959, but students wouldn’t let the festival go without a fight. There were several Brown and White articles in 1958 advocating for a festival in 1959 after the ’58 festival was cancelled. Meetings were held to judge student interest and the 1959 festival was ultimately planned and executed, but it would be the last of its kind.
Brown and White article: First festival, 1948
Light crew, 1959
Grace Hall 1959
Quentin White with his architectural model for the 1959 festival
At the twentieth reunion of the class of 1902, an unusual gift was given to Lehigh’s President Richards.
Before the reunion banquet, the class presented him with a large war club with a brass plate inscribed with who it was from and how to use it. The part on how to use it is missing from the artifact today.
It is thought that this artifact is a copy or mock of a ceremonial mace, which would be used in important ceremonies to represent a persons, particularly the president’s in this case, authority.
The class seemed to have an infamous reputation at Lehigh for stuff like this. In the alumni bulletins leading up to the presentation of this mace, there were many comments on the class. Class of 1902 member, “Bob” Bird said that the reunion would be a quiet one and, in response, the author of the Bulletin responded saying “If so, it will be the first time this class has ever been quiet. I think they are trying to spring a surprise on the other reunion classes.” The Reunion Committee was described as “live-wires” and the class itself was said to be “one of those dangerous small classes.”
The war club was brought to Special Collections after being discovered in Packard Laboratory storage. It is cataloged and shelved with the other curious and divergent items in the Lehigh Memorabilia Collection.
Here are the links to the Alumni Bulletin online articles about the Class of 1902:
Lehigh is known for her incredibly curious, creative students, and so it is no surprise that for most of our alumni, graduation does not mark the end of their education. Rather, our alumni find themselves just starting on a path of lifelong learning. In addition to The Goose, brazen squirrels, and the rich, chocolately goodness of Lehigh brownies, recent graduates can find themselves also longing for the good old days when they had access to a wealth of books, journals, and library databases. Well, long no more, dear alumni.
While we can’t beam you back to your favorite study nook in Linderman or Fairchild Martindale, we can offer you access to a selection of electronic journals via our alumni subscription to ProQuest’s ABI Inform and Research Library databases. The Library has prepared a guide to show you how to get access to these subscription databases. ProQuest covers a wide variety of topics with scholarly journals in subject areas ranging from business to history to mathematics. Librarian support is also important when doing research, so in the library guide, you will find my contact information. If you have any questions about how to get access to the alumni library resources or even if you just have a tricky research question, please let me know.
While the Library is thrilled to be able to provide ProQuest to our alumni, I would be remiss if I did not mention another great resource available to alumni…your local public library. Here in Pennsylvania, public library card holders have AccessPA’s POWER Library available to them. POWER Library is a state-wide collection of electronic resources available to anyone with a PA library card. To use POWER Library, patrons click on the POWER Library icon from their local public library’s web site, and enter the barcode number from the back of their library cards into the box provided. Additional database coverage will vary by individual library so make sure to visit your local public library’s web site to see what online resources they offer and for your library’s link to POWER Library. When you visit your public library’s web site, you may be surprised to find out that they also offer downloadable e-books. Again, availability of downloadable e-books will vary by individual library.
So remember, just because you’ve left South Mountain, you still have Lehigh’s Libraries to support you in your lifelong quest for knowledge. And knowledge won’t bring back the freshman 15 like those brownies will!