Lehigh Summit 2011


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More than 75 alumni and friends were part of the inaugural group of Summit attendees.

Lehigh Summit 2011 Addresses Grand Challenges with Bold Thinking


How can we save our schools? Can the nation’s financial situation be fixed? What will health look like ten years from now? How will the opportunities and challenges in China shape our future? How can Lehigh’s powerful education and bold thinking make a difference for us all?

More than 75 alumni and guests explored these questions and more as part of the first-ever Lehigh Summit, held April 1-3 in Amelia Island, Florida. The three-day event, featuring presentations by accomplished alumni and faculty, offered attendees a chance to engage in discussions of real-world issues while learning more about today’s Lehigh.

President Alice Gast and Provost Pat Farrell convened the weekend with a look at Lehigh’s role in solving the grand challenges our society faces today. Other participants included Michael Smerconish ’84, nationally syndicated talk host; Bill Maloney ’80, who was integral to the rescue of 33 Chilean miners last year; and George White, professor of education and director of the Center for Developing Urban Education. A keynote presentation on “How to Fix the Financial System” was delivered by DealBook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Associate Provost of Research Alan Snyder’s moderated a panel on health that included Christopher Hite ’89, co-head of Global Healthcare Investment Banking at Citigroup; Lehigh Professor of Practice Sam Niedbala ’84G, ’86G, and Philip Sheibley, Managing Partner, Accenture. Jill Brown ’83, assistant professor of management and Axelrod Family Endowed Fellow, teamed up with Eugene Vivino ’80, leader of Strategic Planning for BD International, and Stephen Goldmann ’66, retired chairman of ExxonMobil Energy Limited for a look at the business scene in China.

Invitations to the event were extended to members of the Lehigh Leadership Council and Asa Packer Society President’s and Founder’s Associates, some of the top volunteers and supporters of the university.

The next Lehigh Summit is being planned. To receive alerts about the event or find out more, e-mail asapackersociety@lehigh.edu.






About the Destination
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island


Find yourself on Amelia Island, Florida ~ where Southern charm meets the sea and live oaks meet white sandy beaches. Located on a grand stretch of the island's 13 miles of coastline, the Ritz-Carlton is a resort that features:
  • 1.5 miles of dune-lined beachfront
  • 18 holes of PGA championship golf
  • Four restaurants
  • Four cocktail lounges
  • The Ritz-Carlton Spa and full-service beauty salon
  • Fitness center
  • Indoor and outdoor heated pools with whirlpool
  • On-site tennis facilities


Known as the "Isle of Eight Flags," Amelia Island has an interesting and tumultuous past, characterized by a diverse cast of Timucuan Indians, pirates, shrimpers, nobles and confederates.

Amelia Island is an easy 30-minute drive from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), making the airport a quick and convenient option for air travelers from all over the world.