Rivalry events in NYC promote spirit, pride

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As students prepare for the 150th Lehigh-Lafayette football game with spirit week on campus, alumni, parents and fans can enjoy the many events planned in New York City in honor of the Rivalry.

“The Alumni Relations events (…) showcase what’s going on at Lehigh today and offer opportunities to network and regroup with old friends and classmates,” said Janet Norwood, senior director of advancement communications.

Tickets for the majority of these receptions, discussions and tours went on sale in September, but tickets for some exceptionally big events, such as the concert in Carnegie Hall, were being sold as early as last May.

“About half of the events being offered are sold out, and we’re very pleased with the turnout,” Norwood said.

While some of the programs are exclusive and require invitation, others are open to anyone who buys a ticket.

The weekend kicks off on the evening of Nov. 20 with “Rally for the Rivalry,” a welcome reception and pep rally hosted in partnership with Lafayette. The event, held in Times Square, “the crossroads of the world,” will bring together Lehigh and Lafayette fans in a spirit-filled night of food, giveaways and more.

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“This event provides an opportunity to connect with longtime friends,” said Joe Sterrett, ’76, the Murray H. Goodman dean of athletics.

On Nov. 21, programs will be held throughout the day, according to the Lehigh Sports website. Intellectual events will take place in the morning, including panel discussions on finance, health care and education. Various Lehigh professors will also lead walking tours around parts of the city, giving participants a learned perspective on the architecture of the High Line or the history of Greenwich Village, as well as the chance to learn as a student would from a current Lehigh professor.

Some students will help give tours, as well. Since Lehigh is one of the first universities in the world to be accredited as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations, students who work at the nearby UN headquarters will speak about their experiences to offer an inside look at the unique connection Lehigh has with the UN.

In the afternoon, students and faculty from the Department of Theatre are hosting “Page to Stage,” a theatre workshop showcasing their upcoming student performances of “Kind Ness” and “Minnesota.”  That evening, Steven Sametz will direct the Lehigh University Choral Arts in a performance at Carnegie Hall that will feature his own compositions.

“Brown and White Night,” an upscale alumni soiree, will close out the evening, featuring a special appearance by Earth, Wind and Fire, enabled by the donations of generous alumni.

Norwood said she encourages students who will be in New York City on Friday to check out the skyline.

“Friday night, One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square will be lit up in brown and white lights, and on Saturday, the Empire State Building will be lit in both Lehigh and Lafayette colors to celebrate the rivalry,” Norwood said.

On the day of the football game, pregame receptions are being held in Legends Sports Bar and in Yankee Stadium, as there will be no areas where traditional tailgating can take place outside the stadium.

Yankee Stadium will open two hours before kick-off so fans can enjoy the variety of food and drink options available.

For fans without tickets, several restaurants around NYC are telecasting the game.

“It should be a great weekend of spirit and pride in Lehigh, for our alumni, faculty, staff and students, and the same is true for Lafayette,” Sterrett said.

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