The Alumni Memorial Building is home to the Office of Advancement, the President's office, Admissions and the registrar's office. (Jacqueline Tenreiro/B&W Photo)

Alumni Memorial houses administrative community

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Although one of the most striking buildings on campus, with its Gothic architecture and vines crawling up all sides of the tower, the Alumni Memorial Building does not garner much student attention.

Originally built as a commemoration to alumni and students who fought in World War I, Alumni Memorial is now home to many of Lehigh’s administrative offices, such as the Admissions Office, President’s and Provost’s offices, Alumni Association, Finance & Administration Office and more. According to Janice Stoudt, executive secretary in finance & administration, it is a building many students first enter when they arrive for campus tours or admitted student events, but rarely ever step into again during their four or more years at Lehigh.

However, many members of the faculty who work in the building agree that it is one of the buildings on campus that is richest in history.

“If you go into our admissions theater, there is a huge plaque with names of all the students who fought in World War I, and the students who were killed are in the center,” said Sarah Bombard, associate director of admissions. “There are also some more memorials for other wars that are in that room, as well.”

Although there are multiple offices located in Alumni Memorial, admissions is the office students are most familiar with, as students utilize its resources during the application process. Students may have been contacted by counselors in the office both during the application process and for invitations to visit campus after receiving an acceptance.

“In admissions, my daily schedule varies, and it depends on what time of the year it is,” Bombard said.

Bombard has been working in admissions since graduating from Lehigh in 2006.

“Right now, we are reading early decision applications for students who want to be in the class of 2019, and then in April, we invite all the admitted students to come to campus to see what we’re all about,” she said. The work doesn’t end after the final admission decisions are sent out, though.

“Afterwards, we start to travel around the country in the spring to speak with juniors, and the cycle begins again,” Bombard said.

Although admissions plays a large role in the significance of the Alumni Memorial building on campus, the presence of the Provost’s and President’s offices in the building is also important for students, as these offices help to ensure excellence in academic affairs. Patricia Mann, director of administration, described the interaction she has with faculty leadership in many of Lehigh’s administrations.

“I am able to attend a lot of meetings with the deans and provosts, and it has always been such a learning experience for me,” Mann said. “I feel honored to be able to sit in on these meetings.”

Janele Krzywicki, coordinator of faculty affairs, also attests to the unity across all offices.

“We all love our jobs,” she said. “We say it everyday. I especially like the collaboration across the whole campus, though. We all work so well together and we’re all very involved in the events.”

Janice Stoudt, who has been with the Finance & Administration Office for more than 30 years, has more to comment on the building itself. Because all of her career positions have been in Alumni Memorial, she has noticed prominent changes from when she first started working in the building.

“The most significant change on campus that I have noticed is that there are a lot more people around the Alumni Memorial Building now who ensure things run smoothly,” Stoudt said. “We now operate in a more ‘corporate’, or ‘business-like’ way.”

However, the office’s order of operations is not the only aspect of the building that has been modified.

“One of the most physical things that I have noticed is the campus transformation,” Stroudt said. “Our building only had a tiny parking lot when I first started my job here, and now we have a gorgeous arrival court and the huge parking garage.”

The offices and staff in the Alumni Memorial Building have helped Lehigh become the distinguished university it is today, and the building itself has become a part of that history as well.

“Even after 30 years, when I walk into this building and those doors are open and I can see through to the campus, it is just beautiful,” Stroudt said.

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