Sesquicentennial festivities: The celebration awaits

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Courtesy of the Lehigh University website

Courtesy of the Lehigh University website

Lehigh has entered its sesquicentennial year, and with the monumental anniversary comes campus-wide celebration. Throughout the year, the university will showcase its appreciation for the creative talent and innovation that exists on South Mountain.

According to the Lehigh University website, the sesquicentennial year will be “shining a light on the people, places, breakthroughs and traditions of the past 150 years that made Lehigh the institution that it is today—and is poised to become tomorrow.” The website details the history, events and spirit that surround Lehigh’s 150 years of redefining leadership and intellectual advancement.

The [email protected] Weekend will be a four-day party.

A block party will take place Thursday, Oct. 1 to kick off the celebration. A farmer’s market will take place between Zoellner Arts Center and Rauch Business Center from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.. For one day, the farmer’s market, typically found in Farrington Square, is relocating for Lehigh’s sesquicentennial year celebration. Fresh produce, lunch fare, baked goods and natural soaps will all be available for sale to Founder’s Day participants.

On Oct. 2, Founder’s Day will honor the university’s founder Asa Packer.

Although Founder’s Day takes place to honor Lehigh’s founder, it has also always been a day to recognize the leadership of faculty, students, alumni and friends that has made the institution strong and brought it value. One of Lehigh’s oldest traditions will take place with the installation of the university’s 14th president, John D. Simon, and the recognition of current leaders.

Janet Norwood, the senior director of advancement communications, said that the purpose of the Founder’s Day activities is “to showcase a lot of the student efforts on campus and to incorporate community aspects. It’s arts, it’s engineering, it’s community stuff, and it’s open to everyone who wants to come.”

Lehigh students will be showcasing their talents at Vocalpalooza. At 9 p.m. on Oct. 1, a combination of a cappella and dance groups will feature their talents in the outdoor concert pavilion. Friday, Oct. 2, will feature a parade down Packer Avenue led by Lehigh’s Marching 97. That evening will showcase the Department of Theatre’s opening night of “God of Carnage” in Zoellner Arts Center’s Diamond Theater.

The sesquicentennial year celebration is expected to be a monumental festivity.

“Because there wasn’t enough capacity in the church for everyone — it was just an overwhelming response to Founder’s Day this year — there’s also a viewing party at Grace Hall,” Norwood said. “What’s happening in the church is going to be broadcast over in Grace, so that people can participate.”

There are 500 students registered to attend the viewing party in Grace Hall, and faculty and staff are working to make the event as inclusive as possible by connecting the separate locations and providing food, giveaways and entertainment.

The community should expect a series of artistic events Saturday, Oct. 3. Music in the outdoor concert pavillion, creative writing and poetry slams in Fowler Black Box Theatre and an Art Fair in Zoellner Arts Center are just a few of the events to be expected. There will also be a comedy show exclusively for Lehigh students featuring comedian Andrew Santino, who will be performing his “Funny Human” show.

The four-day party will come to a close Sunday, Oct. 4. Lehigh’s Indian Students Association will present a cultural performance in the outdoor concert pavilion and the party will end with a European circus act in Baker Hall.

These events are listed in detail on brochures currently being distributed throughout campus. Further updates for celebratory events for the sesquicentennial can also be found on the Zoellner Arts Center website.

The sesquicentennial year celebration activities will celebrate the past, present and future of Lehigh. Oct. 1 through Oct. 4 mark the kick-off weekend, but the festivities will be ongoing throughout the year. Various events and conferences that have connections to the sesquicentennial will be added to the calendar throughout the year.

May 2016 will mark the close of a year’s worth of celebration. There will be a culminating event which will launch the Lehigh campaign looking ahead for years to come.

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