Gary Sasso, former dean of Lehigh's College of Education, passed away on March 27. Sasso came to Lehigh in 2008 and retired in 2018. (Courtesy of Lehigh News)

Gary Sasso, former dean of College of Education, passes away


Gary M. Sasso, former dean of Lehigh’s College of Education, passed away on March 27, Provost Nathan Urban announced in an email to the Lehigh community. 

“Gary was a champion for children, a dynamic leader and a dedicated colleague,” Urban said.

Lehigh News reported that Sasso earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas in 1977 and 1984, respectively. He started his career as a professor at the University of Northern Colorado in 1984. 

Sasso came to Lehigh in 2008 as the dean of the College of Education and retired in 2018. During his tenure, Sasso created Lehigh University’s Autism Services, which opened in 2018. 

In 2006, Sasso received the Award for Outstanding Leadership in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders from the Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavioral Disorders.

Sasso is remembered by his wife, Christine G. Novak, and their son, Spencer. 

Individuals may donate to Lehigh’s Autism Services in Sasso’s memory. These donations can be sent to Lehigh University, Development, and Alumni Relations, 306 S. New St. Suite 500, Bethlehem, PA 18055 or made at

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