Graduates watch the commencement ceremony from their seats in Goodman Stadium. This year's commencement speaker will be Judy Marks. (Jessica Mellon/BW Staff)

Milestones over the past four years: The Class of 2022


The Class of 2022 has witnessed a great series of changes throughout their four years: from President Biden’s election, to COVID-19, to the Greek “pause.” Below is a compiled list of some of the major Lehigh, national and international events which occurred throughout the Class of 2022’s time at Lehigh.

March, 2018: The Class of 2022 sets record as Lehigh’s lowest acceptance rate

The class of 2022 saw a 22 percent acceptance rate, a historic low for Lehigh. Of 15,623 applicants, 3,418 were offered admission. Lehigh had previously produced acceptance rates in the low 30s or mid 20s. After the Class of 2022, acceptance rates reached back up to the 30s and 40s. 

Oct. 26, 2018: Halsey performs at Lehigh — The Go Campaign is launched

Lehigh launched its five-year, $1 billion fundraising initiative, Go: The Campaign for Lehigh, during a performance from Halsey on the University Center Front Lawn. The university announced a $20 million gift from Lisa and Kevin Clayton, ‘84 ’13P, during the event.

Nov. 28, 2018: A historic midterm election

Lehigh students cast their votes in the 2018 midterm election. Democrats took back the House of Representatives, ushering in the first time the Democratic Party held the majority in the lower house of Congress in eight years. 

February 2019: President’s Scholar Program discontinued

Lehigh made the announcement to discontinue the President’s Scholar Program, which provided students with a GPA above 3.75 with a free fifth year at Lehigh to further their education. The scholarship program had existed at Lehigh for 20 years. This discontinuation left the Class of 2022 as the last class who could qualify for the scholarship, and a “fifth year free.” 

August/September 2019: New additions to campus

Lehigh welcomed new facilities and renovations to campus. SouthSide Commons opened in August and the cafe at E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library, now called The Grind, was renovated

Jan. 28, 2020: Greek “pause” begins

Lehigh announced a “pause” on Greek life following a series of disciplinary actions taken by the university in order to combat problems within multiple Greek organizations. During this time chapters could not participate in activities affiliated with Greek life, and were not allowed to contact new and aspiring members. The pause lasted until February 25. 

March 12, 2020: Lehigh goes remote

Lehigh announced a move to remote learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Later in the semester, all summer programs and classes were either canceled or moved online and the 2020 commencement ceremony was postponed. 

Oct. 28, 2020: Sustainability Strategic Plan announced

Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Council announced their 2030 Sustainability Strategic Plan. The plan detailed a number of goals the university plans to meet by 2030 in order to reduce its carbon footprint and be a more sustainable campus. 

Nov. 7, 2020: Joe Biden elected president

Four days after Election Day, it was announced that former Vice President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes and was elected as the 46th President of the U.S

Jan. 8, 2021: Former President Donald Trump’s honorary degree is rescinded 

Lehigh’s Board of Trustees voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree awarded to Donald Trump in 1988. Throughout his presidency multiple petitions were signed and circulated urging the university to rescind the degree. This decision by the board came days after rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol, prompted by the presidential election results. 

April 2021: Lehigh requires COVID-19 vaccine

Lehigh announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be required for all undergraduate and graduate students participating in on-campus programs for the fall of 2021. 

Sept. 9, 2021: Lehigh hosts Fetty Wap concert

Hundreds of Lehigh students gathered on the front lawn to listen to artist Fetty Wap perform during Camp Lehigh. Most students in the crowd were unmasked, despite an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus.

Oct. 15, 2021: President Helble inaugurated

President Joseph Helble, ‘82, was inaugurated as Lehigh’s 85th President of the university during Founder’s Day Weekend celebrations. Though former university President John Simon’s term was set to last until 2025, Simon announced his resignation in September 2020, stating that he would leave the position the following June, prompting the presidential search that led the university to Helble. 

Feb. 24, 2022: Russo-Ukrainian War begins

Russia invaded Ukraine after months of increased tensions between the two countries. The impacts have been devastating for those in Ukraine. The war has prompted activism and advocacy within the Lehigh community.. 

March 1, 2022: Lehigh goes mask-optional

Lehigh announced it would move to a mask-optional policy both indoors and outdoors on campus in response to updated guidance issued by the CDC. Since the partial return to campus in the fall of 2020, the mask mandate had only temporarily come down for a few weeks during the summer of 2021.

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