On October 17th Lehigh will be celebrating its 136th Founder’s Day with a ceremony at 4:00 pm in Packer Memorial Chapel.
Founder’s Day is a long celebrated tradition. Its first celebration came the same year as the death of the University’s founder, Asa Packer. On June 18th, 1879 alumni Rossiter W. Raymond addressed the Alumni Association of Lehigh University.
The keynote speech celebrated Packer’s legacy. Rossiter pronounced, “Whereas, By the death of the Hon. Asa Packer the Lehigh Valley has lost a citizen, to whom it owes, more than to any other man, its present development and wealth, and the Lehigh University has lost a friend who held it ever close to his heart…” and continued, “…It is also fitting that we should give expression to the admiration which we feel for his character as a man, for the life which he lived, and for the good which he did ; and that we desire to render him just praise…”
Packer was a skilled businessman who made his fortune in the railroad industry and then founded Lehigh University with a portion of his wealth. Rossiter’s speech moves on to the obstacle of defining success in our lives. You can read this inspiring address given on our first Founder’s Day in its entirety: