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Jennifer Cunningham, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Engagement

Hello Lehigh!

My first day as your assistant vice president for alumni engagement was January 25, which the East Coasters will remember as Snowstorm Jonah. The university closed (!), so I spent my first day of work on the couch in my (temporary) apartment, which is in the “Lower Cenns” complex.

Since then I’ve had face-to-face meetings with about 75 alumni in Central Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Bethlehem, and Boston, and I’ve talked with several dozens more at virtual and in-person events and meetings. I also fielded a quick survey to speed my understanding of the essence of Lehigh and heard from 1,500 alumni!

Here’s a bit of what I’ve learned or observed so far:
•    An entrepreneurial spirit is in the DNA: no matter what your profession, you all seem to have a “sure, let’s try it!” and “just get it done” attitude. Love this!
•    You feel you got a high quality education that prepared you well, both professionally and personally.
•    You want more virtual and more quick-hit volunteer opportunities.
•    Tremendous alumni/student connections happen here.
•    The Lehigh network is 80,000-alumni strong, and for those who tap into it, it surpasses your expectations.
•    For those who weren’t in a sorority/fraternity, on a team, or in the Engineering or Business schools, it may have been tough to find your place here.
•    We are producing fabulous social and athletic alumni events but could do more intellectual and professional networking events.
•    The online engagement experience needs to be expanded and improved.

In future columns, I’ll share some of my team’s action items and plans (hint: we too have a “sure, let’s try it!” and “just get it done” attitude!).

Until then, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me @jenlynham. My email is Jennifer.Cunningham@Lehigh.edu if you’d like to comment on any of the points above or just tell me what’s on your mind.


Jennifer Cunningham
Assistant Vice President, Alumni Engagement