You are here

Debating Society's Greatest Challenges at Lehigh Summit 2012

Lehigh alumni all seem to share one characteristic: They want to figure out what’s wrong and fix it.

That much was clear last weekend at Lehigh Summit 2012, which brought together alumni and friends with faculty and university leadership for a weekend of debate and discussion around some of our society’s greatest challenges.

Get a feel for the Lehigh Summit experience through our blog at

Lee Kern, director of Lehigh’s Special Education Program, and Michael George, director of the Centennial School, were peppered with questions on how to bring their successful efforts to neutralize students’ disruptive behavior to other schools across the nation. Aerospace innovator Alton Romig ’75 and industry investor Thomas Campbell ’80 inspired dialogue on how to use technology to cut the nation’s defense budget. And the presentation by Pulitzer prize-winning film critic Joe Morgenstern ’53 sparked conversation about what could be done to preserve the quality of filmmaking when Hollywood has become overwhelmingly commercial.

Also featured were Henri Barkey, Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor of International Relations, on the provocative subject of Syria and the political landscape of the Middle East, as well as a lively panel of entrepreneurs that included Bill Kirsch ’76, Brian Witlin ’01, and Richard Van Hoesen ’77.

More than 90 attended the Sonoma, California, event, which was designed for President’s and Founder’s Associates of the Asa Packer Society.

Susan Gadomski ’77G attended with her husband, Robert. “I heard a lot about the globalization of Lehigh, met some of the faculty and staff, and interacted with graduates from several different decades,” she said. “I got a feel for how they used their education, how their outreach has helped the world and society, and what they still value at Lehigh – the camaraderie and the closeness of the faculty and the students.”

Stephen Goldmann ’66 also attended the first Lehigh Summit, held in Amelia Island, Florida, in April 2011. “I come away from these sessions dazzled with the quality of the Lehigh staff and faculty and administration and the amazing caliber of the alumni and the things they are accomplishing,” he said.

In addition to the intellectual sessions, the destination weekend included an evening at Ram’s Gate Winery, owned by Lehigh parents Jeff and Darice O’Neill ’10P.

The next Lehigh Summit is slated tentatively for spring 2014. Full details on the event can be found at

Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2012
--Janet Norwood