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Family Weekend on Beautiful South Mountain

During Family Weekend, cheering fans supported the Mountain Hawks football team as they defeated the Holy Cross Crusaders 34-21 in Goodman Stadium. Click here to see more Family Weekend photos.


Cars unloaded with beaming relatives as families and friends pulled onto campus for a weekend glimpse into the life of a Mountain Hawk. Parents and guests traveled from the East Coast, from all over the country, and from around the world for Lehigh’s 2017 Family Weekend to visit their South Mountain student from November 10-12. Nearly 1,400 people registered to attend the weekend packed with festivities such as sports competitions, programs, performances, tours, open houses, and more.

“Family Weekend is an opportunity for parents to visit their student and experience a little bit of what makes South Mountain a place that alumni credit for receiving the foundation for their success, not only in their careers, but also throughout their lives,” said Ricardo Hall, vice provost for student affairs.

Families traveled from as far as Alaska, California, China, and Slovenia to spend a beautiful fall weekend in the Lehigh Valley celebrating in true Brown and White fashion. They also had the opportunity to sit in on classes, learn about Historic Bethlehem, hear from Lehigh leadership, and attend performances at Zollener Arts Center including a concert by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. from the Broadway play Hamilton.

The most heavily attended festivity of the weekend was Lehigh’s Family Fest Tailgate for which more than 800 people registered — making it the highest attended Family Weekend tailgate in history. The outdoor get-together included food, music, and comradery and allowed friends and family in the Brown and White community to reunite with one another, share old memories, and create new ones.

After the tailgate, fans cheered on the Mountain Hawk football team that played Holy Cross University in a Patriot League game. Lehigh defeated the Crusaders 34-21 in a hard-fought battle. Starting quarterback Brad Mayes ’19 was excited to play for a packed Goodman Stadium in front of alumni, family, students, and friends.

“It’s so much fun to play in front of this many people and families this weekend. The crowd means so much to me and the rest of my teammates because we couldn’t have had such a successful season without the fans,” said Mayes, a Florida native who added that playing for cheering Lehigh fans in their brown and white gear inspires and motivates the team. “It makes us raise our level of play since we know there are so many eyes on us. I couldn’t be happier to play for Lehigh with the amazing fans and rich traditions we continue each year.”

Being the tenth member of her extended family to attend Lehigh, finance major Shannon Beattie ’19 is a Lehigh legacy. Her family tree includes grandfather, William Beattie ’59 ’88P ’93P ’94PG; dad, Michael Beattie ’88 ’19P; and mom, Laurel (Casten) Beattie ’88 ’19P. As an undergraduate, Shannon’s dad was a kicker for the football team and still holds the record for number of field goals in a game, season, and career. He also held the record for number of points scored in a season and career. Ever since she can remember, Shannon grew up cheering for Lehigh’s football team.

“It is the coolest thing to be here now as a student and see how much has changed over the years,” she said, adding that having her parents on South Mountain to celebrate Family Weekend was extremely special.

“I have grown up in Lehigh cheerleader costumes and never missed a Lehigh-Lafayette game, so it is great to be here this weekend with my parents and share in their college experiences too,” she said.

Kendall Coughlin ’19

Photos by John Kish IV and Ryan Hulvat