On behalf of the Ken Fuirst 86′ Giving Challenge and the Lehigh Fund, Claude Esposito ’11 sat down with us for a Q&A to discuss his Lehigh memories, reasons for philanthropy, and the importance of getting young alumni to join the 550.
The Goblet: What would you say is your favorite memory at Lehigh?
CE: A great memory in general is the first time I went there for a tour of the campus — how beautiful it was — how helpful all the folks that I met during the visit were. It felt like a really welcoming place to be, and I felt myself fitting in well there.
The Goblet: Did you have a favorite campus event?
CE: Favorite campus event…I’d have to say Lehigh-Laf every year — the football game.
The Goblet: Did you have a favorite order at The Goose?
CE: Oh yeah. The Shots — toasted and melted [laughs]
The Goblet: So, what was your first gift to Lehigh, and what was it towards?
CE: The end of the year, after I graduated. I believe it was to the general pool
The Goblet: Why did you decide to give at that point?
CE: Well, I always felt like Lehigh gave me a lot of opportunities — both professionally and personally. I give because I feel like giving will help more people in the future have those same opportunities. I hope it gives other young folks who go to school there the chance to learn and grown — both personally and professionally.
The Goblet: Has your outlook on giving changed since you gave that first gift? Is there a different motivation to give?
CE: I don’t think so. I think it’s pretty much remained the same. It’s just about creating opportunities for others in the future — keeping the institution strong.
The Goblet: What would you tell someone who hasn’t made a gift to Lehigh yet?
CE: I would say that doing so is going to provide benefits to the person making the gift by maintaining the strength of the school, but also benefit others who attend in the future.
The Goblet: What are your thoughts on the Ken Fuirst Giving Challenge, and what Ken is trying to do by engaging young alumni?
CE: I think it’s a much-needed effort. I certainly applaud him for creating this challenge. It’s a great way to get people engaged, who haven’t been since they graduated, because it’s really about participation, not about giving a certain amount. So, I think it’s a great way to get people involved, who have been out of the loop for a while.