On May 20, 2017, BALANCE alumni, Lehigh leadership, and friends gathered in the STEPS atrium for a well-attended event during Reunion Weekend. We were joined by President Simon, Provost Farrell, Board of Trustee members, and faculty and staff of the Africana studies department to celebrate Lehigh and our alumni. The room was full of great conversation, smiles and hugs, as we exchanged names and business cards for future connections.
Some new Lehigh University hires were also in attendance that are worth introducing: Donald Outing, Vice President for Equity and Community, and Miguel Rivera, Associate Director of Alumni Diversity Programs. Dean Ricardo Hall was unable to attend but will be replacing Dean Smeaton in student affairs, and Dr. Dahlia Hylton will be the new Director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), both starting this summer. It was also announced that Professor Kashi Johnson and Dr. James Peterson were promoted to full professors this spring!
To top off all these great additions to the university, the real highlight of the event was the establishment and announcement of the Legacy Leadership Prize — created by Safiya Jafari Simmons ’03, Board of Trustee member and the first Lehigh female African-American legacy, to honor her mother, Linda Jafari ’77 at her 40th Reunion celebration. The entire Jafari/Simmons family were there to witness the dedication of the prize. This prize will be awarded to a rising junior or senior who displays extraordinary leadership.
For those looking to attend Reunion 2018, please mark your calendars for June 8-10, 2018! Information about the BALANCE reception will be sent out a few months prior. We hope to see you there!