My favorite part about attending an event where Joe Sterrett ‘76 ’78G ’03P ’05P
’07P ’09P will be present is seeing the reactions people have when they see his name tag on the table. I’ve had a lot of name tags pass through my hands at events, but Joe’s certainly stands out for its many annotations.
As a proud graduate and parent of multiple graduates, Joe is not only a terrific guy and great representative of Lehigh, but he’s the perfect person to address a crowd of incoming students at a sendoff.
Each year we hold close to 30 sendoffs all over the country to gather incoming students and families together with current students, families, and alumni to share in their Lehigh pride, trade stories, and ease some jitters before that first trip to South Mountain. Our Home Club Sendoff is held each year on July 15 on the Asa Packer campus and is typically one of our larger events. Even though these students and families are coming from nearby, the uneasiness and questions as they enter that first year of college are just the same as those we hear in San Diego, Denver, or Miami.
Joe and one of our Home Club volunteers, Charlie Lieb ‘70, have a great routine for introducing the group to Lehigh and sharing their advice. They good naturedly give the incoming class a hard time, correct the pronunciations of residence hall assignments (it’s DRA-vo, not drah-VO), and answer questions big and small from parents and families.
We value their time so, so much, along with the other speakers and hosts involved in our sendoffs. So many of them are opening their homes and their lives to these students they have never met, all on behalf of Lehigh. We quite literally could not do it without their support, in both time and treasure.
I also had the opportunity to visit with a smaller group of our incoming students in Pittsburgh a few days later. Laura Penrod Kronk ‘82 has, for many years, been one of the first alumni these students meet, and I couldn’t think of a better introduction. A tremendously gracious host, she and the other alumni present made this little pocket of the freshman class’s experience a little easier just the same.
This is only the start of sendoff season, so I encourage you to get out there and meet students and families from your hometown. It’s a great way to talk about what makes Lehigh so great, and help the Class of 2019 take their first step along the path to forming their lifelong Lehigh network.
Read more about Sendoffs at mylehigh.lehigh.edu/sendoff and register for one near you.
– Megan Stevens
Director, Regional Programs