Lehigh University welcomes new president, an alum

Written by on April 27, 2021

Lehigh University welcomes new president, an alum

By Ben Stemrich

April 27, 2021

Joseph J. Helble, Lehigh University’s 15th president. Photo | Courtesy of Lehigh University

Lehigh University officials announced a new president on April 26, and he’s one of their own. 

Listen to the story.

Joseph Helble will be the university’s 15th president beginning Aug. 16.

The 1982 graduate was a chemical engineering student when he went to Lehigh. He then earned a doctoral degree in chemical engineering with a minor in Spanish from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After working as a research scientist he moved to academia, most recently as Dartmouth College’s provost.  

“One of the first things I hope to do after I arrive is spending a lot of time walking the campus, going to meetings, meeting with different leaders in the community and listening, and asking about everyone’s individual aspirations,” Helble says. 

He says he can’t wait to get together with faculty and find out what’s working.

“To identify areas of excellence and make focused investments, even placing bets to where the areas where doing more and focusing our resources more narrowly perhaps more deeply can allow us to truly excel,” he says. 

Helble is just the University’s second  alumni to serve as president.

“To have the opportunity to return to my alma mater, to the university that changed my view of what’s possible in life, and to return as the president? I truly can’t tell you how special of a moment this is,” Helble says. 

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