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Lehigh to launch $1B fundraiser, largest in university's history

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Lehigh University. (Christa Neu)
Lehigh University. (Christa Neu)

In a sign of Lehigh University's ambitious expansion plans, the school will officially launch a $1 billion fundraising campaign next week, the largest in its history.

Dubbed the Campaign for Lehigh, the fundraiser will kick off Thursday with an event in the heart of the campus with a program that will feature a performance by Halsey, a 24-year-old pop singer. The ticketed event is for the campus community only and is not open to the public.

Dollars raised in the campaign will help fund numerous initiatives underway at Lehigh that will expand academic and research opportunities, increase enrollment, add faculty, and construct new infrastructure and buildings.

Lehigh is a private university in Bethlehem with an enrollment of about 7,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Over the next decade, Lehigh plans to increase its undergraduate and graduate student populations by about 1,800 students and hire an additional 100 faculty members.

The university is adding a fifth college to the campus, the College of Health, which will be housed in a building under construction on the Whitaker parking lot on Morton Street. The building is expected to open by fall 2020.

Lehigh started construction in May on the $48 million Southside Commons, a project to create housing for 400 students on a vacant university-owned parking lot at the corner of Brodhead and West Packer avenues. The project is expected to be completed next summer.

The university plans to start construction this winter on a new residence hall, Bridge West at Sayre and University drives, for more than 700 students.

The university will hold kick-off events on Oct. 26 in New York City and Oct. 27 in San Francisco.

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