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Campus Celebrity: President Clayton

How has Lehigh changed since you were a student here?

Physically it’s grown with the addition of the Mountaintop Campus and the Stabler properties. From a scholarship standpoint, the intellectual capabilities of our students are just off the charts. The goals Lehigh students are tackling both on campus and out in the community are remarkable, and I think that is a trademark of a Lehigh experience.  A Lehigh education consists of more than just academics, and the things students are doing outside of class are just as telling of their future success.  As every alumni says, I’m not too sure I could get in [to Lehigh] today!  

If you could go back to college, what would you do differently?

I would take as many classes in as many different colleges as possible. I like to say to students, “Touch it all.” Don’t be afraid to get multi-disciplinary and spark interests outside of your major or college.  

What are your fondest memories as a Lehigh student?

The fondest memories are the friendships.  The friendships I have made in the classroom with fellow students and faculty, through organizations I was involved in, and in my residence hall are friendships that have stuck with me over the years. The relationships I had with professors were particularly meaningful, and really helped me forge my path. And of course the Lehigh-Lafayette game, especially with the 150th meeting this year!

What are your plans for the rest of your term as Interim President, and what goals have you begun tackling?

Something we have been focusing on significantly since I took office was continuing to improve the campus climate.  The culture, the diversity, inclusion, and all of the work done by groups like the CEC are very important to our vision for Lehigh.  We are beginning the search for some key leadership positions on campus in regards to these issues, so President Simon can come in with a strong team to work towards these goals.  My job is to create an environment so that President Simon can take office on July 1st with a clean slate and a happy campus climate to jumpstart new campus initiatives.   

What advice do you have for the next president of Lehigh, John D. Simon?

Keep the progress going.  We have an unbelievably strong foundation here and the capabilities here to soar to new heights.  If we concentrate and come together as a community, we can take Lehigh to the next level. 

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Lauren Maida

Lehigh '17

Sophomore, Lehigh University
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