Percy Hughes Award for Scholarship, Humanity and Social Change Nominations Open

Friday, March 29, 2024 - 9:00am

During his 35 years at Lehigh (1907-1942), Percy Hughes adopted Lehigh as one of his communities of choice and fully integrated himself into the university's fabric. He did the same with the Bethlehem community and various other places he lived throughout his life.

"My grandfather loved Lehigh and Bethlehem and dedicated his efforts to actively making his communities better places to learn, live, and engage," said Elizabeth Clark, the family's benefactor for the College of Education's Percy Hughes Award.

Whether he was volunteering in local schools, supporting a new student club, initiating teaching-learning community connections, planting 50,000 trees on his homestead in New Jersey, or donating parts of his land to young families just starting out, Hughes lived by a personal desire to give back and "do the right thing."

Hughes' commitment to public service still resonates with his family, and the College of Education's Percy Hughes Award highlights their desire to honor that legacy.

"Each person gets to define what their 'community" is, Clark said, "and determine how to meet the needs of that community."

The Percy Hughes Award for Scholarship, Humanity and Social Change is awarded annually by the College of Education to honor a Lehigh community member who works towards implementing transformative ideas in the local, national and world communities. The ideal recipient should be making a difference through meaningful actions.

'Giving back to your community doesn't need to be something grand," Clark added. "In fact, one can make more of an impact with smaller, consistent actions that make lasting, positive effects. You just need to be willing to go beyond thinking, research and talking points and commit to taking action, even if that means challenging current beliefs or practices."

Since the award's inception in 2010, eight individuals have been recognized for their work addressing the world's most pressing challenges. Award recipients are leaders who not only foster Lehigh's historic educational mission, values, and core beliefs but also push Lehigh in new directions and heights of excellence. Nominees should be Lehigh community members—either faculty, staff, or students (graduate or undergraduate in good standing) who work towards implementing large, transformative ideas in the local, national, and world communities with grace, tenacity, and devotion.

All Lehigh faculty, staff and students are encouraged to submit their nominations by May 1, 2024 to Robin Hojnoski, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

Learn more about the award and Percy Hughes' legacy.