Celebrating a Champion for the Arts at Lehigh University

On July 6, 2011, Lehigh University lost a champion for the arts. Ann Heath Neitzel was the director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences.

According to the announcement shared among our staff:
“Ann came to Lehigh 10 years ago at the start of the Shine Forever campaign and played a major role in developing new donor relationships for Lehigh at the highest levels–relationships that will continue to have impact for decades to come. A respected and talented development professional, Ann directed many of the university’s highest profile fundraising initiatives, including the creation of the Financial Services Laboratory and the STEPS building. Ann played a central role in the formation of key volunteer groups, namely the Lehigh Leadership Council, the Wall St. Council, and the Philadelphia Leadership Forum, all invaluable to expanding Lehigh’s regional outreach. Most recently, Ann served as Director of Development for the College of Arts and Sciences where she dedicated herself to fundraising for the STEPS building. She made time to volunteer and to advance her field as a speaker at professional conferences, by mentoring new gift officers, and serving as a volunteer for arts groups and by volunteering for her own alma mater. The campus lost a dedicated colleague, a mentor, a humanitarian, a poet, and Lehigh citizen who will be greatly missed by the university community.”

Ann was passionate about how the arts were seen as a part of life at Lehigh University. She valued the arts in the way that all people can learn, be inspired and be moved by the human expressions through art. She supported other’s visions, and introduced artists to faculty at Lehigh as a way to say, “I think you’ll like what this artist is doing.”

Ann was keen about the intersections of medicine and art.

As a small dedication to Ann, we share a link to a story about an exhibit presented in the Lehigh Art Galleries in 2004.  The installation was powerful and deeply moving. It wouldn’t have happened if not for the encouragement and support of her incredible energy.

Ann will most certainly be missed.


One comment

  1. I met Ann when I transferred from So. Cal. to Ohio Wesleyan University in the dead of winter. We were assigned as room mates. It was my lucky day. For all of these years since, I have always gotten a lift out of Ann’s phone calls, her handwritten notecards and our visits. She loved the arts and she gave her full measure to those places and people she cared about–Lehigh has lost a treasure, and so have I.

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