As if Saturday doesn’t offer enough to pull students off campus – there’s a MONUMENTAL event planned for the early afternoon. It’s the dedication ceremony of the Chinese Harmony Pavillion – the second structural project built by the Chinese-Bridge Project investigations. Write this down: Saturday, 1:30pm, South Bethlehem Greenway, between Webster and Taylor. Get there by 1:00pm
The Chinese Bridge Project was a joint creation. Many people were involved with the creation and implementation of the project including Chinese Professor and Director of the Lehigh in Shanghai Internship Program Connie Cook, Religion Professor Norman Girardot, Architecture Professor Tony Viscardi, and Visiting Post-Doctorate Research Fellow Dongning Wang. The project recognizes the increasingly prominent role China plays in world affairs today and also emphasizes Lehigh’s historical relationship with China. Lehigh University and China have a 130-year history that continues today with many Chinese students choosing to study at Lehigh University.
One of the primary aims of the Chinese Bridge Project is to attract a broader spectrum of students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into Chinese studies than would traditionally be the case. The goal is to have students from a variety of academic backgrounds collaborate in a design project that involves creating a more modern interpretation of the traditional Chinese Rainbow Bridge for the Lehigh community.
Read more about the Lehigh University Chinese Bridge project here.
The first structure is the wooden bridge, just off the upper Sayre Sayre Park Rd drive, near the gate to Mountain Drive north. If you ride the Brown & White Bus to Iaccoca Campus, look into the words on the right side of the road. There, perhaps by a few deer, you’ll see the wooden Chinese Rainbow bridge. But to really get a full understanding of the rigor, the multi-disciplinary explorations through this project, give yourself a gift of watching this 12 minute video – beautifully produced by Steve Lichak in LTS.
Linda Harbrecht, of Lehigh University’s Communications office, write a full article about the dedication ceremony here. If Lehigh University staff are pulling in this much time to tell you about this event, and to document the work of the Chinese Bridge Project – you might realize how monumental this effort is. And while I believe in the value of documentation, I’m constantly reminded of the value of one of the most basic concepts – and yet understandably, one of the greatest challenges for students and other super busy people – JUST SHOWING UP!
If you’ve never witnessed an event led by Professor Norman Girardot (Religion Studies), you’ve missed something truly remarkable, spectacular, even epic. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Prof. Girardot on a number of “weird” events and I can say with all honesty; there’s nothing else like them.
Truth be told, these events are so epic that future generations of Lehigh faculty, staff and alumni will speak of these ceremonies as witnesses to something so special; they defy category. Professor Girardot has been teaching and leading students for a few decades. He’s about to exit into what he calls, “the halls of Valhalla.” Before he retires from teaching, I beg of you to see his last ceremony so what some day in the future you can say with all honesty as you tell your grandchildren, “What I tell you is the truth – for I was there.”
Sponsors of the Pavilion Dedication
The Henry Luce Foundation
Lehigh University: Advancement, Academic Diversity, Art, Architecture & Design Department, ArtsLehigh, Asian Studies, Center for Dialogue, Ethics & Spirituality, Chaplain’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences, Community & Regional Affairs, Digital Media Studio, Facilities Services, Global Studies, Greenway Native Planting Group, Humanities Center, Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Lehigh University Art Galleries, Lehigh University Core Competencies Grant, Modern Languages & Literatures Department, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, Office of International Affairs, Office of the Provost, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering & Applied Science, Religion Studies Department, Research & Graduate Studies, Risk Management, Science, Technology & Society, South Mountain College, South Side Initiative, Student Affairs
City of Bethlehem: Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission, City Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation
Our South Side Neighbors: Artefact Inc., Hank’s Auto Service, Holy Infancy School, Litzenberger House