Education in the Lehigh Valley

Even before Lehigh’s founding, there were several educational institutions in the Lehigh Valley. Like most colleges and academies in the United States during this period, Lehigh Valley institutions were small, had close ties to religious denominations, and catered primarily to elite and middling white men and women. There were no coeducational schools in the Lehigh Valley during the nineteenth century, and no colleges admitted African-American students. To obtain a collegiate education, African-American men living in the area would have had to travel 100 miles south to Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1854. The exclusionary admissions policies of Lehigh Valley colleges did not change until the twentieth century.