The Kenner Lecture on Cultural Understanding and Tolerance is one of the premier events on Lehigh’s calendar. It was established in 1997 by Mr. Jeffrey (Jeff) L. Kenner, who was a member of the class of 1965 as an industrial engineering major. He then earned a second degree in business in 1966 and began his career as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse and Company, later joining a Wall Street firm active in leveraged buyouts and venture capital. In 1986, he formed his own firm, Kenner & Company, Inc., which specializes in leveraged buyouts and recapitalization of closely-held companies.

Kenner's support of Lehigh has been unwavering over the years. He was chairman of the Review and Prioritization Board of Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute and served on the Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2002. While a trustee, he served on the cultural affairs, development, and physical planning and plant committees.

In addition to his commitment of scholarship support for undergraduates, Kenner provided funding for a classroom in the Rauch Business Center and the Kenner Theatre in the Ulrich Student Center. He also provided financial support for the entrance road to campus and initial program endowment for the Integrated Business and Engineering undergraduate program, for which he has been a frequent lecturer. He also has been a longtime member of Lehigh’s Asa Packer and Tower Societies.

The Kenner Lecture routinely brings to campus speakers that often defy our commonly held views and challenge us to see things from a new perspective. Past speakers include author Salman Rushdie, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright. Over the last few years the Kenner Lecture brought to this stage the Race Card’s Michele Norris and Pulitzer-prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Bill Bradley continues that tradition.


Submissions from 2018


Why Climate Change is a Threat to Human Rights, Mary Robinson

Submissions from 2017


Lessons Learned from My Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World, Arun Gandhi

Submissions from 2016


We Can All Do Better, Bill Bradley