Lehigh University President Alice P. Gast, the college's 13th president in its 148-year history, will step down on July 31, according to a posting on the university website.
Gast, who took the helm at Lehigh in 2006, has accepted an appointment as president of Imperial College London.
Brad Eric Scheler, Chairman of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees, praised Gast’s leadership, in the prepared release.
“With boundless energy, enthusiasm, wisdom, judgment and insight, Alice has advanced and best positioned Lehigh to be at the forefront of higher education in the 21st century,” he said.
“Her commitment to students and her advocacy with respect to the import of residential research universities in educating leaders and improving society made her the right and ideal leader for Lehigh. We thank Alice for her tireless service and dedication to Lehigh.”
The release lists the advances at Lehigh under Gast's leadership. Among them:
—A $500-million capital campaign that has since raised an additional $225 million in new resources for the University
—An expansion of the University’s work with the City of Bethlehem;—The addition of the 750-acre Stabler Campus
Gast, who will assume her new position at Imperial College London in September 2014, succeeds Sir Keith O’Nions, who is retiring.
“It is difficult for me to leave Lehigh, and I would only consider a move for an extraordinary opportunity," she said in the release. "Imperial College London is one of the world’s great universities, and an established center of excellence in science, technology and medicine and it is a natural fit with my strengths. I look forward to helping shape Imperial’s next chapter.”