Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has announced a $5 million gift from alumnus James Maida ('85) and his wife, Sharon, for construction of new residence halls.
The gift will help fund a cluster of six residence halls that are being built in two phases and are scheduled to open in 2020 and 2022. In recognition of the gift, which will count toward a more than $1 billion fundraising campaign launched in October 2018 with the goal of increasing undergraduate enrollment by a thousand students over the next decade and providing the resources, support, and facilities students will need to excel, one of the three facilities in the first phase will be named Maida House. Campaign co-chair Maida is the son of a Lehigh alumnus and father of two alumni.
After earning his degree in computer science engineering, Maida co-founded Gaming Laboratories International in 1987, which today employs more than thirteen hundred people on six continents and provides a wide range of services to regulators, suppliers, and operators in the gaming industry. He also earned a juris doctorate from Rutgers Law School in 1990. Lehigh, he said, taught him the problem-solving and real-life skills he needed to figure things out on his own. "That is the true value of a Lehigh education. Not the classes...not the major...but in every part of the university...you are taught how to solve problems that you have never seen before."
"When you are at class or when you are working late at night, you want to come back to a place where you feel at home," said Sharon Maida, founder and CEO of Maida Mobility, a private practice specializing in helping children with visual impairments. "Having that kind of safe and welcoming environment is going to add to your success as much as anything else."