Asa Packer, 1873, by DeWitt Clinton Boutelle.
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Full length, formal, oil on canvas portrait of Asa Packer, by DeWitt Clinton Boutelle, 1873.

Credit: Courtesy of the Linderman Library Special, Collections Lehigh University

Founder and chief benefactor of Lehigh University, Asa Packer personified the proverbial "titan of industry" who used his considerable personal fortune to establish cultural institutions that preserved their legacy. Born in modest circumstances in 1805, Packer abandoned farming to become a canal ship captain before investing in railroads and coal. From economic wealth came aspirations for political office. He later used his wealth to establish a college in Bethlehem centered on engineering and a broad liberal arts education.

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