Lehigh’s Electrical Engineering program, one of the first in the U.S., dates back to the birth of Electrical Engineering as a profession. It was established in 1883 as a one-year program of advanced study, under the direction of Professor Hugh Wilson Harding, previously a Professor of Physics and Mechanics. This program was initially located in Packer Hall, and enrolled its first cohort of students--13 in all--in the fall of 1884, the same year in which the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) was founded to represent this new profession. 
Growing enthusiasm for electrical engineering led the Lehigh University Board of Trustees in October 1886 to establish a full 4-year program, which would begin in Sept. 1888 and lead to a degree in Electrical Engineering. Twenty-three students were enrolled during 1887-1888, the last year the one-year program was offered. Student enrollment in the 4-year Electrical Engineering program grew very rapidly, from about 40 to 144 students during its first four years.
Among the first graduates of this Electrical Engineering program was Lewis Buckley Stillwell, who previously studied at Wesleyan University, before transferring to Lehigh University, where he graduated in 1885. The following year, he began his career with the Westinghouse Electric Company, entering the rapidly expanding field of power engineering. Lewis Stillwell was an accomplished inventor and innovator, and served as president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) during 1909–1910. In 1935, the AIEE (forerunner of the present IEEE) selected him as the recipient of the Edison Medal. He is now featured in the Electrical Engineering Hall of Fame.
In the summer of 1929, the Electrical Engineering Department moved into its current home, Packard Laboratory, which was named after Lehigh alumnus and benefactor James Ward Packard (1884). Packard and his brother William founded Packard Electric Company in 1890, manufacturing incandescent lamps and later automotive electric systems. The brothers subsequently formed Packard Motor Car Company. The first Packard automobile (Ohio Model A) released in 1899 is on display in the main foyer of Packard Laboratory.  This building also serves as the headquarters for Lehigh University's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Professor Hugh Wilson Harding

Lewis B. Stillwell