Ellen and Vincent Forlenza ’75 Chair in Health Innovation and Technology Endowed Fund will assist in recruiting top talent for Lehigh’s newest college

With a $5 million gift to fund a chair for Lehigh’s new College of Health, Ellen and Vincent Forlenza ’75 are investing in that college’s future and seeking solutions for health care issues that affect populations around the country and the world. The Ellen and Vincent Forlenza ’75 Chair in Health Innovation and Technology Endowed Fund will enable the college to recruit the very best talent in a fiercely competitive market. 

“Now is the right time for Lehigh to launch the College of Health. Having spent 40 years seeing health care systems around the globe — and their challenges with access, sustainability, clinical care, chronic disease, and patient satisfaction — I think there are tremendous opportunities to solve problems and start something new,” said Vince, executive chair of the board of Becton Dickinson (BD), an American multinational medical technology company. 

The Ellen and Vincent Forlenza ’75 Chair was created to launch the College of Health’s department of health innovation and technology, where innovators will develop health applications for artificial intelligence, advance analytics and data science, and design cutting-edge devices and technologies to address urgent needs in population health. 

“With this chair, we’re hoping to find a leader who is a thoughtful risk-taker and a great facilitator of academic-industry partnerships,” Vince said. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be someone who has a real passion for improving health care around the globe.” 

“The Forlenzas’ gift will fund one of the highest academic awards that a university can bestow on a faculty member: a named, endowed chair,” said Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is an important recruiting tool that recognizes and honors the holder of the appointment.”
The challenges of global health care have been Vince’s focus for most of his career. He graduated from Lehigh in 1975 with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and worked for a few years in the chemical industry while earning his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He began in BD’s industrial group in 1980, working for three years before moving over to the health care side of the business. He celebrated 40 years with the company in June 2020, retiring in January 2020 as CEO and becoming executive chair of the board.
Read the full story in the Lehigh University News Center
Story by Cynthia Tintorri