Donald M. Bolle, who served as dean of engineering and filled several other leadership roles during his 14-year career with Lehigh, died Oct. 24 at his home in Coopersburg, Pa. He was 84 years old.

Bolle joined the Lehigh faculty in 1980 as chair of the department of electrical engineering. He was dean of what was then called the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences from 1981 to 1988.

Bolle left in 1988 to become provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York, then returned to Lehigh in 1999 as vice provost of information resources. He later served as interim chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering and eventually became an adjunct professor. He retired in 2005.

Bolle’s colleagues remember him as a gracious and thoughtful man and as an energetic, visionary leader who promoted the interests of faculty and staff members. During his tenure as engineering dean, he actively supported the university’s purchase of the Mountaintop Campus in 1986, the creation of new research centers, and the movement of the chemistry and physics departments from the engineering college into the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Don was a very important member of my team at Lehigh, always thoughtful in his opinions and articulate in his expression of views strongly held,” said Peter Likins, who served as president of Lehigh from 1982 to 1997.

“The quality of Don’s education was apparent in the range of his knowledge and the grace with which he could discuss issues well beyond the customary domain of the engineering world. He was an engaging personality; I can hear his chuckle as I resurrect our team meetings in my mind.”

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Bolle (far right) with Thomas Jackson, professor of mechanical engineering (left), and Lehigh President W. Deming Lewis (center), both seated in "Old Number One," the first Packard automobile ever built.