Singleton gift names third house in Phase I of New Residential Houses

Industrial engineering alum Dennis Singleton ’66 and his wife, Charlot, are supporting Lehigh's New Residential Houses project with a $5 million gift to help strengthen and enhance the on-campus living community. Long-standing advocates of education, the Singletons are furthering Lehigh’s Path to Prominence plan to expand the student body and bring new dynamism to campus. The university’s growth is fueled by GO: The Campaign for Lehigh, a $1 billion-plus fundraising and engagement initiative.

“Admissions trends show that in the next 15 years there will be fewer college-bound students from the East Coast and more from the West and South,” said Dennis, an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees. “To have a more geographically diverse student body is a university mandate. Providing an on-campus residence experience that is welcoming to all students supports building a sense of community and purpose.”

In recognition of their gift, the third residence hall in the south cluster on University Drive will be named Singleton House, which is on target to be available to students starting Fall 2020. Construction on three more residence houses in Phase II of the New Residential Houses project will begin after the completion of Phase I. The six new facilities directly support the university’s goal to increase undergraduate enrollment by 1,000 over the next decade and provide the resources, support, and facilities the students need to excel.

“We are truly grateful for Charlot and Dennis’ leadership that fosters a vibrant and accepting Lehigh community,” said Kevin Clayton ’84 ’13P, chair of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees. “It is monumental that the Singletons have named the final building in Phase I. Charlot and Dennis’ generosity is a driving force in the momentum of the campaign and its impact on Lehigh’s mission.”

Adjacent to Taylor House along University Drive, Singleton House will be home to 120 students and will include three- and four-person semi-suites, two kitchen and dining areas, and small-group lounges. The western-facing side of the building will frame the central courtyard of the south cluster of New Residential Houses with Hitch House and Maida House.

Singleton House rendering

Singleton House (left) will be home to 120 students and open in Fall 2020.

“I am a big believer in on-campus housing. You spend your first night not in a classroom, but in some kind of residence facility. It becomes a very important part of your life,” said Dennis, who lived on the fourth floor of Drinker House during his first year at Lehigh. He added that he was inspired to name Singleton House because of the leadership shown by Board of Trustees members James Maida ’85 ’17P ’19P and Jordan Hitch ’88 ’20P ’21P, campaign co-chairs.
“Two fellow trustees whom I respect very much each named a house, and I thought I would join them,” said Dennis, who earned his Lehigh degree in industrial engineering and his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School.
Dennis’ successful career spans more than 50 years in identifying and analyzing strategic portfolio real estate acquisitions and operating opportunities. He began his profession at Trammell Crow Company, a real estate development, investment, and property management company, before co-founding Spieker Properties in 1993, a public real estate investment trust company. He retired as vice chair and director in 2001 and founded Singleton Investments, a real estate holding company. His professional affiliations include serving as director and chairman of Digital Realty Trust and chairman and director of the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Based in California, Dennis has been a proponent in helping Lehigh develop a bigger presence on the West Coast. Through alumni and corporate engagement, he has helped implement student internships, programming such as LehighSiliconValley, and career opportunities in the Bay Area. Since 1998, he has served in many capacities as a member of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees including providing his leadership on the academic affairs, executive, development, and finance committees. In 2016, Dennis received the Eugene G. Grace Award, which recognizes distinguished service to Lehigh for encouraging support to the university.
Read the full story in the Lehigh University News Center
Story by Dawn Thren ’21P
Charlot and Dennis Singleton

With a $5 million gift to Lehigh’s New Residential Houses, Charlot and Dennis Singleton ’66 are helping to build a more dynamic campus environment as the university expands its geographic recruitment reach.