Monday Morning Motivations

My Entrepreneur’s Journey: Uncommon, Unlikely & Unprecedented

Stephen Tang

As a Lehigh University alum, I was recently recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award as Outstanding Entrepreneur. It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of the organizations and many people that I’ve worked with during my life’s journey as an entrepreneur.

My connection and experience with Lehigh have been uncommon, unlikely, and unprecedented.

First, my bond with the University is uncommon. As a graduate student alum, I lost my father 40 years ago…and gained a lifelong mentor in Arthur Humphrey. Few graduate students share the lifelong love and admiration for and with their Ph.D. advisors as I do for Arthur. My connection to the Lehigh Valley community is also strong. It the place I lived for 31 years and where I raised my children, including a 2022 Lehigh graduate who is now on her own entrepreneurial journey.

Second, my career has been unlikely. I wove it between Lehigh and one of Lehigh’s greatest startup successes—OraSure Technologies. It began in 1982 when I rented a one-bedroom apartment at 338 Wyandotte Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 40 years later, I finished eleven years of service to OraSure Technologies at 220 East First Street—a distance of just 0.7 miles. Now that’s a tortoise-paced career velocity! During that time, I got to be OraSure’s landlord, Chairman, then CEO. I couldn’t have imagined it happening back in 1982.

And finally: Unprecedented. In the past year, OraSure went from a company that made 80 million tests for HIV and HCV in its past 20 years to a company that now can make 100 million tests for COVID-19, HIV, and HCV every year! It all started under the leadership of a Lehigh alum CEO, me, and Lehigh alum President, Lisa Nibauer. Go Mountain Hawks! Soar to new heights!

I’m proud to have such a strong connection to Lehigh University, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had because of it. Please watch this video to learn more…

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