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1899 Baseball Season > Eugene Gifford Grace

Eugene Gifford Grace is in the Lehigh Hall of Fame

Bio: Eugene Grace was an impeccable baseball player that recorded remarkable achievements as a leader in the world of business, in the development of Lehigh University, and in the civic life of the City of Bethlehem.

A member of the class of 1899, Grace was captain of the baseball team his senior season and hit over .400 for his career as a shortstop. He graduated at the top of his class and delivered the Valedictorian speech on "The Future of Electricity".
Upon graduation, Grace turned down a professional baseball contract from the Boston Braves that would have paid him $200 a month. Instead, Grace accepted a job as a crane operator for Bethlehem Steel that paid him $45 a month. While many doubted his decision at first, he proved everyone wrong when in 1916 he became the President of Bethlehem Steel Corporation at the age of 37. Grace went on to serve as a Captain of Industry in his role as Chairman of one of America's pre-eminent corporations, Bethlehem Steel, from 1945 to 1959. Grace shared his success with his alma mater and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. As chair-man, he generously contributed countless amounts of money and sup-ported numerous civic contributions to both the University and to the City of Bethlehem. Prior to its opening in 1942, he provided the funds to con-struct Grace Hall which today serves as home to Lehigh's nationally ranked wrestling team and women's volleyball team.
"When I first visited Lehigh on my recruiting trip I saw an old, beat-up kind of gym and they told me it was Grace Hall," said senior Ryan Bernholz. "The next fall when I was a freshman I saw the 'Snake Pit' come alive. It was like 'Oh my God. This old gym can really pack them in. It's really loud.' You feed off the atmosphere and you never want to lose there. There is a lot of history to Grace Hall."

Born on August 27th, 1876 in Cape May, New Jersey, Grace was the son of a sea captain. He married Marion Brown, daughter of Charles Brown, a South Bethlehem burgess who co-founded the Brown-Borhek lumber supply business. Together they had three children, a daughter Emmeline, and two sons. The first Charles Brown Grace and the youngest Eugene Gifford Grace Jr. Eugene Grace passed away on July 7, 1960, and is survived by two grand-sons, Charles Grace Jr. and Eugene Grace, both of whom reside in the Philadelphia area.

Stats for Eugene Gifford Grace

Year: 1899 Position: Short Stop Jersey #:

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