BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh University has announced the biggest gift in its history: $34.2 million to establish a scholarship fund from the estate of Donald Stabler, a member of the Class of 1930.

"This is a transformational day for our university and for the countless number of students who will benefit in the coming years from this incredible gift," university president Alice P. Gast said Friday.

Stabler earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Lehigh and founded a construction company that grew into Stabler Companies Inc., a construction, manufacturing and real estate-development conglomerate in Harrisburg. He died in 1997.

Stabler and his wife, Dorothy, funded several other projects on campus, including the university's sports arena and convocation center, which bears their name.

Lehigh is in the midst of a $500 million fund-raising campaign to endow faculty chairs, undergraduate scholarships, academic programs, student life and athletics. The school has raised $400 million, including the Stabler gift.

Lehigh's largest previous gift was $25 million from Peter Rossin. His name is on the university's engineering and applied science school.