The First Word

President L. Jay Lemons

by L. Jay Lemons, President

WELCOME TO ANOTHER ISSUE of Susquehanna Currents, our newly named and redesigned magazine. Within its pages, you will learn more about the great work of our faculty and students, and the achievements of our alumni.

Our cover story examines the issue of alternative energy through the eyes of three alumni who are embracing new energy sources in their businesses. Two of them, husband-and-wife team Richard “Ric” Reaman ’93 and Kathy Kovatch ’93 Reaman, will see one of the largest solar energy fields on the East Coast built on their family’s property in Nesquehoning, Pa. The third, Gunther J. Weisbrich ’74, has developed an innovative wind turbine that could become the wind energy solution of the future. In a related story found in The ’Grove section, you will read about a new class, taught by Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Derek Straub, that examines sustainable energy resources.

Our second feature article looks at the disturbing question of whether our medical records are safe. The answer in some cases may be no, according to research performed by Shana Dardan, assistant professor of information systems at Susquehanna, and Eric Smith, assistant director for information security and networking at Bucknell University. Two 2008 SU graduates, Tom Thayer and Joe Leader, assisted with the research when they were undergraduates. Dardan and Smith tapped into a hospital’s wireless network to reveal its vulnerabilities and help the hospital improve its security measures.

Our third feature article explores with our creative writing faculty the art and process of writing. The story underscores the faculty’s deep commitment to both their chosen art and their teaching.

Within these pages you’ll also find profiles of our five alumni award winners—Jim App ’65, Signe Gates ’71, Kathi Stine ’76 Flack, Virginia “Ginny” Lloyd ’81 and Michelle “Chelle” McIntyre ’01 Brewer. News on the groundbreaking for our new science building and a special time capsule ceremony held during Homecoming Reunion Weekend is also included in this issue. The ceremonial paddle given to John Strangfeld '75 upon being named chair of Susquehanna Board of Trustees.

Numerous stories about the academic endeavors and travels of our students and faculty, along with news about some of the special guests we welcomed to campus this fall, are contained in The ’Grove and People & Places sections. The Scoreboard section recaps some of the highlights of the fall athletics season, including SU’s heart-stopping football victory during Homecoming Reunion Weekend. To mark the monumental occasion of our sesquicentennial Homecoming Reunion Weekend, the magazine includes a special photo essay highlighting events from this wonderful three-day event.

In End Notes, Associate Professor of English and Jewish Studies Laurence Roth examines liberal arts education in the 21st century. This issue also unveils Emeritus Professor of History Donald Housley’s final 10 picks in the Susquehanna 150 series. Our gratitude goes out to Don for researching the 150 most influential people, events and developments in Susquehanna’s history. This comprehensive list has examined the ups and downs of Susquehanna University through the years and revealed the fortitude that makes this institution great. Where we find ourselves today is truly something to celebrate.

Finally, you will read about the passing of our dear friend and loyal supporter, Terry March ’67, founder and CEO of Midwood Securities and former chair of Susquehanna University’s Board of Trustees. On Oct. 26, just 10 days before his death on Nov. 6, Terry passed the Board’s “traditional paddle” to his colleague and friend John Strangfeld ’75, CEO and chairman of the board of Prudential Financial Inc. The paddle is a tradition that was begun by former chair Sam Ross and has been carried forward since that time in substitution for the more conventional gavel. It symbolizes the university’s connection to the Susquehanna River, the need for the chair to steer the institution, and the Board’s commitment that we must always reach further.

It is with deep respect and gratitude that I honor Terry for leading this institution to new heights. His foresight and leadership helped move the board and the institution from good to great, to borrow a phrase from author Jim Collins. During his tenure, Terry transformed the way in which the board governs and in so doing left an indelible mark on Susquehanna. In honor of all his accomplishments and the Marches’ service and generosity, the Board of Trustees conferred honorary degrees to Terry and his wife, Pauline, in July. All in the Susquehanna family owe a debt of gratitude to Terry for his example, his leadership and his love for Susquehanna. He will be remembered fondly.

 



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