Each year, approximately 20 sophomores are selected to be Presidential Fellows.
During the academic year, the fellows participate in at least three major activities during which they interact with Susquehanna President L. Jay Lemons and his wife, Marsha, and selected faculty and staff, including Susan Bowers, associate professor of English.
The first two activities are reading and discussing a book. Books read over the past years include A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Likeness by Tana French, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Eating Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and March by Geraldine Brooks.
The book for the 2013-2014 Presidential Fellows is My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayer.
The third traditional activity is a trip, usually to New York City to attend a theater production and perhaps interact with an author or artist.
Deans and department heads nominate students who they feel have the academic ability, enthusiasm and interest in serious matters to benefit from the opportunity to interact with the president and one another in discussions of literature, theatre and current events.
The program was started by former Susquehanna President Joel Cunningham and his wife, Trudy, in the 1980s.