All Roads Lead to Susquehanna

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All roads lead to Susquehanna

SUSQUEHANNA IS EVOLVING. The previous 10 years bore witness to an increase in student enrollment, faculty and staff appointments, facilities and academic programs. The reach of our reputation is expanding and bringing greater diversity of thought, backgrounds and identities to Selinsgrove. Our university has always been an institution composed of established and respected faculty with the goal of graduating bright students eager to engage the world. But what are members of the faculty and staff doing beforehand that qualifies them to join our community? And where do these eager students come from? The answer is surprising for some, especially for those just joining our Susquehanna family. It is not often assumed that a small, sociable town on the banks of the Susquehanna River could be home to such an accomplished population. But it is. As our sphere of influence grows, job searches and student recruitment strategies cast a larger net.

IN 2000, Susquehanna was in a good position. We were toward the end of a multiyear run atop U.S. News & World Report’s list of best liberal arts colleges in the north. Prospective students and employees were traveling from farther and farther away to check out our humble, unassuming school in rural Pennsylvania. Enrollment was strong. Things looked good. But they could always be better. President L. Jay Lemons came on board, and it was obvious the demand for a Susquehanna education was outmatching the capacity. A plan of sustainable growth for both population and facilities was put into place. Ten years later, we’re in a different place.

The faculty has increased by more than 40. There are 600 more students on campus. Walking along Kurtz Lane, commonly referred to as “the Path,” campus looks active and busier than ever. A school once thought of as regional college is now home to students from 37 states and 13 countries.

Surprisingly, Susquehanna is still very much the same place. People hold doors open for each other. The gingko berries fall every year and unite students in commiseration over the smell. Squirrels still roam campus, popping out of trash cans and eating food scraps on the lawn of Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. The turkeys are still juicy at Thanksgiving dinner when President Lemons cuts into them. And first-year students still believe the rumor that campus rules are suspended on Spring Weekend.

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