The First Word

Changing Currents

Jay Lemons


Susquehanna is a “hidden gem of a university.” This is how Michelle “Chelle” McIntyre-Brewer ’01 describes her alma mater. The 2011 recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal (See related story) says that, although her journey has taken her far and wide, her heart has stayed with Susquehanna, a place that prepared her well to compete confidently in an increasingly complex world. Chelle’s comments are an endorsement I hear often in the countless letters I receive from alumni who write to say “thank you,” to tell me about their experiences here, and to share how those experiences have changed their lives.

Results of research commissioned by the university, as well as our own research, show time and again that five years out our alumni give Susquehanna high marks, both in terms of the academic and the social experience. In fact, nearly 94 percent of them say they would likely attend Susquehanna if they had to start their undergraduate experience all over again. An even greater percentage say they would recommend the university to a high school student.

Moreover, a recent survey by the Annapolis Group, a consortium of America’s leading liberal arts colleges including Susquehanna, found that graduates of residential liberal arts colleges feel more prepared than their counterparts for the job market, for graduate and professional schools, and for life in general.

Currents magazine is intended to keep you, our readers, informed about Susquehanna and all the ways that we are helping students prepare for life after college. Consider it a letter of sorts, a letter that shares the Susquehanna story. Those of you who know us well understand that story. Some of its elements are more easily felt than articulated, and others are reflected in the students, faculty, staff and alumni who are members of the university family.

Because we want to ensure the magazine meets your needs, we have made some changes in response to our most recent readership survey. We are thankful for those of you who took the time to complete the survey and are hoping that you see in these changes a response to your feedback.

To satisfy the wishes of more than 67 percent of readership survey respondents who said they prefer to read the magazine in print and love the articles and photos, we are streamlining class notes and modestly condensing articles in an effort to present more stories and accompanying visuals. By encouraging alumni to seek out expanded class notes information on the online alumni network, SU Bridge (, we hope you will find even more reasons and ways to engage with your alma mater.

Our editorial lineup is determined with you in mind. In this issue, you will read about the success of some of our women science graduates (See story). Know that for every woman featured here, there are many others who left Susquehanna and went on to lead lives of significant achievement, leadership and service. If only we had the room to highlight them all.

I invite you to read on. I am sure you will be impressed with what you see. I also invite you to visit our website at, where the Susquehanna story, rich as it is, continues to unfold.

L. Jay Lemons, President

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