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Carnegie Hall Concert to Kick off Susquehanna University Anniversary Year

Jan. 11, 2008

SELINSGROVE, PA -- Susquehanna University will kick off its sesquicentennial celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of the institution's founding, with a gala performance March 7 by the SU Masterworks Chorus and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The event is open to the public.

The evening will feature alumni and faculty soloists, an address by President L. Jay Lemons, the Susquehanna University Alma Mater and the world premiere performance of Rain, River Sea written by Patrick Long, associate professor of music. “Music is a vibrant thread woven throughout Susquehanna University’s history, so this concert is a fitting inaugural event for our sesquicentennial,” Lemons says.

More than 100 alumni are expected to perform with the SU Masterworks Chorus under the direction of Cyril Stretansky, professor of music, who will be retiring at the close of the 2007-08 academic years. Jennifer Sacher Wiley, associate professor of music, will serve as associate conductor. Music faculty Nina Tober, Judith White and David Steinau will be featured soloists.

The sesquicentennial celebration will extend through the 2009 Commencement. Events will honor the legacy of achievement of Susquehanna graduates and their deeply rooted commitment to service. “Since our earliest days, we have been committed to helping students of all backgrounds reach further in their lives and improve the lives of others by putting ideas into action,” says Lemons.

Susquehanna traces its roots to September 1858, when the Missionary Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Susquehanna Female College held their first classes. Several Pennsylvania communities vied for the university but Selinsgrove town leaders joined together and won the competition by pledging $22,000, 50 students and the temporary use of the Evangelical Lutheran Church parlor on Market Street for instruction. Competing for the university “was an example of the egalitarian impulse of the American people to create institutions that would foster individual progress regardless of social standing,” according to “Susquehanna University 1858-2000: A Goodly Heritage,” written by Donald D. Housley, Susquehanna emeritus history professor. From these humble beginnings, the university has emerged as a national liberal arts college, attracting 2,000 students from 30 states and 12 countries.

Contact: Jane Daly Seaberg
570-372-4119

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