May 19, 2023

Susquehanna University dedicated the Clark and Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Hawk Hub in recognition of their significant philanthropy to the university.

“Today is a celebration of Lisa’s and Clark’s extraordinary philanthropy, specifically their generous contributions to student scholarships and experiences,” said University President Jonathan Green. “Their support over the years and in the future has and will continue to enable the university to realize one of its most important aspirations, which is to make Susquehanna’s transformative education attainable to many more deserving students.”

Centrally located in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center, the Clark and Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Hawk Hub is a resource for all students. Each day, its staff help students navigate the many areas of college life that several may find complex — from transcript requests or billing and finance inquiries to class registration or questions about how to join clubs and organizations.

“Susquehanna University provided me with the foundation to achieve my professional aspirations,” Lisa said. “I know that many of the experiences I enjoyed as a student were made possible through the generosity of donors, and it has been my privilege to support my alma mater. Clark was always devoted to helping others and supporting a pathway to success. I am honored and grateful Susquehanna has chosen to recognize my and Clark’s gifts in a way that is so integral for students and to the daily life of the university.”

After graduating from Susquehanna with a degree in communications, Lisa embarked upon a 30-plus year career with Heyman Associates Inc., a leading executive search firm specializing in senior-level corporate communications, public affairs and marketing roles. She retired in the role of client partner in 2023. Lisa serves as vice chair of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees.

Clark was a native of Summit, New Jersey. Before his death in 2021, he enjoyed a 43-year career at Summit Oaks Hospital where he served as director of therapeutic activities, working with patients to help them overcome the challenges of drug and alcohol addiction.

Over the years the Burkes’ philanthropy has been spread across campus through their support of Susquehanna’s Global Opportunities program, Women’s Leadership Initiative, and student scholarships and assistantships. Lisa also returns to campus each year for OneSU, Susquehanna’s annual day of giving, to play spirited games of cash cab. She makes gifts on behalf of student contestants, who direct the funds be awarded to the program, department or other area most meaningful to them.

Through future legacy gifts, the Burkes have also established the:

  • Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke and J. Clark Burke, Jr. Endowed Communications Fund, which will support the Department of Communications, WQSU and scholarships for communications students.
  • Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke and J. Clark Burke, Jr. Endowed Career Development Fund, which will support the vital work of Susquehanna’s Career Development Center.
  • Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Women’s Leadership Fund, which will support the Women’s Leadership Initiative, which creates opportunities for young women to help them prepare for positions of leadership in their careers and communities.

“As a private university, Susquehanna relies on the generosity of individuals like Lisa and Clark to provide our students access to truly life-changing experiences,” said Vice President for Advancement Melissa Komora. “We are very grateful for Lisa’s and Clark’s consistent support of the university and genuinely heartfelt commitment to the care of Susquehanna’s students.”