October 25, 2023

By Logan Sweet ’15

Susquehanna University dedicated the Counseling and Psychological Services reception area to Sandra M. Rocks ’75, P’05 in recognition of her significant philanthropy to the university.

Each year, staff provide a wide range of mental health counseling services to more than 500 Susquehanna students — over one-fifth of the student body. Updates to the oft-used center include the addition of an office and new waiting room furnishings.

“We are known across campus as being a warm and welcoming space,” said Stacey Pearson-Wharton, dean of health and wellness and director of the counseling center. “We’re grateful for the additions made possible by Sandy’s generosity, as they will allow us to accommodate more students while remaining the comfortable space they have come to expect and appreciate —whether they are taking advantage of the services provided here or visiting the center to support their friends, complete assignments or simply to say hello to staff.”

“Susquehanna is known for being a welcoming community that takes care of its members,” added University President Jonathan Green. “I can think of few other spaces that reflect and represent that commitment to students as well as the center for Counseling and Psychological Services.”

About Sandra M. Rocks ’75, P’05

In just three years, Rocks graduated from Susquehanna in 1975 with a degree in political science. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School. She clerked for Justice Morris Pashman of the New Jersey Supreme Court the following year and joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP at the conclusion of her clerkship. She became counsel for Cleary Gottlieb in 1990 with a focus on commercial financing and bankruptcy law.

Today, Rocks serves as counsel emeritus and remains active in Cleary’s FinTech practice as one of the principal advisors on commercial law implications of the use of digital assets.

Her son, Benjamin Plum, followed in her footsteps and received a Susquehanna education. He graduated in 2005 with a degree in philosophy.

In 1997, Rocks established the Rocks Fund for Political Science as a special tribute to professors James Blessing, Robert Bradford, Bruce Evans and Gene Urey. The fund supports the work of faculty and students in the Department of Political Science.

Additionally, Rocks’ philanthropic support of the university has contributed to the construction of the university’s Admission House and Natural Science Center, and has greatly supported a variety of student scholarships, programs, research and internship opportunities, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Rocks joined the Board of Trustees in 1999 and today serves as secretary. Throughout her service to the board, she has contributed to several committees, included governance, philanthropy and engagement, audit and the steering committee for Give Rise: The Campaign to Elevate Susquehanna University.

Rocks’ kindness extends far beyond gifts of time and treasure, as she often offers her home in New York to be used by the university for a variety of events.

“Susquehanna persists because of the generosity of individuals like Sandy,” said Melissa Komora, vice president for advancement. “We are deeply grateful for her unwavering support of the university and genuine interest in our students’ care and well-being.”