First Word

Honoring Our Tradition of Innovation

Dear Friends, 

Radical innovation literally means making something new from its roots. This issue will focus on the spirit of radical innovation that defines Susquehanna. We are industrious and hardworking, but most important, we have always been innovative. 

The creation of SU was an act of inspired innovation. Local merchants and farmers agreed to support the establishment of the Missionary Institute if a classical curriculum would be added to our offerings to prepare their sons and daughters—those not called to missions—to become citizen leaders through-out the region. A century and a half before most colleges and universities were innovating their curricula to integrate preparation for careers and a broad-based liberal arts education, we opened, doing just that. We were on the vanguard of teaching and learning innovation in 1858. 

Benjamin Kurtz, our founder, wanted to provide a practical education for missionaries who would be working globally. Our Global Opportunities (GO) Program is a contemporary secular manifestation of that world vision. It is no mistake that the university’s seal features a globe. We have been developing cosmopolitan, global citizens for 160 years, and GO is setting the standard of excellence for meaningful, substantial global education. 

Susquehanna University is named for the river, which in turn is named for the Susquehannock people. These first peoples of the region turned their spirit of innovation into a thriving fishing operation that fed thousands around the Isle of Que. They were wise stewards of the river, its tributaries, and the watershed. We honor our namesakes as the university becomes a national leader in river ecology, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to restore historic ecosystems through the Freshwater Research Institute. 

As you read about the impressive work of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni, I know you will be proud of the many ways they are fulfilling our mission and honoring the heritage of Susquehanna with imagination and a sense of legacy. 

Our mission is to “educate students for productive, creative, and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic, and interdependent world.” To do this, our graduates will need to be radical innovators who strive to make a new and better world from the roots of strength they inherit. They are ready for the challenge. 

Yours ever, 

Jonathan D. Green 

President 



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