As a living, learning and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to developing and sustaining lifetime connections with students. This commitment extends institutional values and philosophy that hold student achievement, leadership and service above all else: qualities that, over a lifetime, reflect the excellence of a Susquehanna education. The statement is borne of a recognition that the thoughtful and ongoing engagement of our graduates will best inspire and empower them to be perpetual stewards of their alma mater.

Susquehanna places high value on relationships with her graduates and is committed to supporting programs and activities that engage alumni. All members of the campus community share responsibility for developing, encouraging and fostering an environment in which such relationships flourish and inure benefit to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Effective alumni engagement is achieved when:

Faculty and staff play fundamental, contributing roles:

As relationship developers with students;

As relationship stewards with alumni; and therefore

As identifiers of student and alumni leaders, advocates and contributors.

Opportunities exist for alumni to have meaningful, rewarding connections with students and faculty, including activities enabling alumni to strengthen the core educational experience of students.

Deliberate and intentional communication happens between the university and:

STUDENTS, in order to prepare and acquaint them with the value they will receive as alumni, as well as the opportunities they will share with fellow alumni for stewardship of the university; and

ALUMNI, in order to foster their active involvement and participation in the life of Susquehanna.

Information about alumni is exchanged freely and intentionally within the Susquehanna community, to enrich our graduates through meaningful connections and to ensure that solicitations for support recognize existing faculty and staff relationships.

Maintaining a productive and meaningful alumni community is essential to sustaining Susquehanna as a viable and competitive institution of higher learning and indispensable in educating undergraduates for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse and interconnected world (from the Susquehanna University mission statement). The university Board of Trustees is committed to providing resources and supporting conditions necessary to promote the requisite culture to succeed in our alumni engagement efforts.

As a living, learning, and working community, Susquehanna University affirms its commitment to being an engaged, culturally inclusive campus. 

The University's history and heritage lead us to affirm the dignity and worth of all persons. Consequently, we must be vigilant to ensure that we do not exclude or marginalize individuals and groups because of such differences as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, marital and parental status, disability, age, religion, gender identity or expression, geography, and national origin. As Susquehanna seeks to embody the rich diversity of the human community, we commit ourselves to the full participation of persons who represent the breadth of human differences. 

Critical engagement with diversity entails understanding how these differences impact the ways in which we experience the world, the beliefs that emerge from and frame those experiences, and the impact of power and privilege on our lives. Such engagement takes account of the lived realities of students and is essential for effective teaching and learning, equitable governance and decision-making, and healthy community life. 

Critically aware of the ways power and privilege influence practices, processes and relationships, Susquehanna University declares its intention to be a more diverse and inclusive community. One which:

  • Embodies a commitment to civility and rich dialogue where all people can share their perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding; 
  • Adopts policies and practices that protect the rights and dignity of all persons and which provide equal access to resources; 
  • Seeks actively to recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds; 
  • Seeks actively to employ persons of diverse backgrounds in all categories of employment; 
  • Encourages and expects teaching and advising practices and professional behaviors that promote critical engagement with diversity; 
  • Challenges myths and stereotypes; and 
  • Fosters the development of cross-cultural relationships marked by mutual curiosity and respect. 

As we seek to fulfill these commitments our perceptions, understandings, and expectations will often come into conflict with those of other members of the campus community. These conflicts are not to be avoided, but should be seen as opportunities for learning and growth. Our responses to such conflicts must be framed by our respect for all people and our commitment to social justice and lifelong learning. 

We believe that these commitments are morally and educationally necessary, essential to being a viable and competitive institution of higher learning in the 21st century, and indispensable in educating "students for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world."


At Susquehanna University we believe that there are many ideals of ethical living. What these various ideals have in common is a life centered on justice rather than mere self-interest, respect rather than hatred, and cooperation rather than aggression. This way of life:

Acknowledges that ethical considerations go beyond just following the law

Tolerates neither acts of bigotry nor silence in the face of such acts

Holds persons in positions of power to a special responsibility to act in ways that are well-informed, thoughtful, and impartial.

As an academic community, we are committed to fostering an environment that has as one of its central goals the building of good character over the course of a lifetime. The cultivation of good ethical decision-making is embraced as an essential part of the endeavor to educate our students for lives of achievement, leadership, and service.

At Susquehanna University we are tied to each other by relationships that aim at the well-being of individuals and the University as a whole. We strive to treat all individuals with dignity regardless of their values or origins. We insist that each person deserves freedom from belittling, harassment, exploitation, violence, and any other harm. We believe that we live well when we treat everyone fairly. Fairness requires that we:

Promote just processes of decision-making and evaluation

Identify conflicts of interest and, when eliminating such conflicts is not possible, work to maintain the integrity of the University community

Be honest in intellectual, administrative, and financial matters, claiming only that which belongs to us and making appropriate use of institutional resources

These principles offer guidance. Susquehanna University trustees, faculty, staff, and students are obligated to establish enforceable policies and procedures that reflect the spirit of this document and constitute the regulations by which all abide as members of this community.

By upholding the principles of this statement, challenging ethical shortcomings, and honoring every individual, we strive to be a community known for our mutual respect and the highest ethical standards.

The following email was sent to alumni, students, faculty and staff on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 at 8:59 p.m.:

Dear Susquehanna Students, Faculty and Staff,

As stewards of Susquehanna University, the Board is entrusted with many responsibilities. You are aware that we recently charged President Lemons with engaging our key constituencies in a process weighing the value of preserving tradition with the need to manage meaningful change. At the heart of this discussion was use of the Crusader nickname and mascot. We are grateful to those of you who took the time to provide well-reasoned and respectful commentary.

Earlier today, the Board of Trustees voted to replace the "Crusader," the university's longtime nickname and mascot, with something new that will be determined after consulting with alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends. Our decision affirms President Lemons' recommendation, which is attached. Trustee voices represented the range of viewpoints that surfaced over the last several weeks. In the end, we concurred that this decision is in Susquehanna's best interest moving forward.

We have asked the president to convene a committee comprising alumni, students, faculty and staff to initiate the work of identifying a new nickname and mascot. There will be opportunity for all Susquehannans to contribute to this next part of the process and we look forward to the continuing conversations.

With all best wishes,

John R. Strangfeld '75, Chair
Susquehanna University Board of Trustees