Inspired by a financial challenge from members of the Board of Trustees, Susquehanna University launched the Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2017.
The initiative supports a robust, four-year preparation plan for every female student — nearly 1,300 — that includes career treks to major cities and job-shadowing experiences that connect them with Susquehanna alumni. Additionally, the initiative provides opportunities for students to attend professional conferences and to secure summer research, internships or other experiential learning opportunities.
Women’s Leadership Fund
The Women’s Leadership Initiative is supported by the Signe S. Gates ’71 and Dawn G. Mueller ’68 Women’s Leadership Fund, which was endowed in 2019 and connects female students with alumnae who inspire them to pursue leadership positions within their chosen fields.
Gates ’71, chair of the university Board of Trustees, and Mueller ’68, board vice chair, launched the fundraising campaign in 2017 with a combined $1 million pledge to provide financial support to female students at Susquehanna University. Their commitment was contingent on a challenge to other donors to contribute an additional $2 million. The challenge was met three years ahead of schedule, after receiving additional significant support from Judy Hanson Mathis in memory of her mother, Marjorie C. Hanson ’39, as well as from Mary Cianni, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, former Susquehanna associate professor of management and senior client partner at Korn Ferry.