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.

Women Succeeding at Work Panel

An annual event since 2018, the Women Succeeding at Work panel discussion features alumnae who have made significant contributions to their chosen fields and industries.

Past panel discussion topics have included succeeding in business and medicine and maintaining leadership under pressure – particularly pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Women’s Leadership Symposium

Susquehanna University hosts an annual Women’s Leadership Symposium where nominated female students have a hands-on opportunity to build practical experiences from women business leaders who are Susquehanna graduates.

Alumnae share their experiences as corporate professionals, conduct tours and answer students’ questions. With up-close and personal access to business leaders, plus personalized feedback and advice, students enjoy invaluable networking experiences.

In addition to participating in presentations, small group and roundtable discussions on key issues, students participate in workshops for résumé reviews and mock interviews.

Related News

Alumnae Gather to Support Students at Women’s Leadership Symposium

April 6, 2022
More than 30 current students and alumnae gathered for Susquehanna’s annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, supported by the Signe S. Gates ’71 and Dawn G. Mueller ’68 Women’s Leadership Fund.

$3 Million Raised to Create Women’s Leadership Fund

January 16, 2019
A multi-million dollar fundraising challenge has been met three years ahead of schedule to establish the Signe Gates and Dawn Mueller Women’s Leadership Fund at Susquehanna University.

Susquehanna Launches Campaign for Women’s Leadership Initiative

November 1, 2017

Inspired by a financial challenge from members of the Board of Trustees, Susquehanna University has launched the Women’s Leadership Initiative to support professional opportunities for female students.