November 08, 2021

National First-Generation College Celebration

November 8th is National First-Generation College Celebration. This is especially meaningful for us because Susquehanna University was founded to serve first-generation students.

Benjamin Kurtz, our first president, established the Missionary Institute to provide an educational opportunity for young people who had a sense of vocation (of feeling called) for meaningful lives of service, but who lacked the advantages of some of their neighbors. The Classical Division and the Female Academy of the Missionary Institute are what survive today as Susquehanna University. We have remained an institution committed to the success of first-generation students ever since.

Our mission to educate students for productive, creative, and reflective lives of achievement, leadership, and service in a diverse, dynamic, and interdependent world, is built upon our initial goal of providing a transformational education for students who were then nearly all the first in their families to attend college.

Today, 3 out of 10 SU students are first in their families to attend college. The high percentage of SU graduates each year who are first-gen affirms that this remains a core value of the University, and it is certainly a point of pride for all of us to celebrate.

Jonathan D. Green