First Word

By Jonathan D. Green, president
Fall Winter 2021 Issue

Dear Friends,

The cover story highlights our Give Rise capital campaign, which entered its public phase at Homecoming.

Susquehanna was founded as a gift. Local farmers and business owners in Selinsgrove were inspired by Benjamin Kurtz’s vision to provide an education to young men who felt called to become missionaries, but had previously been unable to heed that call because their families lacked the means necessary to acquire the requisite education.

Our first donors provided land and the funds to build Selinsgrove Hall contingent on a classical education being offered to their daughters and sons who were not called to missionary work. Susquehanna University was born of philanthropy to provide access and transformation to talented young people. It is a legacy that flourishes today. The University’s seal features a globe. Perhaps those founders knew SU would become a national liberal arts institution with a truly global reach.

Two of the most important measures of quality in higher education are retention and graduation rates. The past two years have had our best retention in 18 years, against the backdrop of the pandemic. This is the story of a campus community in which faculty, staff, and students truly cared for each other. There have been innumerable acts of courage and selflessness as the members of the SU community have looked out for our students and each other. This has been led by our remarkable Board of Trustees who looked out for our people at every turn, including distributing a bonus to faculty and staff when employers across the country were implementing furloughs.

Susquehanna is its people, and we are unstoppable. That’s what we do: we step up to challenges; we step up for each other; and we do it for our students. Faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni have pulled together to be sure our students have the best opportunities, the best role models, and the best education possible, and our donors make all of that possible. They continue to build on the foundation set in place in 1858 to continue transforming lives in so many meaningful and important ways.

Thank you for the ways your story is part of this inspiring legacy.

Yours Ever,
Jonathan D. Green

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