December 12, 2023
Susquehanna University has been awarded a $10 million grant from The 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation to support the expansion of the university’s Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center into a premier event space for the campus community and the central Susquehanna Valley.
“I am so grateful for the partnership and immense generosity that the late Charles Degenstein and The 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation have provided to Susquehanna University today and over the past 45 years,” said University President Jonathan Green. “As a cornerstone of the university, the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center provides for a strong future in the university’s commitment to our students and our community, both of which are at the heart of our mission.”
Expansion of the campus center will include the addition of a multipurpose banquet and event space, to be named the Degenstein Event Center. The event center, which will accommodate 400 to 600 people, will be first and foremost utilized for student, alumni and campus activities. As available, the space will be a resource for the broader community and can be contracted for business, nonprofit and personal use, from meetings and conferences to weddings.
The project will also encompass the renovation of existing, smaller meeting and dining rooms, and an expansion of the main kitchen to accommodate additional catering needs.
Facility enhancements are set to begin in summer 2024.
“Susquehanna University has benefitted from a long and generous relationship with the Degenstein family and The 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation,” said Melissa Komora, vice president for advancement at Susquehanna University. “Through our continued partnership with the foundation, as stewards of Mr. Degenstein’s philanthropy, we look forward to serving the needs of the community and honoring the legacy of Charles Degenstein.”
For more than 41 years, Degenstein Campus Center has been the heart of Susquehanna University and served the community in myriad ways. Each day, thousands of students and community members pass through its doors for shared meals, meetings, community gatherings, lectures, theatrical performances and gallery exhibitions.
Annual usage of the campus center averages 750,000 total students, faculty, staff and guests — close to 31 million since the center’s opening. Included in that total are annual visitors to exhibits at the Lore Degenstein Gallery and performances at the Degenstein Center Theater. The kitchen currently provides 1 million meals annually for the Susquehanna community and campus events, and more than 1,000 meals prepared especially for Meals on Wheels.