March 13, 2024

By Logan Sweet ’15

Susquehanna surpassed its donor goal during OneSU, the university’s annual day of giving on March 6.

Alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends of Susquehanna made gifts to the areas of campus most meaningful to them, from academics and athletics to scholarships, campus initiatives and university priorities. In total, 1,549 donors contributed nearly $350,000 to support the student experience at Susquehanna.

“Every gift made to the university, regardless of the amount or area of designation, is a direct investment in Susquehanna’s transformative education,” said Melissa Salazar, associate vice president for advancement. “We are so appreciative of our community’s belief in Susquehanna’s mission, and we are doubly grateful for the difference that its philanthropy makes in the lives of our talented students.”

Gifts support the complete Susquehanna experience

OneSU donors supported 136 different university designations. Each of Susquehanna’s four schools received gifts, with cumulative support totaling more than $83,000 in funds for immediate use. This support will allow deans and department chairs to advance departmental priorities, faculty to implement robust academic programming, make necessary technology and equipment upgrades, help students complete research and internship opportunities and more.

Each of Susquehanna’s 23 NCAA teams and various club sports also received donations, supporting student-athletes and continuing to foster their leadership development, team-building skills, and academic and competitive success. Susquehanna’s men’s rugby team — a perennial powerhouse in small school competition — received gifts from 118 alumni, parents and fans. The team will look to compete in another National 7s Championship tournament later this spring.

Student scholarships received significant support, with 270 donors designating their gifts to general and named scholarship funds — continuing Susquehanna’s tradition of providing access and opportunity for all deserving students, regardless of their financial circumstances. Ninety-nine percent of Susquehanna students receive scholarships and financial aid, with the university awarding more than $4 million in donor-funded scholarships annually.

“Susquehanna invested so much in me when I was a student,” said Charles McLeskey, M.D. ’68, a member of the university’s Alumni Board. “The university provided me with the resources and education needed to pursue a successful career, for which I am very grateful. I’m proud to be able to express my appreciation to Susquehanna through establishing a scholarship which will hopefully help today’s students and future Susquehannans reach their professional aspirations.”

PataGOnia PataGOniaOther areas of campus that received significant support from OneSU donors were the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Global Opportunities program, the Blough-Weis Library, WQSU, the Women’s Leadership Initiative, the Student Care Fund and Arts Amongst Arbor — a newly created artist residency program which will allow the School of the Arts to invite working actors, artists, musicians, writers and more to immerse themselves in the school’s programs and share their expertise with current students. The inaugural artist in residence will be Valente Frazier, an Emmy-award winning makeup artist and painter.

Support from near and far

OneSU gifts were made by Susquehannans living in 38 states and abroad, highlighting Susquehanna’s global footprint. Donors’ class years spanned 68 years, with gifts made by alumni who graduated from 1955 to 2023.

Current students were also able to support areas of campus meaningful to them. Thanks to a donation by Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees, the first 25 students who participated in a special cash cab challenge each designated $200 to their favorite academic department, team or campus initiative. As part of this activity, students designated $5,000 to 16 campus programs.

Because the university surpassed its goal of 1,200 donors, a $50,000 challenge gift was made by members of Susquehanna University’s alumni board. In total, more than $80,000 in challenge and matching funds were unlocked throughout the day of giving.

“On behalf of the students who will benefit from this generosity, I sincerely thank you,” added University President Jonathan Green. “Together, we have made a consequential difference in their lives at Susquehanna University.”