April 25, 2024

By Logan Sweet ’15

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Susquehanna University was dedicated in memory of Erynn Reiss and in recognition of the philanthropy of her parents, Jay ’72 and Andrea ’72 Endrusick.

Located in the university’s Scholars House and adjacent to the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center, the Erynn E. Reiss LGBTQ+ Resource Center was established in 2023 to empower, support and give visibility to the university’s growing population of LGBTQ+-identifying students.

“After discussing the feasibility of a resource center for many years, talks really began in earnest when we had nearly a third of a recent incoming class tell us that they identify as queer in some way,” said Dena Salerno, senior director of inclusion and diversity.

The Endrusicks’ philanthropy will immediately support student programming, guest speakers and the center’s capital improvement expenditures. In addition to programming opportunities, the Reiss Resource Center provides specialty housing for LGBTQ+ students, and their gift also will eliminate financial barriers for students seeking those accommodations.

It was the physical location of the resource center that drew special attention from the Endrusicks. When they were students at Susquehanna, Jay and his fraternity brothers lived in the building that now supports LGBTQ+ students. Andrea remarked how it was the “very same place” she and Jay started their lives together 55 years ago.

“Last September, Jay and I spotted a communication from the university that cited the opening of an LGBTQ+ resource center on campus,” said Andrea. “Jay’s old Lambda Chi Alpha house now had private rooms for students who identify as LGBTQ+ and had been transformed to a place of solace and security for students who are travelling on paths that parallel our daughter’s.”

Inspired by the creation of the new LGBTQ+ resource center, the Endrusicks contacted the university to express their interest and support.

“This safe place continues to give meaning to our Erynn’s life, and it brings the connection Jay and I have to Susquehanna full circle,” Andrea added.

A portion of the Endrusicks’ gift will establish the Endrusick LGBTQ+ Resource Center Endowment Fund, which will support the resource center in perpetuity.

“We are deeply grateful for Jay and Andrea’s philanthropy and the ways in which it will benefit our LGBTQ+ community and the university as a whole,” said Susquehanna President Jonathan Green. “We are honored to be a part of Erynn’s legacy.”