Milestones of Philanthropy

Spring Summer 2024 Issue

The Give Rise campaign brought together over 15,000 donors — alumni, faculty, staff, family, friends, and community — to raise over $185 million for Susquehanna. We are grateful for all our donors and are especially appreciative of the positive impact their generous gifts will have on our students. 

We are pleased to share a timeline of special milestone gifts that did so much to inspire giving rise to Susquehanna students and our beautiful broad campus.

2012 Campaign Launch

In 2012, Susquehanna launched the silent phase of Give Rise: The Campaign to Elevate Susquehanna University. The most ambitious campaign in university history — seeking to raise $160 million for scholarships, capital improvements, and the endowment — it began to privately gain momentum for the next five years.

2016 Admission House

In 2016, Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees set the first major milestone of the campaign and today, Susquehanna’s Admission House embodies the power of their philanthropy to move our campus forward.

John Strangfeld ’75 saw the need for a modern building and turned to fellow board member Jeff Roush ’71.

“We wanted to create something striking and impressive but not put financial pressure on Susquehanna, which has so many other priorities,” Strangfeld said. “I know the power of first impressions, and this was an obvious thing we needed to do,” Roush agreed. Together, they made the lead gifts to the project and each of their fellow Trustees followed with gifts of their own. In the end, the entire $7 million project was fully funded by members of the Board of Trustees.

2019 Signe Gates ’71 and Dawn G. Mueller ’68 Women’s Leadership Fund

Then, in 2019, a multi-million-dollar fundraising challenge was met three years ahead of schedule to establish the Signe Gates ’71 and Dawn G. Mueller ’68 Women’s Leadership Fund.

Gates, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, and Mueller, vice chair, launched the fundraising campaign in 2017 with a combined pledge and soon thereafter more than $3 million had been contributed.

“We were extremely delighted by the swift support this fundraising challenge received,” Gates and Mueller said. “It speaks to the passion many feel at Susquehanna and beyond in seeing women achieve the ultimate success in their professional and personal lives. We’ve enjoyed seeing the promising young women of Susquehanna benefit from this impactful program, and we look forward to seeing it for many more years to come.”

2019 Doug Arthur Stadium

A third major milestone also occurred in 2019 when Susquehanna received a $10 million gift commitment — the largest in university history — from Lucille Arthur H’13, widow of Doug Arthur ’49 H’96. The gift supported student scholarships and operating expenses and facilities needs for the university’s NCAA teams, and created an endowment to support the university’s athletic director position. In recognition of the gift, Susquehanna named its football stadium the Doug Arthur Stadium.

2021 Public Kickoff

Susquehanna kicked off the public phase of Give Rise during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend 2021 and announced that more than $140 million had been raised. At the same time, current and former members of the Board of Trustees issued a $5 million matching challenge to the SU community to make gifts to Susquehanna’s endowment. After hitting that goal, the trustees announced an additional matching gift of $1 million if Susquehanna raised $1 million more in endowment gifts. The challenge led to a total of $12 million in positive impact to Susquehanna’s endowment.

2022 Robert I. Estill Field House

Another major milestone occurred in 2022 when Susquehanna dedicated the Robert I. Estill Field House in honor of Bob Estill ’65 and his significant philanthropy to the university. Estill’s gift supported capital improvements to athletics facilities and equipment and established the Robert I. Estill Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“One thing that has always struck me, is the sheer amount of unwavering support that our alumni show our athletes. Alumni are just as invested in student success — both in competition and in the classroom — as the students are themselves,” said Athletic Director Sharief Hashim

2022 $160 Million Goal Reached Ahead of Schedule

Later that year, during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend 2022, Susquehanna announced that it had reached its Give Rise goal of $160 million more than a year ahead of schedule. Also during that Homecoming–Reunion Weekend, the university dedicated seven spaces throughout campus. The donor-funded capital improvement projects represented a $3 million investment in current and future students.

2022 The Steven T. ’96 and Amy Meyer Trading Room

One of the dedicated spaces was The Steven T. ’96 and Amy Meyer Trading Room, which was named in honor of The Meyers’ philanthropic support of the Sigmund Weis School of Business.

Along with technology upgrades and an expansion of the trading room, The Meyers endowed a fund to support faculty development and programming in the Department of Finance. Additionally, The Meyers also supported renovations to Seibert Hall’s model classroom — now known as the Diane and Al Meyer Classroom in honor of Mr. Meyer’s parents.

“Susquehanna helped prepare me for a career that has rewarded me tenfold,” Meyer said. “I am so proud to be able to give back to the university, which has given so much to me.”

2023 Richard E. Rowe ’63 and Family Scholarship

In early 2023, Richard E. ’63 and Marjorie Rowe made a milestone contribution to student access and opportunity through their support of the Richard E. Rowe ’63 and Family Scholarship, which was established in appreciation for his education at Susquehanna University and in recognition of the support his parents and others provided that contributed to his personal and professional success. Richard and Marjorie created the scholarship to provide the opportunity of a Susquehanna education to academically exceptional first-year students with limited financial resources.

Richard says his commitment to philanthropy can be best understood when one reads “My Requiem” by Wally McRae. In the poem, McRae writes, “But grant me this final wish when I say that last amen; let my mark be carried lightly in the hearts and minds of men.”

2023 Clark and Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Hawk Hub

As the campaign neared its end in the summer of 2023, Susquehanna dedicated the Clark and Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Hawk Hub in recognition of their significant philanthropy to many university designations, including the Department of Communications, Career Development Center, and Women’s Leadership Initiative.

“Susquehanna University provided me with the foundation to achieve my professional aspirations,” Ryan Burke said. “I know that many of the experiences I enjoyed as a student were made possible through the generosity of donors, and it has been my privilege to support my alma mater.”

2023 $185.1 Million Raised

The final campaign milestone occurred during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend 2023, when President Jonathan Green announced that Susquehanna had completed Give Rise with $185.1 million raised for student scholarships, capital projects, and endowment contributions.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Susquehanna is poised to rise to a new level of leadership in higher education. Today’s students, and future generations of Susquehannans, will reap the rewards of what we are celebrating today.” — Jonathan Green 

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