August 01, 2017

Susquehanna University concluded its most successful fundraising year on June 30, with donors contributing more than $16.2 million to support a wide range of student-centered programs and activities.

“These are remarkable investments and endorsements of the meaningful work we do to prepare students for lives of achievement, leadership and service,” said President Jonathan D. Green. “It’s heartening to join this community that is demonstrating its belief in the value of the experiences our students have and the difference they go on to make in the world after they graduate.”

New major commitments received during the period of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, include:

  • $7.1 million from an anonymous donor to establish a new Susquehanna University Service Leaders program, in which the university will support community service organizations by providing them with dedicated, trained student volunteers.
  • $1.3 million to establish a permanent, endowed scholarship fund honoring outgoing president L. Jay Lemons and his wife, Marsha, supported by over 1,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends of the university. The first scholarship recipients—junior international studies major Aminata Diallo, of Bronx, N.Y., and senior communications major Marquise Richards, of Reading, Pa.—were named in May.
  • A grant of nearly $500,000 from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation for a suite of new science equipment.
  • Bequests and estate commitments from donors totaling $2.2 million that will support scholarships, student-faculty collaborative research, student life programs, career and professional preparation for students, the signature Global Opportunities program and more.

The university received gifts from 2,351 Susquehanna graduates—an increase of 300 from the previous year and 500 from two years earlier.

“Gifts and grants have a pronounced impact on all of our key activity areas and programs,” Green said. “Without philanthropy, our ability to offer so much to students would be much less than it is. I want us to keep building momentum and add to our financial resources so that we’re able to continue to attract the best and brightest faculty, students and staff members to this community.”

Overall, more than 4,500 alumni engaged with Susquehanna in some fashion, from participating in career- and job-related activities with students (including hiring), to new student recruitment and retention, to community service, to event attendance.

Susquehanna is expected to move into a comprehensive resource development campaign within the next 18 months, and university trustees have been important in advancing campaign planning and preparation during a year of leadership transition.

“Trustees have stepped up and served as the ‘connective tissue’ with many of our donors and key volunteers during the course of celebrating the end of President Lemons’ 16-year tenure and now the beginning of President Green’s service,” said Ron Cohen, vice president for university relations. “The board has certainly contributed to this year’s great results, and we’re fortunate to have such great partners and leaders in our trustees.”