January 16, 2019

Fundraising Challenge Reaches Goal Three Years Early

A multi-million-dollar fundraising challenge has been met three years ahead of schedule to establish the Signe Gates and Dawn Mueller Women’s Leadership Fund at Susquehanna University.

Gates ’71, chair of the university Board of Trustees, and Mueller ’68, board vice chair, launched the fundraising campaign in 2017 with a combined $1 million pledge. Their commitment was contingent on a challenge to other donors to contribute an additional $2 million. The challenge raised $3 million.

The new endowed fund:

  • Supports a robust, four-year preparation plan for every female student—nearly 1,300—that includes career treks to major cities and job-shadowing experiences that connect them with Susquehanna alumni.
  • Provides opportunities for students to attend professional conferences and to secure summer research, internships or other experiential learning opportunities.

“We know that women have for decades outpaced men in overall academic achievement, yet lag in terms of pay and leadership positions in the workforce,” said University President Jonathan D. Green. “The generosity of Signe Gates, Dawn Mueller and all those who contributed to this women’s leadership fund will enable Susquehanna to do more to address this societal disparity for generations.”

In recognition of Gates’ and Mueller’s major gift, the annual Women’s Leadership Symposium in New York will be renamed in their honor during a presentation in Manhattan in March.

“We are 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 look forward to seeing the promising women students of Susquehanna benefit from this impactful program for years to come.”

The fund includes significant gifts from Judy Hanson Mathis in memory of her mother, Marjorie C. Hanson ’39, as well as from Mary Cianni, member of the Board of Trustees, former Susquehanna associate professor of management, and senior client partner at Korn Ferry, New York City.

“Though our challenge has been met, the Women’s Leadership Fund remains an opportunity for donors who share our interest in encouraging Susquehanna’s women students,” Gates said. “More support means more programs for more students.”

For information on contributing to the Women’s Leadership Fund, contact Kim Andretta, assistant vice president for advancement, at andretta@susqu.edu or (570) 372-4042.