NEW BERLIN — SELINSGROVE -- John R. Strangfeld, chair of Susquehanna University’s board of trustees, announced the extension of President L. Jay Lemons’ contract through June 30, 2017, citing a desire to continue the momentum Susquehanna has achieved under his leadership. Dr. Lemons joined Susquehanna as president in 2001, after serving for eight years as chancellor of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
The announcement was made on Sept. 21 in a letter to the university community.
“This ensures continuity of Dr. Lemons’ leadership, allowing Susquehanna to sustain the tremendous momentum achieved during his tenure to date,” wrote Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial Inc. and a Susquehanna alumnus. “There is great alignment between Dr. Lemons’ goals and those of the board. … The continuity of leadership ensured by this reappointment provides an ongoing opportunity to move Susquehanna forward in ways that will benefit all members of the university community, as well as the world our students are being prepared to serve and lead.”
“I am grateful for the board’s invitation that I continue to serve in this capacity and I am thankful for the many members of the campus community, our alumni and the broader community who make this a very special place to work and to live,” Dr. Lemons said. “I look forward to working collaboratively to continue the momentum we’ve achieved by working together.”
Susquehanna has emerged in recent years as a member of the Annapolis Group, which includes 130 of the nation’s leading, residential, liberal arts colleges. It has been cited as a national leader for its graduation rates, consistently placing among the top-performing liberal arts colleges and far exceeding the average graduation rates among all colleges and universities.
During Dr. Lemons’ tenure, the university has developed two strategic plans that placed an increased emphasis on intellectual engagement and a strong university community. A new central curriculum was introduced, adding the Global Opportunities (GO) requirement. With the addition of GO, Susquehanna is among only a handful of schools to mandate a study-away experience for all students and is the only institution that requires a post-travel course in which students reflect on how that experience changed them.