SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna University alumni remembered their college days and on a recent Saturday, packing the James W. Garrett Sports Complex Field House to kickoff its campaign “Give Rise” during the university’s homecoming-reunion weekend.
University President Jonathan Green kicked off the event by announcing that $140 million of the $160 million goal has been achieved. The campaign runs through June 2023.
The campaign, which will support student scholarships, capital improvements and Susquehanna’s endowment, has been privately gaining momentum since early 2012, raising nearly 88% of its goal despite challenges presented by the COVID pandemic that delayed the campaign’s public announcement.
A grant from the 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation in 2017 and a $10 million commitment in 2018 from the late Lucille Arthur, widow of Doug Arthur ’49, were notable early gifts, officials said.
Members of the Board of Trustees have a 100% participation rate, committing over $30 million, according to a press release from the university. Green also announced a new $5 million challenge gift from an anonymous group of current and former trustees that, when matched dollar-for-dollar, will have a $10 million impact on Susquehanna’s endowment.
“The support of over 13,000 gifts to Susquehanna from alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends during the quiet phase of the campaign was so vital to our being able to announce such a significant total to date,” said Melissa Komora, vice president for advancement at Susquehanna.
“We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support our donors have shown the Give Rise campaign to this point,” said Dawn Grigg ’68 Mueller and Martin Pinter ’98, members of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees and co-chairs of the campaign committee. “Their contributions will lead to new opportunities at Susquehanna that otherwise wouldn’t be possible and will elevate every area of this university to ensure SU is known for the extraordinary education and experience that exist here.”
Komora also said she was thrilled to see so many people attend the biggest event the university has hosted in the past two years.
“It’s so nice to see everyone arriving,” she said Saturday.
Susquehanna’s 163-year history as a private liberal arts institution anchors the campaign’s funding priorities, Green said.
“A liberal-arts education has always been about equipping students for success and fostering the soft skills and confidence to make a meaningful difference in their communities,” Green said. “The generosity and vision of our donors will allow us to lift up the next generation of thoughtful innovators and compassionate leaders, characteristics of our alumni since our founding.”
Susquehanna provides scholarship support and/or aid to 99% of its students. Scholarship gifts, whether for current use or as part of long-term endowment, make it possible for Susquehanna University to offer educational opportunities to the best and most talented students regardless of financial circumstances, according to the release.
The university’s Admission House, dedicated in 2017, provided the starting point for a new wave of campus enhancements. Recent updates and enhancements include the opening of the new Rev. Dr. Lois D. Martin ’90 and Dr. Thomas J. Martin, MD Retreat Center in Danville and the renovation and restoration of Isaacs Auditorium, a campus space with over 100 years of history in the lives of Susquehanna students. Gifts to brick-and-mortar projects improve Susquehanna’s ability to attract more students, while enriching the experience for current students.