SELINSGROVE — Susquehanna University publicly launched its capital campaign Give Rise during Homecoming-Reunion Weekend with the announcement that more than $140 million has already been committed toward its $160 million goal – the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.
University President Jonathan Green made the announcement in the James W. Garrett Sports Complex Field House at Saturday’s campaign kick-off event that also honored members of Susquehanna’s giving societies and leadership volunteers
“Susquehanna is poised to rise to a new level of leadership in higher education by fortifying support for our students, enhancing our campus and augmenting our resources for programmatic and faculty development,” Green said. “Our graduates are prepared to lead because they have learned how to observe, to analyze, and to act wisely. For them, and for those who will follow, we must complete a campaign unprecedented in our history.”
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 generous 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. Members of the Board of Trustees have a 100% participation rate, committing over $30 million. President 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.”
Susquehanna’s 163-year history as a private liberal arts institution anchors the campaign’s funding priorities.
“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 SU to offer educational opportunities to the best and most talented students regardless of financial circumstances.
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 the 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.
Susquehanna has already reached one of the key campaign goals by increasing its endowment to $206 million, providing a strong financial foundation while also providing long-term resources to directly benefit students.
“We are inspired by the increasingly generous support from our entire Susquehanna community and look forward, with their support, to exceeding the goal by the campaign’s close in June 2023,” said Komora. “We are incredibly grateful for their commitment to Susquehanna – today and in the future.”