October 21, 2023

At $185 million, the campaign surpassed its goal by $25 million

Brett Hernandez-Marin '25 speaks from the podium Brett Hernandez-Marin ’25Susquehanna University has concluded the most ambitious capital campaign in its 165-year history by raising over $185 million to support student scholarships, capital improvements and Susquehanna’s endowment.

University President Jonathan Green announced during Homecoming–Reunion Weekend that Susquehanna’s Give Rise capital campaign exceeded its $160 million goal by more than $25 million.

“The success of Give Rise fortifies our mission to provide students with the transformative, world-class education that prepares them for productive, creative and reflective lives of achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, dynamic and interdependent world,” Green said. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Susquehanna is poised to rise to a new level of leadership in higher education. Today’s students, and future generations of Susquehannans, will reap the rewards of what we are celebrating today.”

Nearly 16,000 gifts brought Give Rise to its history-making conclusion, with a remarkable 40 gifts of $1 million or more. The campaign shines a spotlight on the enviable loyalty and engagement Susquehanna enjoys with its supportive base of alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends who helped to realize:

  • $22.3 million to support 21 major capital improvement projects, many of which established newly named spaces on campus, including the Clark and Lisa Ryan ’78 Burke Hawk Hub, the Margaret Pierce ’96 Frantz and Todd Frantz ’97 Recording Studio, the Robert I. Estill ’65 Field House and the Steven T. ’96 and Amy Meyer Trading Room.
  • $56.3 million in gifts creating 265 new funds to fortify support for students and augment resources for programmatic and faculty development, including 158 new scholarships to continue Susquehanna’s proud legacy of providing access to meritorious students from across the socioeconomic spectrum. This funding also led to the creation of several new majors, including criminal justice, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, and real estate.
  • $106.4 million in gifts and estate commitments to Susquehanna’s endowment to bolster the university’s financial foundation.

Some of the major programs that were funded by the campaign include:

  • The Build Collaborative – Established in fall 2022, the Build Collaborative is dedicated to hands-on learning that enables students to build products, build ideas for research or business, build peer networks and build careers.
  • The Dr. Richard E. and Sally F. Caruso Mentoring and Innovation Center – The hub of entrepreneurship education at Susquehanna, the space includes various white boards for brainstorming and large, wall-mounted touchscreen. A highlight of the space is the Ideum Duet multi-touch coffee table, which is equipped with ultra-HD displays, 3MTM touch technology and an IntelTM i7 quad core computer.
  • The Women’s Leadership Initiative – Supported by the Signe S. Gates ’71 and Dawn G. Mueller ’68 Women’s Leadership Fund, established with a successful $3 million challenge gift. The initiative supports a robust, four-year preparation plan for every female participant that includes career treks to major cities and job-shadowing experiences that connect them with Susquehanna alumni.

“Capital campaigns are about transforming dreams into reality,” said Melissa Komora, vice president for advancement at Susquehanna. “They are a testament to the power of community and the belief that when we come together with a common purpose, we can achieve remarkable things.”

“We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support our donors displayed during the Give Rise campaign,” said Dawn Grigg ’68 Mueller, vice chair of Susquehanna’s Board of Trustees and co-chair of the campaign committee, and James Dunlop ’01, vice chair and treasurer of the Board of Trustees and campaign committee member. “Their contributions will pave the way for fresh possibilities at Susquehanna and will enhance every facet of the university, cementing SU’s reputation as a place where extraordinary education and experiences thrive.”

Susquehanna University publicly launched its capital campaign Give Rise in 2021. The campaign had been privately gaining momentum since early 2012 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 gift in 2018 from the late Lucille Arthur, widow of Doug Arthur ’49, were notable early gifts. Members of the Board of Trustees had a 100% participation rate, committing over $41 million, including fully supporting the building of the Admission House, the first major capital project of the campaign, and a $6 million challenge gift that was earned when Susquehanna raised $6 million toward its endowment in the year following the campaign’s public announcement.