New SU president is welcomed to Susquehanna community


The Quill/Kaylyn Jones
The Quill/Kaylyn Jones

By Tessa Woodring News editor

On Nov. 14 Susquehanna announced the new president of the university. Students, faculty and staff gathered in Degenstein Theater to hear the news and meet the new president, Jonathan Green.

A campus-wide email was sent on the morning of the announcement welcoming Susquehanna’s students, faculty and staff to come to Degenstein Theater to “receive an update on Susquehanna University’s presidential search.”

The Chair Elect to the Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Search Committee Sydney Gates started the event by introducing Green and also introducing the committee who helped her select the new president.

Gates introduced Green as someone who “demonstrated passion for the liberal arts” and shared Green’s previous work experience with the audience. She said he was a professor of music previously, which was followed by the start of an applause by an audience member.

Green currently holds the position as the provost and dean of the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, where he will serve until he takes the place of the current president, L. Jay Lemons, on July 1, 2017.

Prior to working at Illinois Wesleyan, Green served as the dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia.

Green plays multiple instruments and writes his own music as well. However, his main instrument of choice is his voice.

“I was a voice major as an undergraduate in my master’s degree,” Green said. He then added, “I’m an okay pianist, and I played bassoon off and on.”

Green described the type of music he writes as classical. He said that he has written orchestra music and chamber pieces, but has been taking a different approach recently.

“Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of songs because I’ve been engaged with some poetry that’s making me want to move in that direction,” Green said.

Green took the stage and expressed his excitement for the opportunity that he has received from Susquehanna.

He spoke highly of the university to the audience. He spoke of his hopes for Susquehanna and what he wants to do in his time here, all while using the pronoun “we,” signifying his feeling of unity.

Following Green’s speech, Lemons spoke to the audience. “It is just a thrill. I have the same goosebumps that I did 16 years and a few months ago when we were similarly welcomed to this great community,” Lemons said.

Lemons spoke about how he feels Green is a perfect fit for his new position and mentioned that “the best days for Susquehanna are ahead.”

Lemons presented Green and his wife, Lynn Buck, with gifts. Lemons gave Green an orange and maroon-striped neck tie that matched his own. Lemons then went on to say that we must welcome Green the same way we welcomed him many years ago. However, we have to realize they are different people, and they have different styles.

He then presented Green with multiple orange and maroon bow ties similar to the one Green was already wearing. He also gave the couple a bag of Susquehanna-themed goodies.

Lemons ended his speech by mentioning that he learned two things about Green that day that he did not know before.

“One is that he, like me, grew up in a home of two educators. We are kindred spirits and grateful for it,” Lemons said. “Second, he’s a hugger too.”

The announcement ceremony was followed by a reception with food and drinks. Students, faculty and staff were all welcomed to attend this and have a chance to speak to both Green and Lemons.

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