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Three Gifts to Give Back to McKendree

Three Gifts to Give Back to McKendree
Susan Harbaugh and her Husband
Susan and her husband, Will, at the 2019 Alumni Awards Dinner

It is commonly said that one can choose to invest in an organization in one of three ways: with their Time, by using their Talents or by giving of their Treasure. Susan Harbaugh '04 didn't choose one, she made the commitment to support her alma mater in all three ways.

Susan came to McKendree as a non-traditional transfer student with the goal to gain her long-desired degree in accounting. While working full time as the chief financial officer for Human Support Services in Waterloo, IL, a position she held for 26 years, Susan completed her degree in accounting by taking classes at both the Lebanon campus and McKendree's Center at Scott Air Force Base.

Before she joined the ranks of the McKendree Alumni, Susan made a commitment to support the University. She made her first financial contribution as part of the University's Senior Class Gift Campaign and has continued her backing of the University's Annual Fund.

After graduation Susan was excited to become an engaged alumna. She jumped at the opportunity to participate in scholarship interviews during the University's annual scholarship weekend. Susan and several of her classmates continued to recruit students through scholarship interviews until the practice ended several years ago.

Susan has been very engaged in her community of Red Bud, IL while volunteering and attending alumni events at McKendree. In addition to serving as Mayor of the City of Red Bud, she serves on many committees and boards.

Because of her dedication to her alma mater and service to others, Susan was the 2017 recipient of the Loyal Service Award. For some, receiving an award is seen as a conclusion, but that is not Susan Harbaugh. Just months after accepting her award, Susan hosted a Purple Friday visit at Human Support Services. The practice of Purple Friday visits provides the University the opportunity to engage with McKendree alumni who are employed at the same location. With Susan's assistance, the University was able to interact with more than ten alumni who worked with her.

The first time she was given the opportunity to join the McKendree University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Susan declined because the timing was not right. Knowing she wanted to serve on the Alumni Board during Dr. Dennis' tenure, Susan accepted the nomination to join the board after she retired in 2018. She was elected to the Alumni Board in June of 2019, several weeks before the president announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2020 fiscal year.

Always wanting to do more, Susan and her husband of more than 30 years, Will, choose to leave their legacy at the University with a bequest to McKendree in their will. As members of the Old Main Society, Susan and Will have attended events on campus, at Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Zoo.

By recording their wishes to support the University in their will, Susan and Will confirmed their commitment to invest their Time, Talents, and Treasure at Susan's alma mater. This philanthropy will be their legacy at McKendree University.