Benefactor Elevates McDowell Institute's Reach Across Commonwealth U Campuses

The Bloomsburg University Foundation is thrilled to announce a $400,000 gift from longtime benefactor Susan McDowell to bolster her support of the McDowell Institute, a Commonwealth University-based organization supporting the facilitation of social, emotional, and behavioral wellness of children, youth, and young adults across school and community settings.

This latest gift brings Susan's contributions to the program to more than $3 million. The funds are earmarked for additional staffing and consulting services, further bolstering the institute's ability to extend its reach beyond its Bloomsburg roots to CU's Lock Haven and Mansfield campuses and their surrounding communities.

"We are immensely grateful to Susan McDowell for her unwavering commitment to our university, especially the McDowell Institute and its mission," said CU President Bashar W. Hanna. "This significant contribution will fortify our existing programs and allow us to deliver McDowell Institute services to even more communities, amplifying our impact."

Under Susan's continued patronage, the McDowell Institute has thrived, broadening its range of offerings and cementing its role as a vital hub for community service and educational enhancement, according to Ann Larson, dean of the CU College of Education and Human Studies.

"Susan's compassionate spirit and tremendous generosity are a true inspiration," Larson said. "Her philanthropic support addresses the pressing challenges confronting education today, and her passion is integral to our collective mission in fostering positive change within our student body and the broader community."

The McDowell Institute operates an extensive array of initiatives, exceeding 40 programs annually, to promote social, emotional, and behavioral wellness among children, youth, and young adults within educational and community environments.

"Susan McDowell's generous support allows us to sustain and expand our efforts to all campuses and communities within the Commonwealth University footprint," emphasized Danielle Empson-Shultz, director of the McDowell Institute." The McDowell Institute has a long-standing commitment to supporting the social, emotional, and behavioral wellness of youth, and the need for training and education has continued to increase. Susan's gift couldn't have come at a more opportune time, enabling us to address these pressing needs with even greater effectiveness and reach."

"I am honored to support Commonwealth University and their efforts to expand the McDowell Institute and its original mission of raising awareness and increasing access to solutions for youth facing mental health and wellness issues," said McDowell said. "It has always been my goal to make sure these resources are available to teachers who often have to help students with struggles that extend beyond the classroom. Now, together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals across the Commonwealth."

"Commonwealth University extends its profound appreciation to Susan McDowell for her enduring dedication to advancing education and wellness initiatives within our communities," said Erik Evans, CU vice president for university advancement.

For further insights into the McDowell Institute and information on how to support its endeavors, visit