News Crawford Completes Gcf Board Chair Tenure - Garrett College
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Campus News

June 28th, 2022

Crawford completes GCF board chair tenure

Retired judge guided Foundation through two capital campaigns


Susie Crawford has stepped down as chair of the Garrett College Foundation Board of Directors after leading the Foundation to consecutive, record-breaking capital campaigns.

Susie Crawford is certainly going out on top.

Crawford is stepping down as chair of the Garrett College Foundation Board of Directors after providing leadership in the Foundation’s two most successful capital campaigns in history. After raising more than $2.3 million for the Offutt STEM Center in 2017-19, the Foundation moved almost immediately into a campaign for the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College that will close later this summer and has raised nearly $2.5 million.

Crawford – whose mother, Joan, was a legendary Garrett College professor – said she was honored to have played a role in advancing the College’s educational and community missions.

“For me, chairing the Garrett College Foundation Board has been a labor of love in carrying out my mother’s legacy of serving the students of Garrett College,” said Crawford, who is a senior judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

“Garrett College is more than just a place – it is a college that nurtures minds, provides opportunity and promises bright futures,” said Crawford. “The Foundation’s mission is to be a partner with the College and provide the resources to enable students to achieve personal and professional success.”

Cherie Krug, executive director of the Garrett College Foundation, lauded Crawford’s highly effective leadership.

“Susie has led the Foundation to unprecedented growth,” said Krug. “Her strong leadership resulted in two very successful campaigns, raising over $5 million for the Offutt STEM Center and the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College. We are grateful for her service to the board and her very wise counsel over the years.” “The Garrett College Foundation has prospered under the leadership of Susie Crawford,” said Carissa Rodeheaver, who is moving up from vice-chair to serve as Crawford’s successor as board chair. “Her guidance and vision resulted in the success of two critical fundraising campaigns, providing the addition of a state-of-the-art STEM Center to our college and a long-awaited performing arts center in Garrett County.”

Rodeheaver said Crawford’s impact goes well beyond the two high-profile capital campaigns.

“The scholarship program is robust and the I Can Swim Program gives every county kindergarten student the opportunity to learn to swim,” noted Rodeheaver. “The Foundation is well-positioned with a strong board to continue our work for Garrett College. It has been my pleasure to serve under her leadership and I am pleased that she will continue to serve on the board going forward."

Crawford also played an impactful role for Bucknell University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1969. Crawford was a member of the Bucknell University Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2013, including chairing the board from 2003 to 2009.

During Crawford’s tenure as chair, Bucknell adopted a new campus master plan as well as a new strategic plan while reducing the student-faculty ratio and laying the groundwork for a half-billion-dollar capital campaign.

Crawford, who began spending summers in Garrett County in 1954, moved to the county full-time in 1977 after graduating from New England School of Law. She joined the Oakland law practice of Burnett & Eiswert, which later became Burnett, Eiswert & Crawford.

She moved back to part-time county resident in 1981 when she joined the Reagan Administration, serving as general counsel of the Department of the Army. President George H.W. Bush named her inspector general of the Department of Defense and later appointed her to a 15-year term as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She was chief judge from 1999 to 2004, a period that spanned the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Crawford later was appointed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to serve as the convening authority and director of military commissions.

Crawford, who moved back to Garrett County full-time in 2010, joined the Garrett College Foundation board a year later. She became chair of the GCF Board of Directors in 2014.

“In addition to the successful STEM and PAC capital campaigns, I am very proud of the Foundation’s efforts to increase the number and size of scholarships, particularly endowed scholarships,” said Crawford. “I am also very pleased that we have been able to dramatically increase the Foundation’s endowment as well as sustain and grow the Joan and Bill Crawford I Can Swim! Program.”

Crawford noted that the achievements during her eight years as chair of the GCF Board of Directors were the result of a team effort.

“I have been very privileged to work with a wonderful, dedicated group of directors and staff,” said Crawford. “By working together to raise money for student scholarships and academic and recreational programs, the Foundation has opened doors to higher education and enrichment for countless people throughout our community.”