September 25, 2013
Alumnus of the Month: Susan Jaeger ’13

Susan Jaeger is not your typical alumna.  “I returned to college in my late 50’s and just graduated in May; however, returning to college and earning a degree has always been a major goal, and when the opportunity presented itself, I just had to try – even at this late date in my life. It is certainly a testament to the fact that it is never too late to learn. I am now working toward a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Public Administration, so Lees-McRae certainly laid a firm groundwork for these studies. I so loved the time I spent at Lees-McRae, and it certainly gave me the courage to continue to strive for my dream.”

She also has some strong advice for today’s students.  “Although college is a fun time in your life, realize that it is also laying the groundwork for your future. Take your studies seriously and appreciate the opportunity that your parents are affording you by allowing you to get as much education as you desire to have. I didn’t have that opportunity when I graduated from high school, and it certainly established many barriers in my career that I would not have had to overcome had I been given the opportunity to earn a degree. You will also be establishing life-long friendships that will provide you with a network of support as you develop and advance in your career.”

Susan also has many fond memories from her time at Lees-McRae.  She has fun memories of the people she has met and has made some lasting friendships.  One of her favorite projects “was building a prison system from the ground up, including the management system, for Professor Tracy Hoilman. It was a group effort, but what an enormous responsibility. The best part of the project was allowing us to create something that as yet may not exist.”

Giving back to Lees-McRae is also important to Susan.  She feels it is good to give back to those things that have contributed positively to your life. “As we move through life, we gather nuggets from the experiences we have, the people we meet, the knowledge we glean. LMC contributed positively to my life while I studied there, and as a result, I’d like to see that tradition continue. I feel it’s important for us to help the traditions at LMC continue to flourish – especially since my seven-year-old granddaughter, Brienna, has already decided she will go to Lees-McRae!”

Susan currently lives in the small town of Conover, North Carolina, and is married to the love of her life, Anthony Jaeger. “We have 5 children – all grown – 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. As I said earlier, I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college when I graduated from high school; however, I had an extremely satisfying career as a Quality Supervisor and Training Development Supervisor with Corning Cable Systems for a number of years. I took early retirement when our facility moved to Mexico, which allowed me the time and financial opportunity to get my long-awaited college degree. I also served as a humanitarian missionary to the small Eastern European country of Moldova for 6 years and am s-l-o-w-l-y writing a book about those experiences, at the encouragement of my English professor. I am currently working on my master’s degree at Liberty University and hope to teach at the college level for a number of years. My spare time is spent with family and friends, my church, and I enjoy gardening, travel, and genealogy.”

Media Contact:

Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
Tel: 828.898.8838  |  Email:
Susan Jaeger ’13 (pictured right)