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Susan Berdella Snyder Drenning, member of Elmira College’s “Famous” Class of 1964 and EC Board of Trustee member between 2000-2006, passed away on August 4, 2023, at 80.
Drenning was dedicated to EC and demonstrated her pride in the College by volunteering her time, raising funds, and remembering EC in her estate. Her heart long remained with the College and she dedicated much of her life to ensuring EC would continue to be a supportive home for future generations.
Drenning graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. As a student, she loved to be part of the EC community and particularly enjoyed writing songs for her class, traveling, and singing.
“Susan was a delight as a classmate,” said Marcia Liebich ’64, a former EC Board of Trustee and Alumni Board member. “Elmira was a "singing" college at the time and we wrote and sang songs for Blazer Day, Mountain Day, and Graduation. Any excuse we could find!”
Liebich and Drenning traveled to Europe together before their senior year and they remained close for more than 50 years, bonded by their love for EC. They served together as Alumni Class Agents and would see each other at Reunions and Octagon Fairs.
Drenning also volunteered in the communities where she lived. In her role as Director of Upper Arlington Senior Center, she focused on intergenerational programs, pairing members of the center with elementary students. She and her husband of 58 years, Fred Drenning, were active in their church, completing mission work locally and abroad, and helping feed the disadvantaged. Drenning also channeled her love for reading into literacy volunteer work.
Drenning always kept her love for music and was involved in the York Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. She and her husband helped with a campaign to rebuild the Strand Theatre complex, where the orchestra plays.
In recognition of her lifelong service, Drenning was awarded and presented with the EC Distinguished Service Award in 2019, during her 55th Reunion. This was an honor Drenning shared with her mother, Berdella Emig Snyder ’32, who also received the Distinguished Service Award for her roles as a Trustee and an Alumni Association Board Director.
“Susan Drenning will forever remain in our hearts, cherished for her boundless energy and the passion she had for helping others,” expressed Dr. Charles Lindsay, Elmira College President. “With her volunteer work here and abroad, she represented a truly globally engaged citizen, and we are grateful for her many years of service and unwavering support for Elmira College.”
Per Drenning’s wishes, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jessica and Friends Community, the Elmira College Class of 1964 Fund, or a charity of one’s choice.