Suzanne L. Richard, Ph.D. '71
Classical and Modern Language
Dr. Richard earned her Bachelor of Arts in Classical and Modern Language in 1971. Because of her course work at Gannon and a senior year abroad in Jerusalem, she was accepted directly into Johns Hopkins University’s Ph.D. program, receiving her doctorate in Near-Eastern Studies in 1978.
Beginning her college career as a history major, she would naturally be drawn to archaeology due to her love for the Middle East, geology, and history. Under the direction of Dr. Ward Peterson, she would enroll in classes at Hebrew University while on a dig in Israel. “I shocked even myself by calling my Mom and telling her I had decided to stay in the Near East,” she recalls.
Rising through the ranks over the years, Dr. Richard is the Director of the three fields at Khirbat Iskandar, a 7.5-acre site south of Madaba in Jordan. As Director, she directs people in all fields, including palaeobotanists, paleontologists, students, and locals who provide labor assistance.
In 1986, Dr. Richard was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by Gannon. “It is ironic how life goes full circle,” she mentions. “Gannon helped me get where I am today, and now the university where I teach and Gannon are joined in a consortium across the world in Khirbat Iskandar, Jordan.”
Dr. Richard is also a professor at Gannon, teaching archaeology and theology.
(Published August 2014)