Remembering Emeritus Trustee Jim Claussen, Lifelong Champion of GU Students (1937-2024)

Published: March 14, 2024

Greenville University Trustee Emeritus Jim Claussen ’59, age 86, of Winter Haven, Florida, passed away February 21, 2024.

Jim served as a Greenville University trustee from 1975 to 2011. As a founding member of the University’s Heritage Circle giving society, he and his wife of 65 years, Susan (Page) Claussen, faithfully and enthusiastically championed GU students. They received the University’s servant leadership award in 2012 and its Loyalty Award in 2017. Most recently, the couple served together on the steering committee of GU’s Rise Up comprehensive campaign.

Demonstrating unfailing heartfelt service and devotion to their alma mater, Jim and Susan funded many thousands of dollars in scholarships over 45 consecutive years of giving. They opened countless doors for students to attend Greenville University and cheered others to do the same.

“I don’t think anyone has attended more Greenville College alumni gatherings than Jim Claussen,” former GU President Robert “Ish” Smith once said, adding with a grin that Susan was a close second. “They not only attended more than anyone else, they organized more.”

Smith said the couple set the pace in their example of giving and challenged others in word and deed to take risks for GU’s mission—“to give sacrificially, and to trust that God will honor our faithfulness when we do that.”

President Suzanne Davis reflected on their personal impact, saying, "Jim and Susan have been incredibly supportive of me during my tenure as president. I had the pleasure of visiting them multiple times in Florida and always left feeling enriched by their kind and generous spirit. Jim's commitment to sharing his pride in his alma mater was palpable, as he frequently wrote to fellow alumni to keep them updated on the University's progress. His letters were a testament to his enduring love and dedication to Greenville University."

In lieu of flowers, friends and family are invited to remember Jim with a contribution to Greenville University (Greenville, Illinois) or Warner University (Lake Wales, Florida).

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