M. Susan Savage ’74: Political Leader
“Arcadia professors pushed me past my comfort level to explore different ways of thinking about problems with an emphasis on written and verbal communication. My Arcadia experiences significantly influenced my professional achievements.”
As Oklahoma’s Secretary of State, M. Susan Savage ’74 often is called upon to quickly assess public policy situations and then formulate plans to address them. She also is Oklahoma’s first point of contact for international relations, which requires her to educate herself about economic and educational interests of other cultures and to identify points of connection within Oklahoma. She credits Arcadia University with giving her the foundation for these skills.
“Arcadia University helped me to develop critical thinking and analytical skills—both of which have served me well throughout my professional life, most especially as the Mayor of Tulsa and now as Oklahoma’s Secretary of State,” she says. “Arcadia professors pushed me past my comfort level to explore different ways of thinking about problems with an emphasis on written and verbal communication. My Arcadia experiences have significantly influenced the professional achievements I have had.”
Savage’s exposure to other cultures was strengthened through a semester abroad in London. “The opportunity to live and study abroad is remarkable at any age. Living in London as a student opened my mind to people from around the world, exposed me to different cultures and issues, and helped me cultivate a more global view.”
She says her Arcadia experiences also have benefited her as the mother of two daughters. “Education in the classroom and through life experiences has shaped the young women they are today. They grew up hearing me stress the importance of critical thinking and good communication skills. They are citizens of the world having traveled, studied and lived abroad at various times in their lives.
“My college experiences at Arcadia have held me in good stead throughout my life. Whether debating an economics professor, or studying religion, prison systems, anthropology or philosophy, I was well prepared to develop professionally and to become an active, engaged citizen and public servant.”