Susan Head holds a BA in psychology from Western Maryland College, now known as McDaniel College, and in 1975 earned her master’s degree in educational psychology with a special education certificate from Montclair State. Soon after graduating, she decided to take her background in psychology and education and apply them to the business world, where she has resided for over 30 years. She is currently the Senior Vice President and Senior Philanthropic Specialist for Wells Fargo and is responsible for charitable and nonprofit relationships in New Jersey and New York.
As a Philanthropic Specialist, she is responsible for overseeing the administration and investments of endowments, foundations and planned giving assets. In addition, she helps not-for-profit clients and donors explore which charitable giving strategies may work best, given the not-for-profit organization’s and donor’s unique sets of needs.
It is through Head’s efforts that Montclair State received financial support from the Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation for the John J. Cali School of Music Building Fund, the Cali Connect Program and for the Shanghai Quartet Scholarship. The Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation was created by Charlotte Bergen, to honor her beloved parents for supporting and encouraging her love of music. Over the years Head has represented Wells Fargo as the Trustee of the Bergen Foundation and has felt fortunate for this responsibility.
“Growing up, music was a large part of my own life,” she says. “My mother played piano and so my sisters took after her. I however, wanted to learn to play the flute and was fortunate enough to get lessons from Paige Brook, who served as the Associate Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic.”
Head’s passion for music did not end there. She continued to play the flute into her twenties and played for the New Jersey all-state orchestra. She served on the Board of Directors for the NJ Tap Ensemble for 10 years and was honored for her commitment to the arts in 2006. An active graduate of the Montclair State community, she attended the opening ceremony of the John J. Cali School of Music in 2010 and over the years has returned to campus to hear recitals by the Shanghai Quartet.
In May, Head was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 Graduate School Convocation ceremony.
“Montclair State continues to educate me to this day,” says Head. “Thanks to Montclair State, I’ve been given many opportunities to reflect on where I’ve been and how the University has influenced my life. I shared this with the graduates in May and it was wonderful to see the excitement on their faces as they entered the next phase of being connected to Montclair State.”
Head is active in various civic and community service organizations including serving as Board Chair and Chair of the Development Committee with the Trinitas Medical Center Foundation. A model example of what it means to pay it forward to the next generation of students at Montclair State, Head says she has enjoyed watching the scope of the University broaden over the years and looks forward to what’s still to come.