Syracuse University Magazine

Reflections on the SU Experience

During Orange Central Weekend, Lloyd F. Anderson ’47 journeyed to campus for the first time in decades. It was a truly special visit for Anderson because his grandson, Michael Avallone ’13, enrolled here this fall as a student in the School of Information Studies. Anderson was born in Eureka, California, the son of Finnish immigrants who met at a logging camp, and grew up in the Bronx. He became a New York City swimming champion and caught the attention of Orange swimming coach Ted Webster ’29, who offered Anderson a full scholarship to SU. Anderson had never been to Syracuse, but Webster greeted him when he stepped off the train in 1941 and forever changed his life. The coach looked after the lanky young man who would set records in the pool, taught him about discipline, and lined up a summer job for him where he met his future wife, Dorothy. “He was a wonderful man,” says Anderson, who shares some of his SU memories in “Alumni Reflections,” a new audio feature on our redesigned web site. 

Like so many of his generation, Anderson had his education interrupted by World War II. He remembers returning from a movie downtown to the Kappa Sigma House and finding all the guys listening to a radio—Pearl Harbor had been bombed. He enlisted several months later, and by 1944 was serving on a Navy ship in the Pacific, off Iwo Jima, helping rescue downed bomber pilots. He returned to Syracuse in 1946 as a veteran and a married man. He captained the Orange swim team, earned a degree in marketing, and went on to a long successful career as an executive with Caterpillar, the heavy equipment manufacturer, traveling and living abroad and raising a family. 

Anderson remembers how proud he was to be a college student the first time he saw the Hall of Languages and appreciates the influence his Syracuse education has had in his life. It is a sentiment shared by many who have come to the Hill through the years. As you’ll see in this issue—whether it’s through a unique collaboration with the Say Yes to Education Foundation to inspire youngsters on a path to college, a call-to-action like the Syracuse Responds Initiative, which assisted students strapped by the financial meltdown, or a study-abroad experience in Florence—the University continues to make an impact by helping students discover their talents and reach for their goals. Higher education, in so many ways, truly changes lives. It’s nice to know SU plays such an important role in that—and will continue to for generations to come. 

Jay Cox, Editor