Syracuse University Magazine

dc_club.jpgDoug Smith '98 (left), Janice Adams '86, and Keith Smith '83, treasurer of the SU Alumni Club of D.C., visit during a SUccess in the City networking event.

Alumni Club of D.C.

Orange Strengthens Capital Connections

Through a variety of scholarships, social activities, and sports programs, students and alumni have daily access to all the wonders of Washington, D.C. “During the course of the year, we have many activities and events to engage our alumni,” says Ann Donahue Yockey G’83, executive director of regional operations for SU in Washington D.C., based at the Greenberg House. “This includes showcasing the expertise of Syracuse faculty and alumni through academic programs, providing career networking and mentoring activities, interacting with prospective students, and, of course, the Syracuse versus Georgetown basketball rivalry continues to draw a large Orange crowd here.”

Along with those activities, the Syracuse University Alumni Club of D.C. also collaborates with the Greenberg House on such events as SUccess in the City (an alumni networking initiative), annual student sendoffs, panel discussions, and volunteer service—making a strong connection to the Orange community for the roughly 16,000 SU graduates in the D.C. area. Members of the alumni club also participate in activities offered by the Capital Alumni Network (CAN), a 15-year-old national nonprofit association of more than 220 alumni chapters based in the Washington, D.C., area. Like many alumni-oriented organizations, it offers a range of educational, networking, service, social, and athletic activities, including sports leagues. “Syracuse is one of the founding members of CAN,” says Marc Beckel ’95, a D.C. club board member who serves as the club athletics coordinator. “CAN started out as a softball league. Syracuse was one of those teams.”

The D.C. club competes against alumni clubs of other universities in basketball, flag football, soccer, and softball. “If you want to participate, I am a big supporter of regular participation,” says Beckel, who coaches softball. “It’s competitive, but it’s fun.”

In June, CAN awarded its first ever scholarship—funded through sponsorships for its annual softball tournament—to the SU club. Thanks to the efforts of the club’s board, including Lauren Appelbaum ’06, who wrote the application, the club won $1,000, which it added to its general scholarship fund. Since 2005, the club has awarded $1,500 scholarships to SU students who are from the D.C. area or are studying or interning in the Beltway during the summer. This year’s recipients were College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate Sean Herron ’11 and Maxwell School graduate student Jeffrey Barron. “It’s important to the club to help current students,” Appelbaum says. “We were all students. We all know how hard it is to study and pay for rent and other expenses in a new city.”

Among the D.C. club’s other recent events have been a first-time home-buyers seminar, “An Evening of Politics” with U.S. Congressman Dan Maffei of Syracuse, theater trips, and a tour of the FBI training facility. The club also provides free membership to Orange graduates in their first year after college. “The club is Syracuse, but it is uniquely D.C. as well,” says club president Eric Colchamiro ’03. —Brian Hudgins