Syracuse University Magazine

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor CantorThe record number of Syracuse University family members we welcomed back to campus this fall for both Orange Central and Coming Back Together X—SU's triennial reunion of African American and Latino alumni—are living proof, quite literally, of the powerful pull of SU as "home." Alumni came from down the street, across the nation, and, indeed, around the world to be here.

That irresistible urge to come home to SU from far and wide is a trend we fully expect to grow even stronger in the years to come, as we enroll classes that are increasingly diverse in every dimension, including where our students are from. For example, this fall's class, which is incredibly strong in academic quality, includes our largest-ever proportion of students from regions outside the Northeast—nearly one-third—with many of them coming from our "geographies of opportunity" in the fastest growing metropolitan areas of the West and South, as well as internationally. We're also staying ahead of the national demographic curve and at the same time addressing a crucial national need to increase college participation rates among the fast-growing segments of the American population across ethnic backgrounds and the socioeconomic spectrum.

Expanding our reach to meet the nation's and the world's needs is a time-tested strategy for SU, recalling Chancellor Tolley's exemplary response to Governor Dewey's and the nation's call to meet the needs of World War II veterans and build a stronger nation. Little did Tolley know that many of those veterans would succeed so overwhelmingly and give back to their alma mater as never before in its history, building SU into a stronger university and stabilizing our future as an anchor for our city and region. Their success paved the way for a community college transfer from Elmira to become the first woman space shuttle commander and for the first African American Heisman Trophy winner, also hailing from Elmira, to follow an equally unprecedented path to victory.

As we think about the promise of our future students and of our scholarship, we also know that in our rapidly densifying world, the two-way street of our engagement with the City of Syracuse and the world is more timely than ever. Engaged scholarship is vital to our common future, which is evident to our countless partners, including many members of the SU family, who have worked with us in bold, cross-sector collaborations over the last seven years—from opening the Warehouse, to creating the South Side Innovation Center, to modeling neighborhood sustainability with LEED-certified "green" homes on the Near West Side. It's also vital to the future of our disciplines, which is evident to the hundreds of faculty and thousands of students whose scholarship has been as stretched in the process.

By continuing to reach out today, we are not only strengthening SU's distinctive legacy as a place of opportunity, we are advancing our stature as a signature university for our times. History tells us that even now, with all our challenges, we can be engines of innovation collaborating to restore prosperity if we roll up our sleeves and welcome all the diverse talent we can bring to the task. We've done it before. We can do it again, to all our advantage.


Nancy Cantor

Chancellor and President