Syracuse University Magazine


The University's new satellite campus in Los Angeles serves as a gathering place for students, alumni, parents, and prospective students. 

Photo by Leroy Hamilton

A New Home in Southern California

Responding to the educational needs of students, geographical choices of alumni, and demographic trends of applicants, SU has been expanding its activities across the nation and around the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in Southern California, where Syracuse University in Los Angeles (SULA) has established its new satellite campus at 4312 Woodman Avenue in Sherman Oaks. "We've got a great location right off Ventura Boulevard, the main road running through the San Fernando Valley," says Joan Adler G'76, assistant vice president for regional operations, Los Angeles, who moved into her new office there this summer. "It's a beautiful place to meet with students, alumni, parents, and with prospective students and college counselors." Much of the credit for finding the prime location and guiding the University through the logistics of shaping it for maximum benefit goes to Trustee George Hicker '68, founder and president of The Cardinal Company, a Southern California real estate firm.

With Syracuse University "in session" in Los Angeles on a year-round basis, the new classrooms at the facility are being put to good use. The L.A. Semester, designed for undergraduates aspiring to careers in the entertainment business, is offered in both fall and spring, and doors remain open in summer for workshops designed to meet the career and personal growth needs of area professionals. Popular student immersion experiences, such as the Newhouse media production visit during winter break and Aaron Sorkin Week during spring break, are growing in size, number, and type, including offerings in art and architecture. Alumni in the entertainment industry have played a prominent role in SULA programs, bringing students into their workplaces for internships and offering lectures in classes. Next spring, the satellite campus will broaden its academic benefit to the University when Michael Krupat '98 teaches The Art of the Sizzle Reel, a course on the production of promotional shorts, via live interactive videoconferencing to students on the Syracuse campus. Krupat, senior vice president of Ryan Seacrest Productions, will make periodic visits to the Hill for unmediated face time with students. "We'll be using this facility and our resources in Los Angeles to contribute directly to the education of students in Syracuse," says Professor Andrea Asimow, who directs SULA's academic and professional programs.

Asimow believes a physical presence will help SULA achieve its principal missions: increasing educational opportunities for SU students; establishing a focal point for social and career networking in one of the world's great cities; helping "far-flung" alumni reconnect with the University; and establishing SU as an attractive and familiar "brand" for potential students and transfers. "It feels as if all the work and energy that alumni and faculty have poured into the L.A.-based programs have culminated in this place," Asimow says. "When you enter, there's no mistaking the message: Welcome to Syracuse University!" That feeling of an SU presence is projected through the facility's design, created and implemented under the supervision of the project's manager, Chuck Merrihew, SU's vice president for advancement and external affairs. "The 7,000-square-foot layout addresses the mix of office, classroom, and program needs the location requires," Merrihew says. "It adds the welcoming glow of Orange, reminding alumni, as well as current and future students, of the reach of Syracuse University." —David Marc