Syracuse University Magazine

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Nancy Cantor

A few weeks ago, President Obama called attention to model initiatives that reacclimate and create opportunity for America’s returning servicemen and       -women to civilian life, and a familiar national spotlight fell on Syracuse University. Reminiscent of President Truman’s praise for SU’s exemplary embrace of the original GI Bill after World War II, the president highlighted SU’s widely acclaimed Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE), and our newly created Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). These, and other homegrown groundbreaking efforts, including the new Veterans Technology Program, help today’s veterans and their families jumpstart careers and become successful entrepreneurs. Each initiative epitomizes the intrepid SU spirit of taking on the great challenges of the day by leveraging our strengths in collaboration with others—for example, our ongoing partner JPMorgan Chase, whose $7.5 million gift enabled us to create the IVMF in June.

This national recognition underlines the potential to scale up local solutions to national challenges, such as creating jobs in a volatile economy while making the most of our deep, increasingly diverse talent pool. If we “act locally,” we give ourselves a chance at tackling what otherwise might be overwhelming. Indeed, many SU students and faculty are doing just that with cross-sector partners in a burgeoning array of entrepreneurial initiatives that spans the disciplines. For instance: 

  • Through the Near West Side Initiative, faculty and students from the arts and humanities to technology and management are working with aspiring small-business owners to help them realize their dreams and bring renewed vibrancy to a long-neglected neighborhood.
  • SU’s Burton Blatt Institute is leading Start-Up NY, which strives to assure equal access to business opportunity by providing critical training and business development resources to aspiring entrepreneurs who have disabilities or face economic hardship.
  • Student entrepreneurs from our Student Sandbox initiative are seeing stunning success in winning business plan competitions and attracting venture capital for their ingenious ideas—from online video games featuring user-generated characters, to more efficient means for doctors to sterilize medical implements.
  • Global medical technology leader Welch Allyn recently transferred to SU the operations and resources of Blue Highway, its subsidiary innovation incubator located on our campus, providing us with a whole new avenue—as it were—for accelerating faculty innovation and entrepreneurship across the sciences, engineering, technology, and beyond.

As we face the great economic challenges of our day, we can find inspiration in the hundreds of veterans and their families who are leveraging SU’s innovative programs to redefine their lives with an eye toward remaking America. Just as the “Greatest Generation” embodied the promise and transformative power of an SU education in its time, today’s diverse generation of veterans is at the vanguard of Scholarship in Action—education that not only changes lives, but changes the world.


Nancy Cantor

Chancellor and President