Syracuse University Magazine

Chancellor's Message


The weeks following Commencement are usually among my favorite times of the year. From my desk, as I look out across campus, I see a subtle difference in the students who are here this summer. They walk a bit slower. They pause to savor conversation. 

It is as if the entire campus steps back and takes a breath.

Certainly, that feeling goes hand in hand with the arrival of summer. Yet the pause is really just a moment of thoughtful anticipation before we resume our exciting trajectory at Syracuse. You’ll see that in this publication, in so many ways. Sometimes, it involves feats of international research prominence, such as the University’s role in affirming one of Einstein’s great theories.

Sometimes, the accomplishments are quiet but profound—such as when members of the National Society for Black Engineers fanned out in city neighborhoods, urging young residents to dream big about attending college.

Our emphasis, moving forward, is on connectivity—physically, academically, and socially. Bringing those attributes together, joining them to forge the greatest benefit, is the entire point of our new draft Campus Framework. The bold vision contained within the document confirms what I’ve always believed to be true: Innovation happens when the learning environment inspires it. If you haven’t had an opportunity to review the draft Campus Framework, I urge you to visit There you’ll find the full draft document and a public comment section where you can provide your feedback in real time. Also, watch for details on a Campus Framework presentation as part of Orange Central in the fall. 

While the summer months traditionally offer a sense of respite, this summer brought a wave of terrible grief to our nation and to the world. Countless lives were taken and thousands of families were impacted. 

But amid all the grief and tragedy, a few simple words from an inspirational alumnus can point us toward what is good and right in the world. 

In accepting a Tony for best performance as a leading actor for his role in The Father, Frank Langella ’59 said: “When something bad happens we have three choices: We let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us.”

Those are words to take to heart in these summer months. At Syracuse, we are committed to remembering our common humanity. We believe in an engaged, diverse, and inclusive University community. We seek to build empathy, tolerance, and mutual understanding while making it easier for our graduates to succeed in an often turbulent and fast-evolving world.

That mission never ends. These days are not a pause. They are simply a deep breath, before we move forward, together.


Kent Syverud

Chancellor and President