Syracuse University Magazine

Appreciating Our Orange Family

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This is my final column as president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association (SUAA). On June 30, my term will come to a close. It has been an extraordinary honor to lead an alumni association that is 250,000 members strong. I have enjoyed meeting many of you in person—in restaurants, on campus, and often while flying.  

In the last few years, the SUAA Board of Directors helped to drive much-needed organizational shifts and a renewed focus on alumni engagement at Syracuse University. I am so grateful to my fellow board members for their energy and ideas. Incredible leadership changes, along with enhanced programming across the globe and outreach for alumni volunteers, make me confident that alumni will feel more connected than ever to our alma mater. 

I know that the SUAA will continue to make great progress under president-elect Tracy Barash ’89, who played a tremendous role in strengthening our prestigious Arents Award nomination process and ceremony. Honoring our deserving alumni and keeping that tradition alive are important to me as I conclude my term. 

While I will no longer lead the SUAA, I certainly plan to return to campus for this year’s Orange Central: October 5-8. The Arents Award ceremony is a highlight of the weekend, and I hope that you and your families will consider joining me on a beautiful fall weekend for what promises to be an immensely exciting few days. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sue Ballard, associate vice president of alumni engagement, as well as the entire Office of Alumni Engagement for their partnership with the SUAA Board of Directors. Your passion for Syracuse University is inspiring. From an all-alumni tailgate on the Quad during Orange Central 2016 to a new focus on professional development opportunities for alumni, you have listened to our Orange family—and we are thankful.

You, my fellow alumni, are my Orange family. As I will share with the Class of 2017 at Commencement, a family takes care of its members for life. I love Syracuse University, and I feel proud of our alma mater. This isn’t “goodbye,” but rather “see you soon”—perhaps at a New Jersey diner, on Marshall Street, or maybe even at 35,000 feet.

Forever Orange,

Mark Verone ’95

President, Syracuse University Alumni Association