Blossoming on the Quad
The Orange Grove will honor generations of alumni and
serve as a contemplative space on campus

A thriving university is a living organism. When visiting the Hill, alumni often expect physical growth. There is reassurance in seeing new buildings rise on campus. However, many of the thousands of people who have come to this campus for one—and usually more—of life’s pivotal experiences expect a sense of continuity as well, when they visit. “This campus needs an outside spot that alumni can call their own,” says Lil O’Rourke ’77, associate vice president for alumni relations, “and we’re happy to announce that they’re going to give themselves quite a beautiful one, which we are calling the Orange Grove.”

With concept and design approval from Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw, the SU Alumni Association plans to break ground on the project in May, hoping to see completion in time for a dedication ceremony at Homecoming 2003. Intended as a permanent tribute to the generations of alumni who have made the University such an active force in so many areas of regional, national, and international life, the Orange Grove will stand adjacent to the Quad, in front of Bowne Hall and Carnegie Library. Featuring a copse of trees bordered by berms of grass and low walls, the new 4,200 square-foot outdoor space will serve as a setting for sculptures, with benches placed within to create a contemplative oasis at the heart of campus.

More Information
If you’re interested in learning more about the Orange Grove, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867), e-mail sualumni@syr.edu, or visit the office’s web site at www.syracuse.edu/alumni.

 

The spiritual and emotional nexus of the Orange Grove will be a pathway lined by foot-square paving stones cut from a naturally orange-hewn granite. Each stone provides as many as six spaces for engraved names. Alumni, faculty, staff, and other supporters of the University are invited to purchase the pavers in their own names or their family names, or to honor professors, classmates, or others who have made a difference for the University. Campus organizations will also have the opportunity to venerate esteemed members. “Rules about who will want to etch whose name in stone are, well, not etched in stone,” O’Rourke says.

National Alumni Association president Debbie Fritsche ’74 can hardly contain her excitement about the initiative. “The Orange Grove is on a par with the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center as among the most important projects ever undertaken by alumni, for alumni,” she says. “The money raised by the Orange Grove will be dedicated to alumni relations programs. This represents a major commitment by Chancellor Shaw and the administration to provide this long-needed support and, at the same time, give the campus a visible connection to the students of the past. All of us want to help the University, and while not everybody can name a building, the Orange Grove offers each of us a little piece of the Quad, where our names can become a permanent part of the campus for friends, family, and future generations to see. We are creating a building without walls, a living, growing part of SU’s history.”

Courtesy of Schleicher—Soper Architects
The Orange Grove, pictured in this architectural drawing, will be an outdoor gathering place for alumni.

Ellen Ruby Silverstone ’65, a member of the executive committee of the Alumni Association board of directors, anticipates the Orange Grove as a special place for her family. A second-generation graduate, she met her husband (Edwin ’63) at SU, and saw her daughter (Laura ’93) carry on the tradition. “I remember my years at Syracuse vividly and always enjoy returning,” Silverstone says. “I have fond memories of walking through Archbold Gymnasium and finding pictures of my father [Raymond Ruby ’32] with the lacrosse team. I loved taking my daughter there and having her connect with her heritage. The Orange Grove will give us a permanent place where we can celebrate both our family and our Syracuse legacies.”

Beverly Barr Vaughan ’54, also a member of the alumni board’s executive committee, agrees. “My parents [Clara ’21 and Culver ’21] met at SU just as World War I began and were active alumni all their lives,” she says. “I followed, and was, in turn, followed by my brother [Culver ’57]. SU is a proud part of our family history, and the Orange Grove creates a tangible spot to express that tradition right at the center of the place we hold so dear.”

Crowning Moment


Renée Schine Crown ’50, H’84, left, and Mary Ann Shaw share a moment at the Crown dinner.

Private universities greatly depend on the love, loyalty, and generosity of their alumni. Renée Schine Crown ’50, H’84 of Wilmette, Illinois, has made all these things abundantly available to Syracuse University, adding further measures of wisdom and vision to her contributions. In April, Crown was honored by family, friends, and members of the University community at a dinner in Chicago, where she received the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement. In presenting the award, Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw said, “Renée Crown is the kind of alumna any university would be proud to claim. Her steadfast commitment to the best for all our students has truly helped shape Syracuse University. I am personally deeply grateful to her and look forward to relying on her in the years ahead.”

Crown, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences who received the George Arents Pioneer Medal in 2000 for her civic leadership, served on the Board of Trustees for 32 years, and was designated as a trustee emeritus this spring. The fruits of her extraordinary generosity are visible all over the Hill. They include the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center, for which she provided the naming gift in honor of her parents; and the Melvin A. Eggers Hall, home of the Maxwell School, a building project she helped guide.

Marveling at Crown’s contributions to SU, as well as medical, civic, and academic institutions across the country, Chancellor Shaw was moved to cite scripture from the Book of Proverbs: “Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

—David Marc

Alumni Association board member Don McPherson ’87 is an Orange Grove enthusiast who holds a unique place in Syracuse history. As quarterback of the undefeated 1987 Orangemen football squad, he has fond memories of his years on the Hill—and he also helped create special memories for his classmates, as well as tens of thousands of Syracuse alumni and fans around the country. “I see the Orange Grove as an appropriate reflection of the relationship of this University to its alumni,” McPherson says. “A grove is a garden space, a place where life, in all its varieties, is nurtured for harmony and growth. This campus has been just that for many of us.”

Walter Bobkiewicz G’89, who is an alumni board member, hopes to see the names of many of his fellow SU graduate school alumni in the Orange Grove. “It will be a focal point for all generations of Syracuse alumni,” he says. “I urge everyone to join us in creating this special place.”

Chancellor Shaw says the Orange Grove will accomplish many things at once—all of them good. “It will beautify the campus while creating a central meeting spot for the University community,” he says. “It will pay tribute to all the Alumni Association’s good work, while creating the opportunity for everyone to experience the special pride of naming a piece of the Hill.”

“Go Orange!” Fritsche says. “And go directly to the Orange Grove!”

óDavid Marc

 

 

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