Steve Sartori

Fond Farewell

As associate vice president for Alumni Relations for nearly five years, I have enjoyed meeting thousands of loyal alumni around the world and working with an outstanding staff to provide the services and programs that keep our alumni connected. Together, we have started new alumni clubs, launched the Orange Grove, and expanded such offerings as our online alumni directory and permanent e-mail forwarding.

I have always welcomed new challenges and experiences, especially when they pertain to furthering the University’s mission. While my time in the Office of Alumni Relations has been a very special part of my 20 years in higher education advancement, the opportunity to work for SU’s College of Arts and Sciences was one I could not pass up. As the college’s new associate dean of advancement, I am very pleased to work with Dean Cathryn Newton and her staff. And as an alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences, I look forward to helping make the college even stronger by coordinating a strategic plan that includes fund raising and outreach for alumni and students.

Syracuse University remains committed to keeping its alumni a vibrant part of campus life. Your status as alumni brings with it many privileges and responsibilities, and I am personally counting on each of you to stay involved, stay connected, and give back to the University community. Thank you for your partnership in working toward the betterment of SU.

Lil Breul OíRourke í77
Associate Dean for Advancement
College of Arts and Sciences
Associate Vice President, Giving Programs
Division of Institutional Advancement



FOR INFORMATION ON ALUMNI TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES, contact Tina Casella in the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-SUALUMS or e-mail


Join the Club

WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET INVOLVED with your local alumni club. Clubs participate in a variety of activities, including game-watching events, networking opportunities, new student recruiting, and community service projects.

Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at:

The programs link on our home page will take you to the club pages. There you will find a complete listing of all our regional and specialty clubs, as well as the club contactís name, phone number, and e-mail address. For information on the club nearest you, contact the person listed or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-782-5867.

Staying in Touch
If you want information on:
• Alumni events
• The SU Alumni Online Community
• The SU alumni club in your area
Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at and click on the appropriate link, or call 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867)

    SU Photo and Imaging Center  

The Goon Squad has provided assistance to incoming students at SU for more than 50 years. Pictured at left and below, Goons help new students move in to their residence halls on opening day.

Keith Gatling ’81, G’87 will never forget the day he arrived on campus—or the way University Avenue looked with a mile-long orange stripe running down its center. In the past, scores of freshmen have been greeted by the sight, painted by members of the Goon Squad the day before new students arrived. “It was a path to campus and a fun way to make sure no one would get lost,” says Gatling, a member of the student organization from 1975-81.

The orange stripe is just one of many ways the Goon Squad has assisted incoming students over the years. Created in 1944 by the Traditions Commission, the squad is best known for helping freshmen move into their residence halls. “I remember the Goons charging up to our car in their bright orange shirts, yelling ‘Welcome, welcome,’ when we pulled up to the dorm on my first day,” says Lori Zisk Rosner ’76, G’77, who later became known as “Mama Goon” for her leading role in the organization. For Naomi Weinberg ’03, being part of the Goon Squad was about meeting new people, making friends, and giving back to the University community. “I was nervous and scared on my first day at SU, but the Goons made me feel at home,” she says. “I wanted to get involved and help others the same way.”

In addition to helping students move in, the group was originally intended to enforce the wearing of freshman beanies, which enabled upperclassmen to spot the newcomers and offer them help. Beanies became obsolete in the ’70s, but the Goons continued to spread school spirit throughout campus during Opening Week and at football games, where they led placard cheers. Members also performed in the annual Goon Show, a parody of freshman year told through skits and original student music. “The Goon Show had a song or an act for almost everything, from saying goodbye to your parents to doing laundry,” says Gatling, who composed many of the show’s songs and directed it for three years as an undergraduate student.

The Goon Squad of today no longer produces a show, leads cheers, or paints the road orange, but its mission is still the same: to welcome incoming students to Syracuse University and to help them feel at home. And the Goons are busier than ever. Membership has jumped from approximately 200 in 2000 to more than 400 in 2003, the result of increased involvement on the part of student organizations across campus. In addition to assisting with the move-in process, this year Goons helped with such Opening Week events as the Chancellor’s Convocation, bus trips to the New York State Fair, Lunch on the Turf in the Carrier Dome, Orangefest 2003, and Late Night at the Gym. “Members of the Goon Squad have a strong sense of Orange pride,” says Mariana Lebron, director of orientation and transitions services. “Their excitement and enthusiasm fosters school spirit and a sense of belonging among new students.”
According to Carrie Grogan G’03, an assistant director in the Office of Greek Life and Experiential Learning who coordinates the Goon Squad, plans for increased involvement are under way. “We’re evolving the role of the Goon Squad from a move-in crew to a year-long presence,” Grogan says. “The Goon Squad will be there to welcome and support you not just for your first few days, but for your entire first year.”

—Kate Gaetano

Bringing Back a Favorite

Courtesy of SU Archives

It’s been 50 years since the cast of White Bucks and Tales went “Walking out Late,” but classmates and castmates did it all again during Reunion Weekend in June. They returned to campus for White Bucks and Tales: Revisited, a 50th anniversary production of the popular, student-written and -produced musical first staged in April 1953. Longtime friends and former cast members Jerry Leider ’53, Bill Angelos ’54, Don Hornung ’53, Lan O’Kun ’54, and Don Rosenblit ’53 began organizing the Reunion production a year ago, and were soon joined by 22 other former cast members from around the country.

The driving force behind the original White Bucks and Tales (WBT) came from Leider, who proposed the idea of a senior musical to college roommates Rosenblit and Bill Persky ’53. Persky and Rosenblit wrote the show—about a group of college students traveling from campus to Hollywood—and O’Kun and Angelos composed the music and lyrics to 16 original songs. (A 50th Reunion CD of the original soundtrack was created for the 2003 show.) Leider directed the show, and the WBT cast and crew members admiringly recall his dedication to the project and his joking words: “There’s only one excuse for missing a rehearsal and that’s a death in the family. Yours.”

When it debuted at Syracuse’s Astor Theater, White Bucks and Tales won popular acclaim from crowds and critics. The show’s success launched dozens of personal and professional triumphs. Hornung, ’53 president and now co- chairman of the 50th Reunion Committee, recalls watching his roommates and classmates develop the show. “Looking at the crew, you just knew it was a group of people who would all do well when they got out of school,” he says.

He was right. Leider went on to New York City and then Hollywood for a career as a producer and executive in the television and film business. WBT choreographer Julian Tomchin ’53 became a leading fashion designer and consultant in New York City. O’Kun wrote musical compositions and more than 1,300 television scripts, including ones for the Shari Lewis Show and The Love Boat. Perksy received five Emmy Awards for his screenwriting. Stage manager Gil Cates ’55, G’65—winner of the George Arents Pioneer Medal—produced 11 Academy Award ceremonies and earned 76 Emmy nominations and 17 Emmy Awards. “The show’s performers were so talented to begin with,” says Joan Tesnow Litke, ’54, G’65, one of the WBT featured dancers. “We were lucky to have everyone together again.”

—Sara Mortimer

SU Photo and Imaging Center
Pictured at top, Dodie Summa Boyle ’53 performs in White Bucks and Tales. Many original cast members returned in June for White Bucks and Tales: Revisited, including, left to right: Shirley Fenner Reidenbaugh ’54, Dodie Summa Boyle ’53, Vicki Ellen Herman Friedman ’55, and Joan Tesnow Litke ’54, G’65.


Courtesy of Gohagan & Company
Alumni walked among the cobbled streets of Rye, England, during the Village Life in Canterbury tour.

Jona Clarke ’46 had visited England several times before last spring, but had never stayed in a hotel with a history dating back to the 12th century. “It was so squeaky we had to laugh—you couldn’t take a step without making noise,” says Clarke, who participated in the seven-day Village Life in Canterbury tour sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association. With its 12th-century cellars and 15th-century timbers, the historic County Hotel in Canterbury was just one of many places that helped SU alumni and friends experience the authentic character and culture of the English countryside.

The Canterbury-based tour guided alumni through the narrow lanes and cobblestone streets of England’s ecclesiastical capital, where they marveled at Canterbury Cathedral—England’s oldest cathedral—and learned of writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, Joseph Conrad, and T.S. Eliot, who contributed to the city’s rich literary heritage. Alumni also traveled on daily excursions to surrounding towns in the County of Kent. During bus rides each day, guide Andrew Thompson, a professor of history at the University of Kent, gave the group an intimate perspective on the region’s culture and history. “We really felt the history of each place,” says Linda Bennett G’80, assistant vice president of SU’s Office of Advancement Services. “To walk where Anne Boleyn (Henry VIII’s wife) had once walked was an amazing experience.”

At Hever Castle, Boleyn’s birthplace, alumni viewed the rich 16th-century restored interior and lush surrounding gardens, which included a yew maze, topiaries, and a 35-acre lake. The next day, they strolled among 500 acres of gardens, a hedge maze, and an aviary of more than 100 species of birds during an early morning tour of Leeds Castle, dubbed “the loveliest castle in the world” by prominent Anglo-Irish nobleman Lord Conway. Lime trees, roses, azaleas, and rhododendrons surrounded the estate at Goodnestone Park, where current owner Lady Fitzwalter escorted alumni on a private afternoon tour of her 18th-century Palladian mansion.

The village of Rye, with its vaulted cellars, secret tunnels, and hidden passages, was a smugglers’ haunt in the 18th century. Today it houses rows of small shops, where Janet Thresh ’53 and her husband Eric were delighted to find the famed Canterbury Tales pottery they had read about before the trip. “We searched the entire village that day to find it,” she says. “The pottery is my prized piece from the tour.” In addition to exploring the countryside, alumni also sampled such English cuisine as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, English crème tea, Yorkshire pudding, and bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes with gravy).

Other highlights of the trip included visits to Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home for 40 years; Rochester, the home of Charles Dickens; and Dover, where Henry II planned the evacuation of Dunkirk from his fortress headquarters. “We visited Dover on a very clear day,” says Dona Schuman ’95, ’00, associate director of information systems in SU’s Office of Advancement Services. “You could see across the English Channel all the way to France. It was beautiful.”

—Kate Gaetano

Alumni Happenings

1. SU Trustees John Couri ’63, far left, and Chancellor Shaw, far right, congratulate 2003 Arents Award recipients during Reunion Weekend last June. Left to right: Gil Cates ’55, G’65, television production; SU Board of Trustees Chairman Joseph O. Lampe ’53, G’55, business and service; Nina V. Fedoroff ’66, scientific research; and Ralph Ketcham G’56, H’99, education.

2. Alumni gathered to celebrate the 18th Annual WJPZ Radio Birthday Banquet at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center last March.

3. Mike Lavigna ’34 was full of Orange pride at his home in Cohoes, New York, during the NCAA basketball tournament. His enthusiasm drew media attention from local newpapers and radio and television stations.

4. Alumni and friends of SU toured the waterways of Holland and Belgium last April.

5. Harry Edward Smith ’51 (left) and the Reverend Robert Fletcher Smith ’50 cheered on the Orangemen in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

6. Alumni enjoyed a hilltop view in Tuscany, Italy, last May during an Alumni Association trip.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations



Hope through Hospice

Perhaps nowhere is the interdisciplinary nature of the human services and health professions more evident—and more relevant—than for those who work with people who are terminally ill.

In his role as manager of spiritual care and bereavement services for Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care, Vincent Corso G’96 is part of a team that includes medical care professionals, social workers, and spiritual care providers—all working together to help people who are dying to do so in comfort and with dignity. “Hospice offers terminally ill people choices at the end of life,” Corso says. “We help our patients feel at home with themselves, with their illness, and with the uncertainty and unfamiliarity that accompanies the process of dying. We help facilitate saying good-bye.”

A former Catholic priest who received a master of social work degree from SU, Corso is responsible for the training and clinical supervision of eight full-time staff members, including chaplains who provide spiritual care for people who are dying, and bereavement counselors who offer emotional support for grieving families. “We may help patients reconnect with their spiritual selves, provide counseling, or serve as a resource for tackling such existential questions as ‘Why is this happening to me?’” he says.

Corso must also be aware of the emotional toll that such work can have on the staff. Because of this, he meets regularly with staff members, watching for signs of needed support. “It’s especially important for people in this field to celebrate,” he says. “We need a source of replenishment, something beautiful, whether we find it in relationships, the arts, or in nature. It’s important to have a life outside our work—a source of joy.”

Corso, now married to School of Education alumna Christine Maloof Corso G’96 and the father of two young children, says his family provides him with a sense of delight that helps him avoid the burnout that can result from hospice work. “I love this work, and I wish more people were aware of it,” he says. “Spirituality in hospice care is about journeying with patients and family members, helping them to recognize their capacity for transcendence, and cultivating their awareness that we all are part of a spiritual reality within and among ourselves.”

—Amy Speach Shires

Born to Teach

Charline Barnes ’82 is not one of those people who spends a lifetime searching for a calling. She knew she wanted to teach while she was still a teenager.

“My education career started when I was a paid tutor in a peer tutoring program at Bay Ridge High School in Brooklyn,” says Barnes, an associate professor of literacy education at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. “Of course, the wonderful teachers I had at school and church also influenced me.”

Barnes came to Syracuse under the University’s early admission program on the advice of a guidance counselor. “I was a little intimidated and had to adjust socially to a private, predominantly white institution,” she says. “But I survived with support from my professors and other minority students.” While studying for a B.A. degree in English education and psychology at SU, she worked as a volunteer reading tutor and as a student teacher at Syracuse public schools. “I discovered that about a third of my junior high school students could not proficiently read or write. I had to become a reading specialist,” she says. Following graduation, she earned an M.A. degree in reading education at George Washington University.

Barnes spent the next decade teaching in the Washington, D.C., area, though, she says, “I was shocked to discover how little teaching paid.” Despite this, her interest in education continued to grow. In 1995, she received a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her dissertation, “Against All Odds: The Natural History of an Alternative-Adult High School,” drew on her teaching experience with former high school dropouts.

Since that time, Barnes has waged a lifelong battle against illiteracy and subliteracy as a teacher of teachers. She served as director of the reading clinic at the University of Northern Iowa, where she was a professor of curriculum and instruction. A member of the International Reading Association’s board of directors, she has published widely in her field and recently broadened the scope of her writing with two books: Life Narratives of African Americans in Iowa (Arcadia, 2001) and Iowa’s Black Legacy (co-authored with Floyd Bumpers, Arcadia, 2000).

Named a 2002-03 Fulbright Scholar in residence at the University of the West Indies, Barbados, Barnes offered a course that was attended by teachers from several Caribbean nations. The course examined the African, Asian, and European influences on the region’s language and culture, with a focus on implications for contemporary teachers. She was also honored by her election to the board of directors of the International Reading Association, a professional organization that promotes literacy throughout the world.

“Too many experienced teachers are leaving the field because of poor work conditions and public backlash,” she says. “We, as a society, need to continue to identify, recognize, and empower veteran teachers, as well as new ones, so they can be there for the students. I hope I can assist teachers by means of networking, collaboration, and intellectual vitality—the same things I have found in my professional journey.”

—David Marc

A Commitment to Giving

University Trustee Dan Mezzalingua ’60 is the kind of alumnus most schools dream about.

In awarding him the Dean’s Citation for Exceptional Service in 2002 from the School of Management, Dean George Burman said, “Danny has known success in every business arena he has entered. All the while, his career has been guided by a commitment to old-fashioned honesty and social responsibility. He personifies the values of entrepreneurship and has shone
in a global, corporate environment. Where service to the community is concerned, he must surely rank in the 99th percentile.”

The record justifies such high praise on both accounts. When Mezzalingua became president of Production Products Company (PPC), a Syracuse-based manufacturer of coaxial cable connectors for the cable television industry, PPC had 30 employees. When he retired from the position nearly two decades later, its labor force had grown to 1,000, with offices and distribution centers in California, Canada, and overseas locations on four continents.

Now an acquisitions analyst for FTO, a venture capital company, Mezzalingua and his wife Kathleen Damico ’62 make their home in Central New York. They have six children and two grandchildren. During the years he was building PPC into an international industrial force, he gave generously of his time and energy to many Central New York community institutions. He is past president of the board of trustees of the Manlius (N.Y.) Pebble Hill School, and a board member of the Community General Hospital Foundation, the Manufacturing Association of Central New York, and the Metropolitan Development Association. He serves on the parish council of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Manlius, and has headed the Parent Association of St. Lawrence University.

His activities on behalf of Syracuse University include the Society of Fellows, the Chancellor’s Council, and the School of Management Advisory Council. He was elected to the University’s Board of Trustees in 1999. A political science major who earned a B.A. degree from the College of Arts and Sciences, Mezzalingua speaks with an evident affection for his days on the Hill. “I took a lot of classes in speech and was active in the debate club because I was fascinated by the structuring of thought, which is necessary for effective public speaking,” he says. “I got creamed in some of those debates, but I developed a skill that’s been helpful to me ever since. I also had a lot of fun in college. I was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, which gave me some great lifelong friendships.”

Mezzalingua currently serves on the search committee to replace Dean Burman, who announced his retirement last spring. “The new management building is just fantastic, and I’m hoping its completion will provide the new dean with an opportunity to focus efforts on an overall strengthening of the school’s M.B.A. program,” he says.

As a University trustee, Mezzalingua was elected vice chair of the board in 2002 and his committee assignments include chairing the Board Nominating Committee, which is charged with recruiting new members. “Buzz Shaw has done a fabulous job and we are competing handsomely in many areas, ” he says. “Now we want to build on that by bringing in trustees who can challenge a new Chancellor to continue to raise the University. I’m looking for ‘younger-than-me’ candidates. Youth is the key; it’s the lifeblood of any institution.” The same can be said of alumni like Dan Mezzalingua—at any age.

—David Marc


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