Steve Sartori

 

Spanning the Globe

s we start another academic year on campus, there is a tremendous sense of excitement as Chancellor Nancy Cantor puts into action her plan and vision for—among other things—building a reputation and visibility for the entire University that is as highly recognized as the outstanding Newhouse or Maxwell programs or our championship sports teams. During Opening Weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting an impressive and diverse Class of 2009. Alumni Association President Neil Gold ’70 and I spoke to the new students in the Carrier Dome as part of their orientation, Syracuse Welcome 2005: A Slice of SU Life (see Alumni Photo Gallery, below). We shared with them the rich heritage and proud traditions that embody our more than 225,000 alumni. They learned that they, too, would soon be part of this incredible alumni community that spans the globe, reaching 159 countries.

The cover story in this issue shows just how far our SU family spreads around the world. As I accompanied the Chancellor to Asia in June, it became readily apparent to me how alive the SU spirit is and how we’re making a difference worldwide. We are looking at what we do best on campus and then taking that on the road: New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Beijing—where our alumni reside is where we want a piece of SU to be. Because of the wonderful support we receive from our alumni, we can send our faculty and students to places far from Syracuse to study and experience being true global citizens. It is this support and outreach that will propel SU to become one of the finest educational institutions in the world. I encourage all of you to play a part—in whatever way you can—to pave the way for the future of our great University. 

Wishing you all a wonderful fall. Go SU!

Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88
Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations


traditions

 

The 2005 recipients of the George Arents Pioneer Medal gather before the awards dinner held at the OnCenter in Syracuse in June. Pictured, from left, are Ted Koppel ’60, H’82, broadcast journalism; U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. G’68, public affairs; Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Joyce Hergenhan ’63, corporate communications; Michael Tirico ’88, sports broadcasting; and Nicholas M. Donofrio G’71, technology innovation.

George M. Arents stood before fellow members of SU’s Board of Trustees on June 3, 1938, to pitch an idea: the establishment of an award to recognize alumni who have demonstrated exemplary service in their fields. “It strikes me that it might be a goodly thing for this University,” he stated, as recorded in the minutes of the meeting. A year later, three alumni were honored with the George Arents Pioneer Medal: William M. Smallwood 1896, zoology; Dorothy C. Thompson ’14, journalism; and John S. Young ’24, radio. Since then, SU has honored 222 more alumni, who provide shining examples of enterprising effort. It is the highest alumni honor awarded by the University.

In the long list of honorees, some names are better known than others, but all of their endeavors are impressive. Cecilia Barber Martin ’26, a 1941 honoree, was the first woman combat photographer in England during World War II. Pyo Wook Han ’42 earned the Arents award in 1957 for his diplomatic work as the South Korean ambassador to the United States and other countries. More recently astronaut Eileen Collins ’78, who commanded the space shuttle Discovery, was honored in 1996, and U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. G’68 of Delaware was one of five recipients this summer. “The quality of SU alumni and what they have gone on to do never ceases to amaze me,” says Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88, assistant vice president of alumni relations.

Arents came up with the idea of recognizing alumni achievement with a medal after receiving one from Columbia University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.  He endowed a fund to provide annually for the medals at SU. Although he contributed much to
the University, including funding for a rare book room named in honor of his wife, Lena, and his years of service on the Board of Trustees, Arents will probably be best known for the medal that bears his name. Crafted in bronze, the medal features the figure of a pioneer on one side, representing an exploring spirit. “Our alumni have always forged new paths, much like the pioneers of old,” Doerr says. Nominations for the award are sought year round. A committee of the Alumni Association board of directors selects the recipients, who are approved by the Chancellor and the executive committee of the Board of Trustees. The awards are presented at a Reunion Weekend dinner, during which guests get a glimpse into the recipients’ professional lives during video presentations produced by the Department of Electronic Media Communications. “It’s a really nice event that makes the recipients feel special,” says Elsa Reichmanis ’72, G’75, who received the award in 2001 in the field of chemistry. Reichmanis, who works in research and development at Bell Labs, part of Lucent Technologies, remembers being surrounded by family and friends, including chemistry faculty members. She recognized the department for providing a “nurturing environment that helped students build a solid foundation for their careers,” she says. “The credit for whatever I’ve done belongs with them.”

The theme of reaching goals through the help of faculty and mentors continued during the speeches of this year’s recipients. “Their Syracuse experience played such an im-portant role in their professional and personal lives,” Doerr says. “Syracuse gave them a chance.” Along with Biden, the 2005 Arents medal recipients were Ted Koppel ’60, broadcast journalism; Joyce Hergenhan ’63, corporate communications; Nicholas M. Donofrio G’71, technology innovation; and Michael Tirico ’88, sports broadcasting. Biden remembered how a chance visit to the College of Law led to a meeting with the dean and a full scholarship that same day. “What I take away from tonight—and what I take away from my entire acquaintance with Syracuse University—is the sense that everything is possible,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Chancellor Nancy Cantor acknowledged the qualities of the Arents recipients. “They seized the opportunity provided by SU, pushed boundaries, and reaped individual and societal awards,” she said. “In addition—and probably more importantly—they’ve all shown a resolve to share their success, not only on a world level, but also in ways that encourage and nurture the enterprising alumni of the future.” 

—Kathleen Haley

If you would like to nominate someone for the George Arents Pioneer Medal, go to emc3.syr.edu/alumni/nomForm/nomForm.cfm to fill out a nominating form on the Office of Alumni Relations web site or call 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867).

Photos courtesy of AHI
parrot

travel

Nearly a century after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers battled disease and scorching temperatures to construct the Panama Canal, a group of Syracuse University alumni journeyed through the passage—one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. The 130-mile waterway carved through the Isthmus of Panama connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. John Englert ’56 was impressed by the canal’s engineering. “They use 52 million gallons of fresh water to elevate and lower each ship in the locks,“ he says. “It’s one of the modern wonders of the world, and it’s just astronomical.”

 Alumni toured the canal as part of a 12-day Caribbean cruise aboard the six-star  cruise liner Crystal Harmony. On the luxurious vessel, alumni enjoyed a gym, spa, salon, grand buffets, and nightly entertainment, including Broadway-style productions and Caesar’s Palace  at Sea  casino. After embarking from Fort Lauderdale, alumni shopped and explored during stops in St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Barts, Aruba, and Costa Rica. Robert Black ’59 and his wife, Sally, enjoyed every minute. “We would start our day on the afterdeck with coffee and breakfast,” he says. “The sky would be a clear, Carolina blue, and everyone wore a big smile.”

In St. Thomas, alumni lounged on white-sand beaches as turquoise waves splashed nearby. Anastasia Staniec ’64 took a submarine tour of the ocean floor. “It was absolutely spectacular,” she says. “I saw sea turtles, sharks, and stunning blue, yellow, and purple fish in their natural habitat.”

Alumni sailed from the marine life of St. Thomas to the lives of the rich and famous in St. Barts, a chic island retreat for celebrities. “St. Barts was the most impressive part,” Englert says. “You see yachts that look like ocean liners lined up along the ports like taxi cabs, and unbelievable mansions on the coast.”

Throughout the trip, alumni dined on sumptuous fare from the Crystal Harmony’s buffets, which included Asian, French, and Mexican cuisines. Staniec remembers the royal feast finale, their last dinner aboard the cruise liner. “We had lamb shanks with sautéed forest mushrooms, roasted capon with dried fruit stuffing, chestnut soup, and chilled melon,” she says.

On their final stop in Costa Rica, alumni were dazzled by lush rainforests, surging rivers, and hundreds of fascinating plants and animals. After walking through steamy gardens of palms and exotic flowers, Robert Black rode a rainforest tram to the jungle’s breezy canopy. “It was marvelous riding above the treetops,” he says.

Back on solid ground, alumni re--mained awestruck by Costa Rica’s natural beauty. “Even along the roadways you see birds of paradise, poinsettia trees, hearts of palm, and egrets, sandpipers, and spotted swallows,” Staniec says. “I can’t find the words to describe how beautiful everything was.”

—Husna Haq

Alumni Happenings

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1. Chancellor Nancy Cantor presented Trustee Emeritus Anthony Y.C. Yeh G’49 (shown here with his wife, Sylvia) with a gift in recognition of his support for SU initiatives in China, including the alumni association, the Hong Kong Center of the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA), and a new DIPA center scheduled to open next year at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The award was presented at a dinner attended by 75 alumni and parents marking the first meeting of the Hong Kong Alumni Association.

2. Neil Gold ’70, left, president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association, joined Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88, assistant vice president of alumni relations, on stage at the Home to the Dome celebration as part of Syracuse Welcome 2005: A Slice of SU Life, the University’s new-student orientation program. Gold and Doerr addressed the students, welcoming them to campus and making them aware of SU’s rich traditions and deep heritage.

3. Leaders of the Korean Alumni Association gathered with Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who was the guest of honor at an alumni dinner at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul in June. About 150 alumni came to hear Cantor speak about SU’s investment in Korea and her views on how the University should continue to build on its presence there.

4. Binghamton-area alumni hosted new students and their families at a student send-off party at Highland Park in Endwell, New York, in August. At these events, held across the country, incoming students are introduced to the University and other new students from their area.

5. Chancellor Nancy Cantor met with alumni in Singapore and also with students participating in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management internship program, sponsored by DIPA and under the direction of accounting professor Alex Thevaranjan. The gathering was part of Cantor’s visit to Asia from June 23 to July 1.

6. University officials and alumni welcomed new students at the first New Student Send-Off in South Korea in June. From left are Thomas Harblin, vice president of global development; Sangkoo Yun ’76; Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Trustee Goh Kun H’01; Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88, assistant vice president of alumni relations; and James O’Connor, senior director of global development. The event was held in Seoul at Yun’s home. Cantor met with 80 new students, parents, and alumni and was greeted at the event by Trustee Goh, the former South Korean prime minister and acting president.    

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to alumni.syr.edu/photoalb.htm.

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© Jim Caldwell
gold
Gold Heads
Alumni Association

Neil Gold ’70, co-owner of Gold Pure Food Pro-ducts Co., has been named president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association. Gold, who serves on several of the association’s committees, began his two-year term in July, succeeding Joanne Fogel Alper ’72. In his new role, Gold manages the Alumni Association’s activities and represents more than 225,000 alumni as an ex officio member of the University’s Board of Trustees. “The University has benefited greatly from Neil’s unwavering support, first as a leader of our vibrant Long Island alumni club, and now as a nationwide and global advocate for SU,” says Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88, assistant vice president of alumni relations. “The Alumni Association president plays a key role in making the most of our alumni community’s passion for SU. Neil is the right person for this very important job at an exciting time in the history of the University.”

Gold, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Arts and Sciences, is the third generation of his family at the helm of a business founded in Brooklyn in 1932. An avid supporter of SU sports, he can be found at virtually every football and basketball game, home or away. He also serves on SU’s Foodservice Advisory Committee, the SU Athletic Development Advisory Board, SU’s Metropolitan New York Regional Council, and the Parents Office Board of Directors. He is a member of the Society of Fellows.

Gold resides in Dix Hills, New York, with his wife, Helene, and daughter Amanda, a member of SU’s Class of 2008; his three other children live in Cornwall, New York, with their spouses and children. “I am very passionate about Syracuse University, and so proud to be an alum,” Gold says. “It is a great honor to be able to represent SU alumni as we continue to add new chapters in the story of our University.”

—Matthew Snyder

 


Compelled to Create

Eric Trautmann, The Hour
eisner

Pregnant with her fifth child and eager to find a creative outlet, artist Carole Eisner ’58 first picked up a welding torch at a friend’s suggestion. “It felt great,” Eisner says. “When it ignites, there’s a big boom. Working with steel makes you feel like nothing is impossible—that you can conquer anything.” Decades later, Eisner, whose studio is attached to her Weston, Connecticut, home, has moved from tabletop steel pieces to larger-than-life outdoor sculptures that decorate city parks and other public spaces across the Northeast.

The steel pieces, crafted from scrap metal and recycled junkyard treasures, are the latest, and perhaps most dramatic, art form through which Eisner expresses herself. Ever since her Thanksgiving turkeys earned her the title of class artist in kindergarten, the Bronx native has considered herself an artist, honing her skills throughout childhood through trips to the Museum of Modern Art, limited high school art courses, and artistic exploration in her free time. When the time came to choose a college, she enrolled in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Syracuse was a real awakening for me,” she says. “It was the first time I was surrounded by other artists and I thrived in that environment.” She took an intense load of art classes, and particularly enjoyed fashion design and sculpture classes.

After graduation, Eisner launched a career in New York’s fashion industry, winning distinction as one of Mademoiselle magazine’s 10 outstanding young women in 1962. She was a sketcher for several New York City designers and created junior sportswear and dress lines for Juniorite. When motherhood and household responsibilities led her to give up fashion design, she turned to painting at night and transformed her busy living room into a tarp-covered haven. “I’ve always made things—whether it was clothes, bread, paintings, or sculptures,” she says. “I need to create. There has to be something in this world that wouldn’t have been here, except for the fact that I conceived and created it.”

Although art critics have lauded her sculptures, Eisner creates art for her own satisfaction. “It’s nice to have approval, but it’s not necessary,” she says. “An artist can’t help making art. My art is extremely important to me. It is who I am.”                                   

—Margaret Costello

 

 

A Writer’s Wanderlust

© Giliola Chisté
tayler

Jeffrey Tayler ’83 always knew he wouldtake the road less traveled. “I understood that I would create my own path in life,” he says. And so, after graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earning a master’s degree in Russian and East European history from the University of Virginia, Tayler joined the Peace Corps and began a lifetime of traveling and writing.

After assignments in Morocco and Uzbek-istan, Tayler ventured across Siberia and wrote his first book, Siberian Dawn: A Journey Across the New Russia. “I began traveling with an eye toward learning about people and the places they live,” he says. Since then, Tayler has traveled in more than 50 countries, learned six languages, published articles in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Condé Nast Traveler, and written three more books from his home in Moscow. His latest is Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel (Houghton Mifflin, 2005).

Many of Tayler’s expeditions are inspired by reading or personal dreams, but it was the attacks of 9/11 that prompted him to trek across the Sahel, a semiarid region on the fringe of the Sahara in west central Africa, to write Angry Wind. “I realized this is one part of the Muslim world people know very little about,” he says. “My goal was to meet the people of the Sahel and learn their grievances. We need to start understanding the problems of the Islamic world.”

Tayler has traveled in some of the harshest places on Earth, including the Congo and the Moroccan Sahara. While crossing Morocco’s High Atlas range for a National Geographic article on the indigenous Berbers, Tayler fell off his mule, cut the back of his head, and severely hurt his back. “That was the worst moment of any of my travels, but I was determined to finish the trip,” he says. Canoeing down the Congo, Tayler was attacked by machete wielding robbers, but he insists such experiences are rare. “The most important lesson I’ve learned is that things in life and in travel tend to work out,” he says. “The reality is that, in most parts of the world, people are quick to help. I’ve always thought that in the Islamic world I would never want for a place to sleep or for food.”

Tayler is already working on his next book, an account of his two-month, 2,500-mile expedition down the Lena River in Siberia, and he doesn’t plan to slow down. He travels several months each year and writes full-time when at home. “I’m determined to make things happen for myself,” he says. “I’m doing exactly what I want, so if lightning strikes me dead tomorrow, nobody should be sorry for me.”

—Husna Haq

 


Pharmaceutical Giant

goodman

By 1980, University Trustee Kenneth E. Goodman ’70 had worked his way to a top management position at a $700 million division of a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company. Although holding a prominent post for a 32-year-old, Goodman was lured away to a startup company that was making sales of just $10 million in the same market. “I wanted to do something a little more entrepreneurial,” he says. “It was an opportunity to take something from the ground floor and see it grow.” Twenty-five years later, Goodman is president and chief operating officer of that same company, Forest Laboratories, a pharmaceutical firm that posted sales of $3 billion in 2004.

Goodman built his business career on a degree in accounting from the School of Management. “I always had a propensity for numbers,” he says. His interest remained high, due in part to classes with engaging faculty members like accounting professor Horace J. Landry ’34, G’36. With the help of the school’s career center, Goodman landed his first job with the accounting firm of Hurdman and Cranstoun. But he wasn’t satisfied being an accountant. “I discovered that in accounting I was looking at results of the work other people had done,” he says.

Moving on to American Home Products, now Wyeth Laboratories, Goodman engaged in more hands-on work and was promoted to senior management positions. Others outside the company also recognized his abilities, including a corporate headhunter who suggested Goodman join Forest Laboratories. He took a position at Forest and quickly became involved in all facets of the business, including investor relations and ultimately sales. Besides the challenges of his work, he finds fulfillment in helping create such groundbreaking medicines as Lexapro for clinical depression and Namenda for Alzheimer’s patients. “It is gratifying to hear from patients and patients’ families about how we have helped them,” he says.

Goodman’s interest in medical research extends into his personal interests as a trustee of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), which supports scientists in Israel. He became aware of the organization after his wife, Barbara, was diagnosed with cancer. Following her death in 2002, he honored her memory by establishing the Barbara S. Goodman Career Research Development Award in Pancreatic Cancer for Israeli scientists. He has also been generous with his time as a member of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management Corporate Advisory Board and as a University Trustee, elected in 2004. His contributions to the development of the Whitman School’s new facility include a naming gift for construction of the Goodman Family Classroom Wing. “The combination of a wonderful new building, a new dean, and a fantastic naming gift after a remarkable person (Martin J. Whitman ’49), provides the school with a great platform for future growth,” he says. 

—Kathleen Haley

 


Dramatic Career Move

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You may not know his name, butchances are you have seen his work. During the past two decades, Leonard R. Garner Jr. ’74 has directed episodes of dozens of the most popular situation comedies on network television, including My Wife and Kids, The King of Queens, Girlfriends, Reba, Becker, Just Shoot Me!, and Wings. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant director on such action hits as Miami Vice, The Rockford Files, and The Streets of San Francisco. “One reason I enjoy working on sitcoms is that most of them are performed in front of live audiences,” says Garner, who grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and majored in drama at Syracuse. “Directing a sitcom blends theater with television. You have rehearsal space and the writers watch the actors and come back with changes. Then there’s audience input at the taping and you have to know how to roll with the laughs.”

When he arrived on the Hill in 1970, Garner had never so much as appeared in a high school play. But he had participated in what he describes as a “sixties street theater-type thing” at a political demonstration in support of an open housing law in Scranton. “That experience piqued my interest in dramatic arts and I decided to apply to SU, which has always had such a good reputation in theater,” he says. “I also thought that a large university would give me the opportunity to transfer to something else if my stage aspirations didn’t amount to anything.” As it turned out, no transfer was necessary. Garner credits several professors, including his acting teacher, Gerald Moses (now professor emeritus), as important mentors who taught him crucial skills and encouraged him to stretch his mind and his abilities.

Following graduation, Garner caught a ride out to Southern California, and has lived there ever since. His career behind the camera began to take shape in 1975 when he was admitted to the assistant director’s training program of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). He also worked as an actor, which led to bit roles in films (e.g. The Blues Brothers) and TV appearances (e.g. Cheers). Garner formed his own studio, LRG Productions, in 1994. He has never forgotten the role his education played in helping him realize his career, and enjoys working with Syracuse students and DGA trainees. “Each year, I host a group from SU who come out to Los Angeles between semesters,” Garner says. “I really enjoy it. I know where they’re coming from and I try to get them working on the set as soon as I can.”

—David Marc

 


Cultural Connections

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Raj-Ann Rekhi ’98 recalls a childhood visit to her father’s homeland of India as a time of wonder and joy in the warm embrace of family. “As a 4-year-old, I remember being fascinated by the experience and overwhelmed by family who were excited to see us,” says Rekhi, whose mother is American. She also remembers tasty pooris (fried Indian bread), large mosquitoes that coasted overhead at night, and curious neighborhood monkeys.

When the California native returned to India four years ago prior to starting as development officer for the American India Foundation, she saw the changes of a developing nation. “What I noticed when I went back as an adult was the cacophony on a typical Indian street. Cows, auto rickshaws, cars, bicycles, and pedestrians all share the road,” Rekhi says. She describes India as a place where American products pervade the marketplace, high-tech buildings rise above the streets, and democracy thrives. Her appreciation for the nation grew through her work at the foundation. Rekhi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and one in international relations from the College of Arts and Sciences, wrote grant proposals for the organization, which funds educational initiatives and provides business loans for the economic empowerment of women. In the aftermath of December’s tsunami, the foundation developed grants to meet the long-term needs of the survivors. “When the television cameras go away, these people will still be trying to rebuild their lives,” Rekhi says.

Her career path recently led her to a position with the Asia Society, a nonprofit organization that promotes understanding of Asia and the Pacific through art exhibitions, films, lectures, and seminars. “I’ve always respected the Asia Society and have frequently attended the society’s events,” Rekhi says. “I was looking to gain experience at a larger nonprofit institution and wanted to branch out from grant writing to more events and people-oriented work. This new position allows me to do that, while working for one of New York City’s leading cultural institutions.”

She credits an international relations course she took as a first-year student with helping direct her toward a rewarding career. “Students were encouraged to explore a variety of subjects,” says Rekhi, who started out as a biology major. “The Maxwell course just captured my imagination.” Rekhi returns to campus as a member of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Advisory Board. “It’s wonderful to interact with fellow board members and realize how much thought goes into creating the highest quality curriculum,” she says. “It’s been a great opportunity to stay connected.”

—Kathleen Haley

 

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