Steve Sartori

Steve Sartori

Rediscover Homecoming

Over the years, SU has welcomed you all back to campus whenever you were able to visit your alma mater, but especially at Reunion and Homecoming. Each of these significant events in your lives and the life of the University has taken place at a different time, when we felt that we could give you the truest and most stimulating campus experience. Now the University is planning to revitalize both of these milestone events by celebrating them together in fall 2007, welcoming all Reunion classes ending in “2” and “7” to campus as part of Homecoming Weekend. This celebration, which will replace our traditional June Reunion Weekend, will represent the best of both wonderful weekends.

We encourage all of you, especially those celebrating a class reunion in 2007, to come back and celebrate Homecoming 2007, taking full advantage of a campus bursting with activity, student excitement, and camaraderie. You’ll find a full calendar of events that are academic, cultural, social, and just plain fun. There will be opportunities to meet and greet classmates, attend a wide range of classes and special events, mix and mingle with students, watch SU athletic teams play (or just stop by to watch practice sessions), and check out Central New York’s exceptional arts and cultural scenes.

Whether you attend a lecture by one of our outstanding faculty members, visit with students, or join fellow alumni for a walking tour of our beautiful campus, Homecoming 2007 will offer you a chance to rediscover and celebrate your Syracuse University.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2007 Homecoming date. We look forward to seeing you!

Go Orange!

Andrea Latchem
Interim Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations

Neil Gold ’70
President, National Alumni Association

For more information or to get involved with Homecoming 2007, please contact Andrea Latchem at 1-800-782-5867 or
Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives

SU Orange block a Colgate punt, at top, as pictured in the 1952 Onondagan. SU beat Colgate, 9-0, in 1951 as part of a long-standing rivalry that developed into Homecoming Weekend.
Steve Sartori
Students raise their banner for Homecoming 2005.

Homecoming Weekend at Syracuse University is a time when students, staff, and faculty join together to celebrate their Orange pride in anticipation of a home football game at the Carrier Dome. Alumni from across the globe return to campus to reunite with old friends and relive their college years. Joani Frankel ’68 was thrilled to return to campus for Homecoming 2004 to participate in the fun activities and receive an award for her role as the president of the Arizona alumni club. “I had not been on campus for almost 30 years,” says Frankel, a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. “Coming back made me feel like I was floating above the ground. The memories all came flooding back.”

At the heart of the remembrances, pep rallies, and fight songs is the reflection of history. Homecoming made its first appearance in 1962, but many of its activities date to the late 19th century. Before today’s Big East rivalries, SU was consumed in its annual showdown with Colgate University, the Orange’s nemesis. Believed to have started in the 1890s as a thrilling football game with halftime festivities and pep squads, the event grew to engulf life at SU for an entire week each year. “On Friday night [before the game] the largest demonstration is staged when an elaborate parade is formed, in which the freshmen wear pajamas and the rest of the student body follow on foot and in cars,” according to the 1930 Onondagan. New traditions were created in the 1930s, such as bonfires and colorful banners on Greek houses predicting Colgate’s defeat. With the anticipation came more inter-university events and pranks: dances, the crowning of the Colgate-week queen, and friendly campus raids by students from the opposing schools. One of the most notorious antics was the shaving of an “S” on the heads of Colgate men caught on the SU campus and the shaving of a “C” on the heads of SU men captured on the Colgate campus.

In 1961, the rivalry came to an end in a final matchup. Many students were sad to see the annual contest go, but others saw it as an opportunity. The Post-Standard explained, “Syracuse University may have lost Colgate Weekend…but the sophomore class of 1965 has replaced it with a new idea—Homecoming Weekend.” During the weekend of November 9, 1962, SU held its first Homecoming Weekend, which included a pep rally, an alumni awards dinner, and, of course, a football game, complete with the crowning of Homecoming queen. Interest in the event continued to grow, and new activities were added each year. However, after a few decades of success, enthusiasm for the weekend waned.

Within the past few years, Laura Brientnall ’06 saw an opportunity to rejuvenate the tradition. With the help of Ellen King, director of student events, Brientnall assembled a Homecoming committee of 60 students and served as its chair. The committee revived the parade, moved the pep rally to the Dome, and invited football players as guests of honor. Brientnall has also worked to ignite Homecoming spirit among the entire campus community, including multicultural student groups and Greek organizations, helping Homecoming to once again shine for students and alumni. “It is extremely important for SU students to embrace alumni and welcome them back each year,” Brientnall says. “Homecoming is about alumni and current students celebrating their contributions to the University.”

The SU Traditions Commission has also helped build excitement for Homecoming by creating the Orange Spirit Award. First conferred at Homecoming 2005, it recognizes an undergraduate’s service to the University and local community, and commitment to traditions. It also generates enthusiasm for Homecoming among students. “We definitely want more student involvement,” says Lauren D’Angelo ’08, president of the Traditions Commission. “We’re also trying to get alumni, staff, faculty, and the community involved and make it a lot of fun.”           

—Katherine Cantor and Kayleigh Minicozzi

Connecting Alumni with Students Looking for Professional Advice

Rob Yunich ’98 listened attentively to an SU student’s job search concerns. He had met the communications student through the Center for Career Services’ Mentor @ SU program, and told the student about his own job history. In the communications field, jobs open and fill quickly, so Yunich advised the student to intensify his job search closer to graduation. The student was grateful for the advice. “This is the kind of experience the program offers,” says Yunich, a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and director of communications for the National Small Business Association. “The connections between students and mentors might be more valuable than simply getting a job offer, because they give confidence and, hopefully, will have a long-term effect on a person’s career.”

The Mentor @ SU program began in 2002 as a collaborative effort between the Center for Career Services and the Office of Alumni Relations. More than 1,500 alumni—located in 48 states and 18 countries—serve as mentors in the program. Collectively, they cover every school and nearly every major on campus. “The fibers of this program are spun out of the generosity of the human spirit,” says Susan Filkins, coordinator of alumni programs in career services. “The students who come in have needs for their futures. They’re apprehensive and excited, and these emotions are going on while they’re standing at the edge of their future. They’re wondering who can help them, and we know the answer: our alumni.” Filkins connects students with mentors—who also include staff and friends of the University—through one-on-one referrals either from staff, faculty, or other alumni. Profiles of participating mentors are available online, and students can search for mentors based on industry, job function, and location. Mentors can choose how many students they want to advise, and, through the process, students make contacts, hear about internships, and find jobs.

Filkins is pleased with the program’s rapid success. “Four years later you just wouldn’t believe the generosity that has emerged,” Filkins says. “It will only continue to grow and have a larger impact.” 

–Alia Dastagir

For more information about Mentor @ SU, contact the Center for Career Services at 315-443-3616 or visit its web site at


Photos courtesy of Gohagan & Company


For information
on alumni travel opportunities,
contact Tina Casella
in the Office of
Alumni Relations
at 1-800-SUALUMS


Nanci Alderman ’65 was awestruck by the cultural and geographical diversity of historic Cape Town, South Africa. Located along Africa’s southwest coast, the setting was a feast for the eyes for Alderman and other alumni who toured the nation on an SU Alumni Association-sponsored trip. The combination of rich sapphire and emerald colors radiating from the Atlantic Ocean and the unique architecture was the perfect introduction to the beauty of Africa. “The city is right on the water, but is also surrounded by gorgeous mountains,” Alderman says. “The scenery has a little bit of everything and was so stunning.”

While visiting Cape Town, the starting point of the 14-day tour, alumni enjoyed luxurious hotel accommodations, a winery tour, and sightseeing excursions, including a visit to a penguin community. Traveling off the coast, alumni visited Robben Island, known as a symbol of human rights triumph in Africa. The site of a prison for those who opposed the laws of apartheid, Robben Island housed numerous political activists, most notably Nelson Mandela, who later became the country’s first democratically elected president. Alumni learned about the inhumane treatment prisoners suffered and how they maintained their education with current events, politics, and the outside world. “We only knew superficial things before coming to the island and were stunned at what we learned,” says Eddie Green ’47, G’60, who made the trip with his wife, Joan. “We were amazed at the tiny cell Mandela lived in and the conditions he overcame before emerging as president of his country.”


The tour unfolded further into Africa, where visitors saw the breathtaking wonder of Victoria Falls—bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia, took a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and sampled such unusual food as ostrich and warthog. Alumni also observed exotic wildlife on a three-day safari. Travelers toured in all-terrain vehicles and on elephants, following animal herds with the help of tracking guides. “A lion came so close to the Jeep that my wife could have reached out and touched it,” Green says. The opportunity to view the “big five”—lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros—was a thrilling and rewarding way to wrap up the tour. “I am still excited about it,” Alderman says. “It was an amazing trip and a great way to be introduced to Africa and its culture.”

—Kayleigh Minicozzi





Alumni Happenings

1.The recipients of this year’s George Arents Pioneer Medal celebrate with University officials after the awards ceremony. The award is the University’s highest honor for alumni, recognizing them for excellence in their fields. From left to right: John A. Couri ’63, chairman of the Board of Trustees; Joanne Alper ’72, past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors; David M. Crane, G’80, international law and public service; Kathrine Switzer ’68, G’72, women’s athletics and advocacy for health through fitness; Ali Khalif Galaydh G’69, G’72, government service and public life; Trustee Gerald B. Cramer ’52, business and support of education and the arts; and Chancellor Nancy Cantor. Not pictured are Edwin Rifkin ’72, art administration and education, and Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71, architecture, who will receive their medals at ceremonies off-campus this fall.

2. Alumni of the College of Nursing gather to celebrate the history and achievements of the college and its alumni during Reunion Weekend and to honor the closing of the college.

3. Lil O’Rourke ’77 (second from right), vice president and chief development officer, visits with alumni at a reception hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations at Faraday House, the University’s new center in London. From left to right: Mischa Duncan ’98 and his wife, Kara; O’Rourke; and Tanuja Chugani G’01.

4. Maxwell alumni enjoy their Reunion in June. From left to right:  Brian Woods G’96, Jennifer Potter-Hayes G’96, Maxwell director of career and alumni services, Christine Omolino G’95, G’96, and Ruben Orosco G’96.

5. Members of the Class of 1956 are pictured on the steps of Hendricks Chapel during their 50th Reunion Weekend in June.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to

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Advancing Interests in the Orange

When he says he’ll be repaying SU for the rest of his life, Jonathan J. Holtz ’78 isn’t referring to a burdensome student loan, but to a heartfelt debt of gratitude willingly owed to the institution that gave him countless opportunities for friendship, leadership, and learning. “As a freshman, I went into the dean’s office in the School of Management and asked for a job—not as an intern, but to gain some real experience,” says Holtz, chair and CEO of Win-Holt Equipment Group in Garden City, New York. “Dean Oliker hired me, and that was the beginning of my connection to lifelong learning. I was nurtured and trained by deans and faculty who took me under their wings and acted as mentors.”

As a student, Holtz founded and contributed to such School of Management initiatives as the Dean’s Advisory Board, the Marketing Club, and the Mums for Moms fund-raiser. He also organized the intercollegiate/competitive men’s tennis club. That level of involvement has continued throughout his career, both at the Whitman School and the University at large. “At Syracuse, the doors are open to lots of opportunities,” says Holtz, a member of the SU Board of Trustees Executive Committee and the Whitman School of Management Corporate Advisory Council. “As a student, and throughout life, you just have to open them wider. You have to create a resume of your life by exploring possibilities and getting involved.”

Holtz began serving on the school’s advisory board while in his twenties, and was for many years the youngest member of the University’s Board of Trustees. A member of the Chancellor’s Council, he has led fund-raising efforts for the Dean Richard Oliker Recognition Fund, established the Holtz Marketing Award, and sponsors an annual dinner to recognize the Whitman School’s Alumnus of the Year Award recipient. Holtz was also instrumental in initiating the school’s entrepreneurship program. Most recently, he hired a group of graduate students to write a business plan for his company— a manufacturer of material/food-handling and food-service equipment—and a group of faculty members to serve as consultants on a supply chain management problem. “I was impressed with the students, and with the faculty consultants, who saved $150,000 for our company,” Holtz says. “I encourage other alumni to support SU by taking advantage of these resources of talent and energy.”  

Holtz’s civic and professional interests include board membership and service to the New York Presbyterian Hospital. A 2002 graduate of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Presidents’ Program in Leadership with an advanced degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, he has served on the YPO’s International Board and on its Executive Committee, and has held many other positions in the organization. “I believe we all have a personal lifeline and a business lifeline, and that, whatever we do, the more we put in, the more we get out,” says Holtz, whose wife Susan is a 1978 graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have a son, William, and a daughter, Stephanie, who is a sophomore in the Newhouse School and a very active student. “My relationship with the University didn’t end with being a student,” he says. “I am committed for life to improving Syracuse.”

 —Amy Shires


Full Plate



Scott La Rue ’94, G’01 planned to move to Alabama to work for a food-service contract company after graduating from the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP) with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. But La Rue changed plans when Loretto, the largest nonprofit provider of eldercare services in upstate New York, offered him the chance to stay in the Syracuse area and manage the food and nutrition department of a 520-bed facility.

La Rue mastered that assignment and found a wealth of career choices with the company. Since joining Loretto, he has held several jobs, including director of food and nutrition, corporate director of food and nutrition, vice president of support services, vice president of support services and human resources, and his current position as vice president of AdvancedMeal, a food-service delivery option for the elderly. “I remained with the company because I was continuously provided with additional opportunities,” La Rue says.

 Through AdvancedMeal, which has been in operation since 2002, food is prepared in a central kitchen to provide meals to nursing homes and assisted living centers. “The elderly, as a group and demographic in our society, are not provided the support and services they need,” La Rue says. “Loretto is working to fill that gap.” Today, the program extends further into the community, providing food services to schools, correctional facilities, and day care centers, as well as homebound meal and after-school programs. “Working in this field, you not only get satisfaction from your job in a professional way, but you also get satisfaction knowing that what you’re doing everyday is helping others,” he says.

While working at Loretto, La Rue earned a graduate degree from the Executive M.B.A. program at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. “The nutrition degree gave me the science background, experience in a clinical rotation, and the skills needed to be a registered dietitian and supervise registered dietitians,” he says. “The M.B.A. gave me the background to help develop and grow this company.”

Since Loretto caters its services to the Central New York community, it also maintains a close relationship with HSHP. Every year the company offers internships to nutrition program students, who do rotations in the company’s different programs. “SU is our primary source for registered dietitians,” La Rue says. “The program provides a valuable resource to upstate New York.”

La Rue attributes his career growth to mentors at SU and Loretto. “I try to afford my employees the same flexibility of an education to further their careers,” he says. “If I didn’t have supervisors that allowed me to flex my schedule and take courses, I would not be doing what I am today.”

—Crystal Heller

Marketing with a Personal Touch


When Tiffany Morrison ’89 decided to leave her advertising job with the Walt Disney Company, her friends and family were perplexed. But after working five years at Disney and holding previous positions at the Public Broadcasting Service, Eastman Kodak, and IBM, she wanted something more: a business to call her own. “No one understood why I was doing it,” says Morrison, an advertising graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. “There was a time when climbing the ranks of a large company was the way I wanted to go, but once I was in that situation, I discovered I wanted more flexibility.”

Morrison came to this realization at Disney, where she hired freelancers and other independent contractors to work on creative advertising projects, ranging from television commercials to promotions. She appreciated the freedom their work lives allowed them and decided to pursue a similar path. Capitalizing on her media background and an M.B.A. degree from Howard University, she launched Lane Morrison Marketing in 2002.

Today, through her Los Angeles marketing firm, Morrison offers clients marketing and public relations campaigns, as well as graphic design, promotions, media buying, and other marketing services. The company recently worked on marketing campaigns for two Academy Award-winning movies—Brokeback Mountain and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Morrison has built an impressive roster of clients that includes DreamWorks, New Line Cinema, and Los Angeles World Airports. “There was a time I thought large companies wouldn’t work with a small shop, but that is exactly the opposite case,” Morrison says. “They are totally open to working with someone professional who can provide high-quality work. It doesn’t matter that I’m not a huge conglomerate.”

As her own boss, Morrison has become adept at addressing different needs that arise in her business. For advice and help along the way, she’s turned to fellow Newhouse alumni. “Right now, the Syracuse network is really important to me,” she says. “There are people I call about professional issues because we went to SU. It removes a barrier and adds a connection.” With the success of Lane Morrison Marketing, Morrison says she enjoys having control of her life and looks forward to her company’s continued growth. “I didn’t do everything by the book,” she says. “But sometimes there is a feeling that it’s the right thing to do.”

—Crystal Heller


Material Success


Frances Mazze Hurwitz G’68 is not your average rocket scientist. In addition to developing new materials for space flight as a NASA researcher, Hurwitz worked as a chemist and technical resource librarian at pharmaceutical companies and as an indexer in one of the first medical information retrieval systems at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. She also earned four academic degrees, including a second master’s and Ph.D., while raising two young children. The diversity of her career illustrates that “you cannot have too narrow a view of what your career or future may look like,” she says. “It is important to be able to combine experiences and build upon them to create new opportunities.”

A graduate of the School of Information Studies, Hurwitz says her education as a librarian complements her work as a research scientist. “In my work at NASA, I am always venturing into new technical areas,” says Hurwitz, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Binghamton University in New York and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in macromolecular science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “Understanding how to do a literature search and how to use various sources to find information is critical.”

As a senior materials research engineer in the ceramics branch of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Hurwitz works on developing high-temperature materials used in aircraft engines and space. In 2003, she received a Team Achievement Award from NASA for her investigative work following the explosion of the Columbia shuttle, which disintegrated as it re-entered the atmosphere killing all seven astronauts aboard in 2003. The review of the Columbia disaster led Hurwitz into a new project to examine how aging affects the materials used in space flight and what steps can be taken to prevent future disasters. “Everyone at NASA was very emotionally affected by the loss of Columbia,” she says. “You become really involved in trying to understand the issues of materials on the shuttle to make sure future crews are safe.”

Among Hurwitz’s most significant achievements has been her ability to establish herself as a successful career woman in often male-dominated work environments, which didn’t initially welcome working mothers. “There were a lot of biases against women, and it was difficult because I was not often given the opportunities to lead projects,” she says. “But that has changed.”  And while she takes pride in many of her technical accomplishments at NASA and the respect she has earned from her colleagues there, she has gained the most rewards as a parent. “I’m very proud of my kids,” she says. “They are very accomplished in their own areas, and both now are also parents of wonderful grandchildren.”  

—Alia Dastagir

Developing Legal Insights


A steady work ethic and a commitment to entrepreneurial thinking have paid great dividends for Reinaldo Pascual ’85, a political science graduate who earned a J.D. degree from the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska. At 42, he is a partner and member of the executive committee at Kilpatrick Stockton LLP in Atlanta, one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the Southeast. Practicing corporate finance and securities law, Pascual coordinated such deals as the $500 million sale of software company PracticeWorks to Eastman Kodak and the privatization of the national mortgage bank of Argentina. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer for corporate and mergers and acquisitions law by prestigious Chambers & Partners and as an Atlanta Super Lawyer by Atlanta Magazine. He says growing up around his grandfather’s jewelry business in San Juan, Puerto Rico, provided a sound business sense that has helped him as a corporate finance lawyer. “Many lawyers don’t know how hard it is to run a business,” says Pascual, who received a Chancellor’s Citation in 2002 for his work in business and international law. “Whether it’s a family business in Puerto Rico or a U.S. company with $1 billion a year in revenues, the fundamental business, economic, and people issues are the same. Only the scale is different.”

Pascual takes a special interest in legal and business issues affecting Hispanic populations. He serves on the American Bar Association’s Latin American Legal Initiatives Council and the advisory board of the Latin American Law and Business Report. Six years ago, he organized a group of Hispanic professionals in the Atlanta area to establish United Americas Bank, catering specifically to that area’s growing Hispanic population. The bank was the first in Georgia to recognize identification cards issued by the Mexican Consulate, which resulted in thousands of immigrants opening bank accounts and taking out mortgages. “Hispanic immigration into this country is currently a politically charged hot topic that is, unfortunately, misunderstood,” he says. “The fact is immigration continues to rejuvenate this country and helps it grow, economically, socially, and culturally. Without it, there is simply no growth. The vast majority of immigrants work, live, raise their families, and pay taxes here. They contribute to our society in many other ways, and they deserve our respect and support.”

Today, United Americas Bank has three branches, services 5,500 accounts, has made more than 600 home loans (primarily to Hispanic families), and has total assets of $175 million. “I am proud that the bank is successful as a business,” Pascual says, “but I am more proud that we are helping the community.”

—Margaret Costello



Designing Her World


As a third-grader, Julie Smith-Clementi ’87 drew floor plans of her dream elementary school, featuring tailor-made classrooms for each student. Her passion for architecture and design has only increased over time. “I knew as a child I wanted to be an architect and took drafting and design classes throughout high school so I could apply to architecture school,” says Smith-Clementi, a principal of product design at Rios Clementi Hale Studios (an architecture, landscape architecture, interiors, and graphics studio in Los Angeles)  and CEO of notNeutral, the firm’s product design arm. “I’m tapping into those third-grade ambitions in a bigger way than I had imagined. Now I am tailor-making the bits inside the classrooms, too.”

Smith-Clementi credits her education at the School of Architecture with providing a strong foundation in design theory and conceptual analysis, enabling her to build a career that incorporates architecture as well as other design fields. “Architecture involves a balance of the creative design side with a more pragmatic and practical understanding of a structure and process,” she says. “While I don’t practice much architecture today, the design concepts I learned at Syracuse are totally ingrained in me and influence my process, no matter what I’m designing. I feel extremely fortunate to have received such a well-rounded education.”

As head of notNeutral, Smith-Clementi creates products ranging from ceramic dishware and linens to rugs and furniture that are sold in more than 200 stores overseas and throughout the United States, including Habitat, a new store in Syracuse’s Armory Square. NotNeutral recently expanded its line of children’s furniture pieces with a twin bed that can change as a child grows. “We don’t want the bed to look baby-like or be obsolete in a couple years when the child’s tastes change dramatically,” says the mother of two, whose children often serve as “testers” of the company’s products. The furniture line was recently picked up by Design Within Reach, a high design furniture retailer. “Design Within Reach is a great customer for us—one that validates that our furniture is well-designed,” she says.

This spring, notNeutral collaborated with the studio’s landscape architects to enhance its garden product line. The company also incorporated the architects’ design of renovations to LA’s Century City Mall when crafting new dishware for the dining terrace, creating a more cohesive feel to the dining experience. “I love working in a company that takes a broad perspective on design and allows such a free exchange of creative ideas among different design disciplines,” she says. “We’re always looking for new mediums where we can provide fresh insight and good design.”  

—Margaret Costello

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