Syracuse University Magazine


Nancy Cantor,
Chancellor and President

 Nicci Brown G’98,
Associate  Vice President for Publications and Message Design; Publisher 

Jeffrey Charboneau G’99,
Executive Director
 for Creative Services, Office of Publications; Executive Editor

Jay Cox

Laurie Cronin ’81

Margaret Costello, David Marc,
Amy Shires

Kathleen M. Haley ’92

Amy McVey

W. Michael McGrath

Jennifer Merante

Monique Frost

Aimee Hammill, Kayleigh Minicozzi ’08,
Christine Mattheis ’07

Katherine Cantor G’06, Alia Dastagir G’06, Crystal Heller ’06, Kevin Morrow,
Sara Mortimer G’06, Kelly Homan Rodoski ’92

Syracuse University Magazine (USPS 009-049, ISSN 1065-884X) Volume 23, Number 3, is an official bulletin of Syracuse University and is published four times yearly: spring, summer, fall, and winter by Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13244. It is distributed free of charge to alumni, friends, faculty, and staff. Periodical postage paid at Syracuse, NY, and additional mailing offices.

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Contents (C) 2006 Syracuse University, except where noted. Opinions expressed in Syracuse University Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of its editors or policies of Syracuse University.

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Pathways to Peace

boatWill we ever be free from war? If you side with conventional wisdom and civilization’s track record, it’s safe to say that this planet may never know peace. War, it seems, is an inevitable consequence of our existence.

But that certainly doesn’t rule out doing everything we can to learn about each other and the globe’s myriad cultures in hopes of strengthening our understanding of one another. Bob Pendleton ’49, a World War II veteran who attended SU through the GI Bill of Rights, recently sent me a letter and several columns he’s written about his lifelong hope that war will vanish. Since his high school days more than six decades ago, he says, he has questioned thousands of people about whether they believe war can be abolished. An overwhelming majority have told him “no,” but he has held strong to the belief that “if men start wars, then they can stop wars.” While at SU, he worked with international students who gave him hope, helping him “realize that world peace was possible.” Today, with like-minded members of Veterans for Peace, he continues to share his thoughts on the topic and to hope that people will “start thinking of positive ways to achieve freedom from war.”

One organization that has taken on that task is the Alexia Foundation for World Peace and Cultural Understanding, which was established by the parents of Alexia Tsairis, an aspiring photojournalist who was one of the promising students lost in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. For the past 15 years, the foundation has promoted global awareness through photojournalism by supporting photographers who travel the world to chronicle the staggering effects of conflict and social injustice. Last spring, in colaboration with SU, the foundation published Eyes on the World, which documents the work of Alexia photographers. As you’ll see, beginning the images are gripping and powerful.  

In this issue, you will also find a profile of a remarkable student, John Dau ’08, a Sudanese refugee who escaped the ghastly horrors of war in his homeland and endured years in refugee camps before arriving in Central New York. Today, he shares his message of perseverance, faith, and hope with others and is working to establish a medical clinic in southern Sudan.

Here at the University, educators continue to explore the issue of diversity, emphasizing the importance of students learning to understand differences and to recognize the value that diversity brings to their lives.

Without such lessons in understanding, whether they’re from the classroom or life experiences, we’ll be bogged down in the quagmire of senseless ignorance and bigotry. And that, as we know, is a place where conflict and war develop their roots. It’s a place that has forever altered the lives and thoughts of people like Bob Pendleton, John Dau, and the Tsairises. Their dedicated efforts show us that the path to peace is a daunting one, but well worth traveling.

Jay Cox

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