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alumniJournal

Steve Sartori
Bobkiewicz

Ensuring the University’s Future

I am fortunate to begin my two-year term as president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association at such a significant time in the history of our university. The Campaign for Syracuse University, which will officially launch on November 2, is an important foundation for the vision of Scholarship in Action, and the support of all alumni is key to the campaign’s success. The Alumni Association, working with the Office of Alumni Relations, is focused this year on three priorities to support these efforts: Celebrating Orange, Creating and Maintaining Lifelong Connections, and Ensuring Stewardship of the Future.   

The first priority is to celebrate with alumni the accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff at Syracuse University and the vision of Scholarship in Action. There are so many exciting things happening on campus that alumni often cannot experience. The Office of Alumni Relations, in collaboration with our alumni clubs around the country, is organizing programs to take on the road that share these exciting happenings. In addition, we are working to celebrate the accomplishments of alumni, both great and small, that continue to add to the reputation of our university.

The second priority is to help create and maintain connections with all alumni and our students. Over the last several months, we have held successful “soft landing” events for recent graduates in cities around America, hosted send-offs to help welcome new students into the Syracuse family, and welcomed alumni back to campus as part of our new Homecoming + Reunion activities.

The third priority is perhaps the most important: Ensuring Stewardship of the Future. The university we all enjoyed as students was made possible by the contributions of those alumni who came before us. It is now critical that as alumni today we ensure for future generations of Syracuse students the same outstanding experience we enjoyed. 

I encourage all alumni to learn more about The Campaign for Syracuse University and the vision of Scholarship in Action, and to actively contribute your time, talents, and treasure to support our university. 

Go Orange!

Wally Bobkiewicz G’89
President
Syracuse University Alumni Association Inc.                            

Steve Sartori
peoples place

 

Traditions »

Coffee and Community Served at People’s Place

Ted Finlayson-Schueler ’83, G’94 returns on occasion to his former on-campus haunt and is surprised—and pleased—by what he finds at People’s Place. Located in the lower level of Hendricks Chapel, the coffee shop was founded more than 35 years ago by Finlayson-Schueler and other members of the University Religious Council. True, the menu has expanded, the prices have increased, and the faces have changed. But student staff members still joke with customers and each other, prices remain a bargain, and the nearby Noble Room continues to be a homey retreat. “It’s really kind of amazing how little People’s Place has changed,” says Finlayson-Schueler, who studied at SU from 1968 to 1973 and returned to complete his degree in 1983. “It has maintained a unique sense to it.”

Students who work there experience that same aura. “I was a regular customer since I was a freshman and I made friends with a number of the employees,” says summer manager Zebadiah Keneally ’07. “It’s a warm place in a big campus.”

That was the intent of the University Religious Council, an organization made up of various student religious groups that wanted to create a refuge on campus where people could relax with a cup of coffee. There was no student union at the time and no campus snackbars existed. In spring 1971, the council provided coffee and doughnuts on the honor system at Hendricks Chapel. But by the end of the semester, organizers realized it wasn’t working, says Finlayson-Schueler, who was the council co-chair. That summer, he decided to run a snack bar by himself, offering coffee, soda, cookies, and other items. “Even as quiet as it is during the summer, it turned out to be a good idea,” he says. “In the fall, we decided to go with a staffed venture.”

Organizers kept it simple. Besides coffee and doughnuts, they purchased fruit at a local farmers’ market and soda from a wholesale grocer. Finlayson-Schueler’s mother, Louise Schueler, and later his brother, Paul Schueler, supplied homemade cookies by the hundreds: molasses, oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate chip. Customers wandered into the Noble Room to play bridge or listen to others playing guitar. People’s Place stayed open into the evenings and served sangria at the Friday night coffeehouse. “People’s Place met a purpose and furthered the mission of the chapel in a broad sense of creating community,” Finlayson-Schueler says. “And it was fun, so what more could you ask?”

peoples place
peoplesplace
Above, customers line up for coffee, lunch, and baked goods during a busy morning at People’s Place. Above right, a worker makes room for more doughnuts outside People’s Place in October 1975.

More than three decades later, People’s Place remains popular because of its convenience, prices, and the homemade quality of the items, Keneally says. “We’re a nonprofit business, which keeps prices low,” he says. During the school year, the snack bar goes through dozens of bagels, doughnuts, muffins, cookies, and pastries every day. The coffee is prepared on site; all other items are delivered. The baked goods come from a local bakery and the snack bar’s sandwiches and popular soup or chili of the day are prepared locally and delivered daily.

The fun that employees have also attracts a steady crowd of regulars, Keneally says. “People see us enjoying ourselves, and they laugh and lighten up,” he says. The interaction at People’s Place has connected Keneally to a range of students, faculty, and staff. “As I walk around campus, I see all the different people I know and can wave to,” Keneally says. “It’s helped the University feel like home to me.” 

West Coast Class Shows SU Pride

Photo courtesy of Madoc Powell
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Every weekday morning, Orange pride in-fuses Madoc Powell’s second-grade classroom at Winchester Elementary School in Riverside, California, as his students kick off their lessons with the SU fight song. Pictures of the University decorate the walls and bulletin boards, and every Friday, the classroom is awash in SU orange, as children and teacher wear the SU colors for University Spirit Day.

The activities are part of “No Excuses University,” a nationwide school initiative designed to promote high academic expectations and college readiness among children. The initiative, which Winchester joined last year, encourages elementary school classrooms to “adopt” a college or university, and Powell says he chose SU for two reasons: He knows the University, having lived in Syracuse while his father completed his master’s degree at SU, and he wants to expand his students’ horizons. “A lot of the teachers in our school picked California schools,” he says. “I wanted to pick a college that was far away to demonstrate to the students that their options were not limited to California.”

Powell features a different SU building on each of his classroom bulletin boards, and he incorporates discussion of higher education into daily lessons. On University Spirit Day, Powell’s students troop outside for the weekly flag ceremony wearing their SU T-shirts as the fight song (“Down the Field”) plays on a portable stereo. Students also plan to write letters to, and make banners for, the SU volleyball team, as they did with the softball team last year. Such rituals have created a strong bond between the youngsters and the University, Powell says. “One parent last year told me she had to wait for her son to fall asleep before she could remove his SU T-shirt because he didn’t want to take it off,” he says. “Another student selected orange and blue as the colors for his bedroom. They really do love SU.”

The program has drawn support from Los Angeles area alumni. Powell says actor Brian Stepanek ’93, who appears in the Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, sent the class an autographed picture after hearing about the SU-Winchester connection and expressed interest in a possible visit this fall. Jack Mitchell ’83 and Susan Verrett ’92 visited Powell’s classroom last year and answered children’s questions about SU. Several other alumni have become pen pals, corresponding regularly with the children.

Photo courtesy of Madoc Powell
SU pride

“The ‘No Excuses University’ program is an awesome addition to existing curriculum,” Powell says. “It helps students realize their potential and gives them an educational goal. High school is not the end of their educational journey. I realize these kids are only 7 years old. However, each of them has set the goal to attend college someday. And several have already decided they want to go to SU.” 

Photo courtesy of the Parker Family
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The Parker family celebrated another generation at SU during graduation in May. From left are Elizabeth Parker ’04, Joan Colligan Parker ’72, G’81, Megan Parker ’07, and Jeff Parker ’72.

Orange Legacy »

Sisters Extend Family’s SU Ties

Jeff Parker’s family connection to Syracuse University spans four generations, two marriages, one dairy farm, and almost an entire century. His grandfather, Howard Shaff, graduated in 1920 with a law degree, and his grandmother, Emily Disbrow, graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1918. Disbrow came to SU from Easton, Connecticut, and after she and Shaff married, they returned to Easton to live on her family’s dairy farm.

The Shaffs had three children, two girls and a boy. Parker’s mother, Emily, was the oldest child, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. Her sister, Lucy, followed three years later, also earning a liberal arts degree. Howard, the youngest, was the only member of the family not to attend Syracuse. “He, unfortunately, graduated from Yale,” Parker jokes.

Jeff Parker graduated from SU in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in history, but not before meeting his future bride, Joan Colligan ’72, G’81, at a fraternity mixer. He says the day was memorable not only because of the meeting, but because March 4, 1971, was one of the few snow days in the University’s history. Parker and Colligan, who earned a bachelor’s degree in education and later a master’s degree in education, married in 1974 and have two daughters, Elizabeth and Megan. “My daughters grew up hearing about Syracuse,” Parker says. Although their parents loved Syracuse, neither girl intended to attend SU. “It was teen rebellion,” Megan says. “Our parents went to SU, so we wanted to do something different.”

Both girls visited many different schools during their college search, but “at the end of the day, they both miraculously chose Syracuse,” Parker says. Elizabeth, a 2004 graduate, now lives and works in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as a school psychologist. Megan, a dual public relations and public policy major who graduated in May, works at the corporate offices of General Electric in Fairfield, Connecticut, and still treasures her time spent at Syracuse. “There’s a connection, a common spirit and excitement about the school that I really love,” she says.

As for Jeff and Joan, he is the eastern regional sales manager at Herff Jones (a company that makes class rings, diplomas, caps, and gowns for schools, including SU), and she is principal at Helen Keller Middle School in Easton; they live on an acre of the dairy farm that his grandmother left almost a century ago. Parker says his family gatherings are always enlivened by his wife and daughters arguing over the difficulty of graduating magna cum laude in 1972 compared to 2004 or 2007. Jeff stays out of it. “I graduated with a 2.98 GPA,” he says. “I just sit and listen.”

This past May, the family purchased a commemorative paver to be placed in the Orange Grove at SU. His daughters, seeing the plaque for the first time, asked Parker why he hadn’t left room on the paver for their own children. Quite possibly, the Parker family tradition at Syracuse University will last another generation. “I look forward to the day my grandchildren head off to SU,” he says.        

 

Greater Boston Alumni Club Hosts Networking Event

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More than 100 Boston-area alumni gathered in June at the New England Aquarium for an evening of career networking, while mingling against the luminescent backdrop of a tankful of jellyfish. “Career Success: Navigating Uncharted Waters” was sponsored by the Greater Boston Alumni Club, the Center for Career Services, and the Office of Alumni Relations. It was the largest networking event for the alumni club, and organizers were pleased with the evening’s success and turnout, having 35 years of alumni present. “The event was an opportunity for Syracuse alumni to welcome ’07 graduates to the Boston area,” says Kristen Krikorian ‘99, president of Greater Boston Alumni Club, “and for alumni to establish professional and social connections.”

For the first hour, recent graduates met with alumni “career hosts,” who talked about their professions, how they got their jobs, and their experiences. Professions represented included technology and information management, marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism, business, financial services, engineering, and human resources. “It was nice to see people taking something away from the event. I saw recent graduates provide their resumes to career hosts and other alumni in attendance in hopes of getting a job or maybe an internship,” Krikorian says. “Some good connections were made.”

The second half of the event was held in the jellyfish room, and had a casual networking tone. “I ran into someone that I went to college with, so we got to catch up,” Krikorian says. The club aims to make this an annual event, and, next year, organizers are trying to get corporate sponsorship for the event, which Krikorian hopes will continue to grow in popularity. “The New England Aquarium actually ended up being too small,” she says. “But next year, we want to do another venue like that—maybe Fenway Park.”

 

Alumni Travel »

The Peaceful Balkans Beckon

Photos courtesy of Vantage Travel
dubrovnik

The coastal city of Dubrovnik in Croatia (above) provided a dramatic view for visitors as part of an SU tour. At right, travelers took in the sights in the city of Split.

 

For information on alumni travel opportunities,
contact Tina Casella
in the Office of
Alumni Relations
at 1-800-SUALUMS
or cscasell@syr.edu.

splitcitycoast


Croatia was the last place that Andrea Robinson ’79 expected to find a piece of Syracuse University history. As she explored Zagreb, the capital, this June, she happened upon the house-turned-museum of internationally renowned sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. An SU professor in the early 1950s, Mestrovic crafted the Moses and Supplicant Persephone pieces located in the Sculpture Court outside Shaffer Art Building. Robinson spoke with museum officials about Mestrovic’s time at SU. “It was a great connection,” she says.

Robinson traveled through Slovenia and Croatia for 15 days as part of an SU Alumni Association trip to the Dalmatian Coast. The trip hit such highlights as the Riviera-like scenery created by the crystal blue waters of the Adriatic Sea and the historic coastal cities of Dubrovnik, Split, Opatija, and Zadar.

As the group discovered, these nations, all part of the former Yugoslavia, are on the verge of a tourist boom, making now the time to go. Sites and views are clear of tourist hordes and prices remain reasonable. “They don’t have the tourist base quite yet,” Robinson says. “As it becomes more popular, the prices and crowds will change accordingly.”

A stop at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reminded the awestruck group of the region’s not-so-distant war troubles. “Someone asked if we had to watch out for landmines, which is not normally a question I ask when I go into a national park,” Robinson says. “Our guide said not to worry if you stay on the trail. But that was an eye-opener.”

This combination of natural and urban beauty, as well as cultural diversity, struck Jean Jonnard ’51, who took the trip with her husband. “If you go to Croatia, you have mountains, the beautiful Adriatic, the architecture of Italy, and the music of Poland and Russia,” Jonnard says. “It was like a trip around the world in one country.”

 

PHOTOGALLERY

Alumni Happenings »

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Above: John McIntyre G’91 (left) and University Librarian Emeritus David H. Stam participated in a media tour of Greenland in June with the New York Air National Guard 109th Wing, based in Scotia, New York. McIntyre is vice president and COO of Spotlight Newspapers/Eagle Media in Central New York. Stam, a Senior Scholar in the Maxwell School’s History Department, taught a course in polar studies for the Renée Crown University Honors Program last spring. The trip’s mission was to restaff and resupply National Science Foundation operations. boattrip

 

 

Left: Alumni cruised along the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York, during a summer excursion. In the bottom row, from left, are Lynda Stephens ’65, Millicent Wilson ’63, and Dr. Eugene Pantera ’72. In the top row, from left, are Thomas Jambro ’75, Gerald Kelly ’65, Kathryn Restorff ’63, and Anthony Romano ’73.

  milton'sretirement Left:U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Milton Johnson ’83 was joined by family and fellow SU alumni during a retirement ceremony July 20 in Washington, D.C., where he was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal. Johnson, who earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force ROTC while at SU, was a pilot and served in critical command and staff positions. He and his wife, Rebecca Morton Johnson ’82, have three children, Kyle, Ian, and Asia. Pictured, from left, are SU alumni and brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity: Jaimee Friend ’82, Keith Brown ’82, Johnson, and Victor Holman ’82.

 

ALUMNIPROFILES

Peter Horvitz ’76 »

Publishing Excellence

 horvitz

He has never executed a plié, but something about ballet inspires newspaper publisher Peter A. Horvitz. As a trustee of the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), where he was president of the board for five years and is completing a two-year term as chairman, he appreciates and enjoys classical dance while helping the organization achieve its goals. “In my role as publisher, I’m asked to do many things in the community, and it’s a lot of fun,” says Horvitz, CEO of Horvitz Newspapers Inc., a privately owned communications company based in Bellevue, Washington, that publishes daily newspapers in Washington and Tennessee. “I’m particularly impressed with PNB, which is a major institution in our region. They have such passion for what they do, and they give that to me, so I want to help them achieve another level of greatness.”    

Horvitz came naturally to the newspaper business—his family owned newspapers in Ohio and New York—and spent two summers interning at newspapers even before completing his studies at the Newhouse School. After graduating, he went straight to New York University Graduate School of Business Administration, where he earned an M.B.A. degree in 1978. Since then, his publishing career has taken him from Ohio to New Jersey and, eventually, to the West Coast. With the ultimate goal of becoming a publisher, Horvitz worked for five years in the family business, which was sold in the late ’80s, and 10 years in executive positions with Gannett. In 1994, in partnership with his immediate family, he acquired the publishing company in Bellevue and recreated Horvitz Newspapers. “I love being a publisher,” he says. “You have the journalistic side of the business, and the excitement of covering important news for the people in your community. And there are also challenging business problems in managing a newspaper—market challenges, production challenges, and challenges related to product development. It is a very complex business with a lot of different dimensions, particularly now in the Information Age.”

Horvitz holds trustee positions with the American Press Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Overlake Hospital Association, and several other organizations. He has received numerous professional and community recognitions, including the 2003 YMCA of Greater Seattle A.K. Guy Award, one of the city’s most prestigious honors. “As someone who manages newspapers, I consider community service an important aspect of successful journalism,” Horvitz says. “I recognize that our work plays an important role in shaping the issues in a community and helping people come together to solve problems. I think that’s very fulfilling.”

Strongly connected to SU, Horvitz has been a member of the Newhouse advisory board for more than 20 years. He established two endowed scholarships for print journalism students—one in reporting, and one in newspaper administration. Last year, he accepted an invitation to become a University trustee. “I continue to be passionate about newspapers,” he says. “In my own business life, I am attempting to solve the significant challenges all newspaper publishers are facing, which is how we reinvent ourselves for this new media world. And I think places like Newhouse have a role in helping us make that transition.” 

 

Harvey Bayless ’56 »

Long-Delayed Salute

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This spring, President George W. Bush awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen, the pioneering African American fighter pilots, navigators, and ground personnel who served during World War II in the segregated armed forces. Referring to the racism they endured while fighting for their country, the president saluted the airmen, saying, “I offer a gesture to help atone for all the unreturned salutes and unforgivable indignities.” Retired Air Force Major Harvey Bayless, who served as a communications officer with the Tuskegee Airmen and saw action in the Italian Campaign, was both pleased and humbled. “I’m not a very important person,” says Bayless, a spry 83-year-old who lives in Overland Park, Kansas. “But a lot of these guys are genuine heroes and this recognition was a long time coming. I’m only sorry that so many deserving men did not live to see it.” Among those posthumously awarded the medal was Wilmeth Sidat-Singh ’39, the Orange basketball and football star whose jersey hangs in the Carrier Dome. Although he never met Sidat-Singh, Bayless’s Signal Company participated in the rescue attempt after the pilot’s P-40 went down in Lake Huron during a fatal training exercise in 1943.

Originally from Frankfort, Ohio, Bayless was stationed at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York, after the war. “I began taking courses at Syracuse with the help of the G.I. Bill,” he says. “I worked all day, studied all night, and occasionally found time to sleep.” Despite several interruptions—including a two-year active duty tour in Korea—he completed a bachelor’s degree in physics, and then worked as an electronics engineer, designing and implementing communication systems for the Air Force. After retirement from the civil service, Bayless served as a technical consultant to Modular Protection Corporation, providing technical services to such clients as 3M Corporation and Dupont on new fire suppression agents. “I always felt my Syracuse education served me and my family well,” says Bayless, whose son, Roderick “Rick” Bayless ’72 served as an infantry platoon officer in the Vietnam War, and earned an M.B.A. degree at Harvard after graduating from SU.

Even in retirement, Bayless is not exactly retired. A member and a chapter historian of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., a veterans’ organization, he is a sought-after speaker, addressing military gatherings, air shows, and school and civic groups on the hidden history of African American participation in the U.S. military. He believes the 1995 HBO feature film, The Tuskegee Airmen, was instrumental in creating public awareness of the story. Given his energy and focus, it is hard to resist asking him the secret of his sustained vigor. “I attribute my good health to three things: no drinking, no smoking, and faith in my nation and God,” says Bayless, who has been married to his wife, Mamie, for 61 years. 

Lea Ciavarra G’95 »

Shaping Architectural Visions

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Lea Ciavarra knew her architecture firm had prepared a strong submission for “Big Shoulders, Small Schools,” an international design competition in 2000 for Chicago Public Schools. At the time, her firm was just a year old, but this project had clicked with the design team from the beginning, and the results showed it: Lubrano Ciavarra Design LLC walked away a surprise first-phase winner and finalist in the competition. “To be selected ‘blindly,’ from hundreds of entries, was incredibly satisfying,” Ciavarra says.

That win was the big break Ciavarra’s small, New York City firm needed to establish itself as a talented new arrival in the world of architectural design. It also led to larger, more varied projects for the firm. Today, the company’s portfolio includes six New York City charter schools and a variety of business and residential projects.

Ciavarra credits her experience at SU with preparing her for a smooth transition from student to successful architect. Following her graduate studies at the School of Architecture, she served a two-year stint on the faculty, including one year as director of the pre-architecture program in Florence, Italy. In 1997, she joined the New York City firm of another SU graduate, internationally renowned architect Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71. Two years later, after several successful independent collaborations with friend Anne Marie Lubrano, the two launched their company. School of Architecture Dean Mark Robbins G’81 first met Ciavarra through the “Big Shoulders, Small Schools” competition in his capacity as director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts, which helped fund the competition. “Lea at the time was in a group of much more established architects than herself,” he says. “I appreciated her interest, as part of a young firm, in a project that had an impact on the public realm. And she’s continued to do that, taking on projects for several schools and cultural institutions. She’s really one of the more promising architects working today.”

Among Ciavarra’s recent projects: designing offices for the Richard Avedon Foundation in the new Museum Office Tower at the Museum of Modern Art—a project that won a 2006 Best of the Year award from Interior Design magazine; and, currently, collaborating with a Netherlands firm on designing a luxury boutique hotel in Miami.

Ciavarra, who sits on the School of Architecture advisory board, continues to keep her hand in academics, teaching classes in design for several institutions. “It’s taxing to do both,” she says, “but it’s also a great change of pace. I like academia. I could see going back to it down the road. But right now, the practice is going well, and we’re enjoying it.”

Chris Lencheski ’98 »

Racing Toward Success

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Chris Lencheski ’98, right, with race car driver Mike Bliss

Chris Lencheski grew up knowing he wanted a career in sport—specifically, marketing and management. However, when he started applying to colleges, he discovered such a degree program was hard to find. “At that time, most sports teams were still family owned,” he says. “Only two or three schools in the country had academic programs even approaching the field of sport management.”

Yet that drawback didn’t keep him from fulfilling his lifelong dream. Jumping at a chance to enter the sport industry while an SU student, he left the University to be the media director of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, then the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. By working hard and taking advantage of every opportunity cast his way, Lencheski eventually became vice president of sport and event marketing with the event management company of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Following his success there, Lencheski returned to SU, earning a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.

From that point on, Lencheski’s involvement with sport management and marketing grew exponentially, as did his level of success. Today, he is the founding president and CEO of SKI & Company, a sports and entertainment marketing communications company with a large practice in motorsports and the high-performance automotive industry. Internationally recognized as the first global marketing agency of record for a major auto manufacturer, SKI accepted General Motors’ GM Racing account in 2004. Headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with offices in New York City and London, SKI & Company continues to rapidly grow under Lencheski’s leadership and will open offices this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Lencheski has also fielded successful NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup teams of his own with brand-name sponsors, including Smith & Wesson, Stacker 2, Mikes’ Hard Lemonade, NOS Energy Drink, and such championship caliber drivers as Ron Hornaday Jr., Kenny Wallace, Scott Riggs, and Mike Bliss. “I definitely had to work hard for everything we have now,” he says. “And yes, this line of work demands an incredible personal toll; but this is a passion.”

That passion for the industry now inspires students in the Department of Sport Management at the College of Human Services and Health Professions. A member of the department’s advisory council since its inception two years ago, Lencheski lends a tremendous level of expertise to the program, traveling the country to talk to current and prospective SU students about the sport management field and its opportunities. “I joined the program’s advisory council because I remember what it was like not having an outlet where I could study my interests at the college level,” Lencheski says. “If I can help somebody else open doors—that would be huge.”   

Sylvia Altshuler Krugman ’38 »

Leading Lady

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Those who know Sylvia Altshuler Krugman are inspired—even awestruck—by her enduring vitality. Family members, friends, and acquaintances alike speak with respect and affection for this “great lady,” describing her as  “witty,” “lovely,” and “fabulous.” Now approaching 90, “Tippie,” as she is fondly known, is likely to dismiss such praise. “I just try to be myself,” says Krugman, who studied English and drama at SU some 70 years ago. “I don’t think you should ever try to be anything other than what you are.”   

As an SU student, she established standards of personal excellence that remained with her throughout her professional life. A member of the varsity debate team and cheerleading squad, she served as associate editor of The Daily Orange and president of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. After graduating, she hosted a pregame college football radio show, Tippie Taylor’s Collegiate Review, which was broadcast across North America on Saturday afternoons. In 1939, Krugman won distinction as the world’s first female disc jockey, hosting The Cinderella Hour, an all-request show, every night from 11 p.m. to midnight on New York City radio station WHN. “It was an exciting job for a young woman just out of college,” she says.

She left radio in 1941 to marry attorney Martin Krugman, and they settled in Paterson, New Jersey, where she led a successful movement to prevent the state transportation department from leveling the city’s silk mills, and helped found a citizens’ group to preserve its historic district. In 1972, Krugman laid claim to another “first” for women when she became chair of the city’s board of public works, and continued to do so as the first woman to sit on the boards of two area banks. She later obtained a state broker’s license and founded Total Insurance Programs and Investments (TIPI) Inc., where she continued to work into her seventies. “At the time, it was unusual for a woman to be in the positions I held,” she says. “Now, of course, women are doing everything. But I still think it is important for them to believe they can do whatever they want—and to do it.”

A loyal alumna who has given generously to University initiatives through the years, Krugman recently supported an endowed Chancellor’s Scholarship in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She continues to maintain an active lifestyle, enjoying travel and time with her three children and six grandchildren. Widowed in 1994, she now makes her home in New York City with daughter Candace, head of the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed. Son James, a retired attorney, lives nearby, and son Michael oversees information technology at Boston University. “I’m very proud of them,” Krugman says. “As a parent, you tell them they’re smart and bright, and that they can do it. I think it works for everyone. The more you tell someone they are wonderful, the more they live up to it.”   

 

Paul S. Speranza Jr. ’69 »

Investing Care

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Paul S. Speranza Jr., vice chairman and general counsel of Wegmans Food Markets Inc., believes in taking chances on people. It’s something he learned while a senior in high school. “My family had no money for college,” Speranza says, “but Syracuse University took a chance on me, offering a full Trustees’ Scholarship. It was as if they were saying, ‘Come here; we’ll take care of the money because we believe in you.’”

Recently elected chairman of the three-million member U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC), the world’s largest business federation, Speranza hopes to use his term to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of health care and improve education, especially for the economically disadvantaged.  His credentials for taking on these daunting issues are apropos. He has worked for more than 30 years at Wegmans, a family-held company with 35,000 employees, doing $4 billion in annual sales. Fortune ranked Wegmans first, second, and third in its last three annual surveys of the best American companies to work for, an honor Speranza credits to the late Bob Wegman, and son, Danny, the current CEO. “The Wegman philosophy is simple,” says Speranza, a disciple who has lectured on it at the Whitman School of Management. “If you truly take care of your employees and treat them well, they will take care of the customers. And if the customers are taken care of, the bottom line will take care of itself.”

Speranza arrived in Syracuse with thoughts of becoming an electrical engineer, but developed new aspirations as he explored the curriculum. “Horace Landry’s tax law course was my first great inspiration, and Michael Sawyer’s constitutional law course helped me understand the rule of law as the cornerstone of society,” says Speranza, who holds law degrees from the University of San Francisco and NYU. His experience as a member of the SU debate team made a lasting impression as well. During his junior year, the team was competing in Washington, D.C., when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. “The city was in flames, with troops in the streets and tanks on Pennsylvania Avenue,” he says. “For the first time, I felt the depth of the inequities in our country, and I thought that if I ever have a chance, I will work for fair and equitable treatment for all human beings. The experience changed my life.”

Speranza has been making good on his pledge ever since, both in his leadership positions at Wegmans and in his service to the USCC and other organizations, ranging from the Business Council of New York State to Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester, where he helped create a scholarship program for disadvantaged students. “An education—in my case, a Syracuse University education—made all the difference in the world,” Speranza says. “I want to work with others to give children the same opportunity that Syracuse gave me.”   

—David Marc

 

Gianfranco Zaccai ’70 »

Solutions for Life

zaccai

Gianfranco Zaccai believes the value of good design transcends aesthetics. It’s about simplifying our lives—finding what he calls “smart solutions” for activities as mundane as housekeeping and as crucial as health care. As president and CEO of Continuum, a Boston-based innovation consulting firm with international offices in South Korea and Italy, Zaccai has had a hand in creating products used daily in hospitals, businesses, and homes.

Continuum, which Zaccai co-founded in 1983, has been an industry pioneer in taking a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to research, design, and development of products. “We step back and look at the issues from different perspectives rather than taking the information that has always been there at face value,” he says. “We take the deep knowledge already within an organization, leverage it with a much broader view of the world, conduct our own targeted research, and then apply a broad range of skills and disciplines to identify and develop the right solution.”

Zaccai, who serves on numerous industry boards as well as the advisory board for the College of Visual and Performing Arts, says SU’s industrial design program first taught him the value of interdisciplinary problem solving. And his company’s success speaks for itself: It has won national and international recognition, including Design Excellence awards from ID: Industrial Design Magazine, a Presidential Award for Design Excellence—for an explosives detection system—and a Design of the Decade award from the Industrial Designers Society of America. Its many innovations include the P&G Swiffer; the Reebok Pump; and a variety of medical devices, including a pediatric sedation system that combines video-game distractions with the administration of medication, and a miniature, wearable insulin pump for individuals with diabetes. “The OmniPod Personal Diabetes Manager is the kind of thing that can really revolutionize health care,” Zaccai says, “by providing a high degree of very specific and user-friendly therapy in a way that’s almost invisible and that integrates comfortably into someone’s life.”

Zaccai says his company today is increasingly focused on “profitable sustainability”—designing products and services that are both ecologically sound and appealing to consumers. “A product is not sustainable if it might be environmentally good to use but nobody would want to use it,” he says. “If you can identify something that provides an ecological benefit and generates a healthy profit because it’s really delightful to the user, then you have a truly sustainable product.” He also believes that creating products that incorporate technology into daily life in ways that enhance and simplify—like the insulin pump—presents a tremendous opportunity for designers. “The future is not about just making more ‘stuff,’” he says, “but about providing wonderful experiences for people through technologies that are seamless, where we’re almost not even aware that they’re there—things we’ll wear, things that are embedded into the environment around us. Industrial design has gone from being a niche—and, at times, superficial—activity that created beautiful objects for the few to an activity that is about creating a better world.”        

—Carol Boll

      PASSINGS

 

borgognoni
Charles L. Borgognoni
Monsignor Charles L. Borgognoni, 84, died July 19. He was the Roman Catholic chaplain at Syracuse University from 1962 to 1991 and a major supporter of the University’s John G. Alibrandi Jr. Catholic Center, which opened in 1982. He also served as chaplain to the SU football and basketball teams, attending nearly every game, and was a prominent figure in local community theater. He received many awards, including the College of Visual and Performing Arts Award, a citation by Governor Mario Cuomo for service to SU and the Syracuse community, and the Varsity Club Honorary Letterman of Distinction. A fund is being established at SU in memory of “Father Charles.” For more information on how you can contribute, contact Deborah Armstrong at 315-443-9165 or dearmstr@syr.edu.
von dran Raymond F. von Dran
School of Information Studies Dean Emeritus Raymond F. von Dran, who served as dean for 12 years before stepping down in July, died from a sudden illness on July 23 at age 60. Throughout his career, von Dran broke new ground to help bring library and information science schools into the Information Age. He was a founding member of the I-Schools Group, a national consortium of academic institutions focused on the relationship between information and people, and was among a core group of visionaries who helped define the emerging academic field of information studies. He led the School of Information Studies through a period of unprecedented productivity, during which the number of faculty and students nearly tripled, sponsored research increased five-fold, and four of the school’s programs earned top-four rankings from U.S. News & World Report, including the top-ranked master’s program in information systems. Prior to joining SU, von Dran served as dean of the information schools at The Catholic University of America and the University of North Texas. He is survived by his wife, Gisela, a retired professor and director emerita of the School of Information Studies master’s degree program in library and information science; and a daughter, Beth. To support von Dran’s vision and to continue the success he created at the school, a fund has been established in his name. Donations can be sent to the SU Raymond F. von Dran Fund, c/o SU School of Information Studies, Office of the Dean, 343 Hinds Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse NY 13244.
 

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