Steve Sartori

Returning to SU

It is truly an honor to be back on campus to lead the Office of Alumni Relations. As past president of the SU Alumni Association and a former member of the University’s Board of Trustees, I can assure you that the leadership at our University—from the Chancellor to the trustees, deans, faculty, and staff—is well aware of the value that alumni bring to the University. The generosity and commitment of the thousands of alumni who came before us have provided each of us with a unique SU experience. Today, students at our alma mater continue to benefit from our support.

Thank you to all who give in so many ways, be it through financial support, participating in an alumni club, or volunteering as an SU mentor or an admissions representative. As part of the Syracuse University alumni family, I hope you show your SU pride every day and give back to your University in whatever ways you can.

I hope to meet many of you in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns or wish to contact me or the staff at the Office of Alumni Relations, please visit our web site at or call us at 1-800-SUALUMS.

In our continuing effort to keep you connected to the University, remember, it is not too late to have your name forever etched in granite or honor a friend or family member with our newest tradition—the Orange Grove. For more information, visit orange or call the Office of Alumni Relations. Orders received in the next few weeks will be placed in the Orange Grove in time for Homecoming Weekend 2004!


Admissions’ Partners

When Doug Yannucci ’94 was in college, his friends dubbed him “Mr. Syracuse” because of his boundless enthusiasm for giving campus tours. Ten years after graduation, Yannucci continues to spread his SU pride to prospective students as an alumni representative for the Office of Admissions. “Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions a student can make,” Yannucci says. “It’s so rewarding to talk to them about SU.” Yannucci and his wife, Katherine Galindez Yannucci ’95, reside in Miami and represent SU at college night programs, admitted student programs, and SU send-off parties. Like the Yannuccis, Claire Pridmore Grimble ’91 and husband, Thomas Grimble ’90, of Boston enjoy meeting prospective students and answering questions. “Most students want to know why they should choose SU,” Claire Grimble says. “I bleed Orange, so I have lots to tell them.”

The Yannuccis and the Grimbles are among a network of more than 350 SU alumni representatives that stretches across 35 states, Canada, Italy, and England. According to Dean of Admissions Susan Donovan ’66, G’82, alumni reps attend more than 200 college nights a year and generate approximately 9,000 inquiries to the admissions office that might not have been received without their assistance. “We can’t cover all the invitations that come in from around the country, so our alumni reps serve that need by being where we can’t,” Donovan says.

For Mitch Messinger ’92, G’93 of California, being an alumni rep is a means of paying SU back for his positive college experience. “It also satisfies my craving for SU news,” says Messinger, who was named 2000 Young Alumnus of the Year. “It allows me to continue the relationships I’ve built with people at the University over the years.”

Every fall, the admissions office invites these volunteers back to campus for Alumni Representative Weekend, where they attend presentations and relax over an awards dinner and a football game. Donovan says the weekend is a great way to recognize the reps and acknowledge their service. “Alumni reps are loyal, enthusiastic partners of the admissions office,” Donovan says. “Through their own successes, they are living proof of the value of an SU education. We are very grateful to them.”

—Kate Gaetano

For more information on how to become an alumni representative, contact the Office of Admissions at 315-443-1594 or e-mail

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

Courtesy of Tony Claps

A Familiar Ring The Ralph James Traveling Lunch Car, known as the Dingleman truck, was a campus icon for close to 30 years. At top left is owner Vincent James Claps in one of the Dingleman trucks. Above, Tony Claps serves hungry students.

It’s been more than 50 years, but Tony Claps still remembers the lyrics to “The Dingleman’s Convention,” written and performed by SU students in 1953 as a tribute to his now late father, Vincent James Claps. “Hear them tinkle, bells ring everywhere, it’s the campus Dingleman…the campus Dingleman,” Claps sings with a grin. He reminisces about old times, when the Ralph James Traveling Lunch Car—affectionately nicknamed the Dingleman truck for the bells mounted on its side—was a beloved fixture on the Hill. In the 1950s, the SU campus bustled with hungry students, many of whom had just returned from World War II, and a hot dog or a bagel with cream cheese cost just 15 cents. “My father used to stack the cream cheese thick,” Claps says. “No one ever walked away from the truck hungry. If you didn’t have the money, don’t worry about it. We built a great rapport with the students—that’s why we were around so many years.”

The legacy spanned nearly three decades. But the Dingleman was a campus icon almost from the start, when students hailed Claps and his father in their converted truck as they returned home from serving food to construction workers, who were building Quonset huts on campus in 1945. “It was Winter Carnival week, everyone was outside, and they were hungry from working on the snow sculptures,” Claps says. “So we came each day and sold to the kids. After that they said to my father, ‘Why don’t you come up at night?’ So we would arrive at 7 p.m., 7 days a week, and stay until 1 or 2 in the morning.”

With a simple menu ranging from sandwiches and burgers to coffee, pastries, and “soda pop,” the Dingleman catered to students’ voracious appetites and nourished the lives of his many faithful customers. In addition to Vincent James Claps, the Dingleman “crew” consisted of Tony Claps, a teenager when the business began, and Vincent James’s son-in-law Ralph Tortora, from whom the “Ralph James” name was derived. “They work at putting on a show every night,” Chuck Laloggia ’73 said in a 1972 article in the Central New Yorker. “When you order a cheesejaw (a double cheeseburger on an Italian roll), you also get a story about his wife or his life growing up.” For Tony Claps, the family business was more than just a way to earn a living—it was a way of life, one that reflected his family’s strong bond. “My mother, Isabel, was a big force behind the scenes,” Claps says. “She used to prepare tuna fish and egg salad for the sandwiches ahead of time. It was a lot of work, and everything had to be the purest quality. That was our secret: good food at a very reasonable price. If we made a nickel, it was a lot.”

From its humble beginnings out of the converted truck, the business expanded into three larger trucks equipped with lights, refrigerators, and grills, operated from different locations on the Hill by Vincent James, Tony, and Ralph. (In later years a fourth truck, driven by a family friend, was added.) The business ended when Vincent James retired and sold the trucks in the mid ’70s. But the Dingleman’s presence lived on in the memories of students long after the truck’s bells ceased to ring. Once, Vincent James loaned a student $20 to take his girlfriend on a date, and agreed to be repaid at the rate of $1 a week. “[The Dingleman crew] became adoptive, surrogate parents and mentors to every student in need of a friendly, adult listener,” says Henry Markiewicz ’71, who worked part-time on a Dingleman truck. “They were always willing to provide helpful advice. Any particular evening, we could be found trying to solve major local problems or just talking about minor ones and trivia. It was a great stress relief and a fun time.”

A 1955 Syracuse Post-Standard article called the Dingleman’s attitude toward SU students one of tolerance, humor, and fatherly insight. “People don’t realize,” Vincent James Claps said in the story, “that they’re just young kids away from home. Sometimes they get homesick, sometimes they get a little wild. But most of them are good kids, and it keeps us young being with them.”

—Kate Gaetano

Courtesy of Vantage Deluxe World Travel
Alumni stayed in Ávila, Spain, famous for the 11th-century walls that surround the city.

Spanish Splendor

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

On the last night of the Alumni College in Spain trip, Lenore Levin Piper ’58 did something totally out of character—she danced on stage with a group of performers from the University of Salamanca. “They just pulled me out of the audience,” she laughs. “It was the last thing I would have done voluntarily, but I had a grand old time.” The show, which featured traditional Spanish songs and dances, capped off a seven-day tour sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association last August. Throughout the week alumni explored the Castile region, known as the “heart of Spain,” consisting of Madrid, Salamanca, Toledo, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Segovia, and Ávila.

Celebrating a
Century of Memories

The Daily Orange 100: 100 Years of The Daily Orange’s Best Stories chronicles the history of Syracuse University and The D.O.’s journalistic development as a nonprofit, student-run newspaper from 1903-2003. Featured articles range from student reactions to the world wars, Ernie Davis ’62 and the national championship team of ’59, how a wolf nearly displaced Otto as mascot, and much more.

The cost of The Daily Orange 100 is $10. To order, visit or mail $12.30 (includes shipping and handling fee) to The Daily Orange office at 744 Ostrom Avenue, Syracuse NY 13210. The D.O.’s first book, From New York to New Orleans, showcases SU’s 2002-03 men’s basketball team and its NCAA championship. The book is available online and at bookstores on the Hill and throughout Syracuse.

For more information, contact Peter Waack, The D.O. business director, at 315-443-2315 or e-mail

Highlights of the trip included the capital city of Madrid, where alumni viewed the works of Spanish artists Goya, El Greco, and Velazquez during a private excursion through the Prado Museum. In San Lorenzo de El Escorial’s Royal Monastery, alumni viewed paintings and rare books and toured the mausoleum where many of Spain’s monarchs are buried. Situated on a mountain slope, Segovia offered alumni magnificent views and shopping in its unique pottery and craft shops. The city’s Roman aqueduct, one of the largest surviving Roman structures in Spain, was built in the late first century A.D. and still functions today. “The aqueduct was amazing,” says Margery Sutherland Frantzen ’63, who traveled with husband Robert Frantzen ’58. “We viewed it from a fantastic spot, where you can see how it slopes and levels out over the landscape,” she says.

Alumni returned each night to Ávila, declared a national landmark by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization for the well-preserved 11th-century walls that surround its cathedrals, monasteries, shops, and parks. “Outside the perimeter you can see the new city that’s grown around it,” Frantzen says. Parts of the walls, close to 30 feet high and just as wide, were open to visitors. “We would wander around on top of the walls and take in all the sights,” Frantzen says. “It was lovely, just lovely.”

—Kate Gaetano


Alumni Happenings

1. Katherine Fonte, 5, daughter of Mary Jane MacGregor Fonte ’85 and Michael Fonte ’85, cheered on SU with Otto last fall during a football game.

2. The Western New York Alumni Club got into the holiday spirit with a party in December.

3. On a sunny November Saturday, more than 40 alumni from past men’s and women’s rugby squads returned to Syracuse to play against current teams in the 20th annual alumni rugby match. The match drew alumni from across the country, including several who have played internationally. Among them was John Mauro G’73, one of the founders of the Syracuse University Rugby Football Club in 1969. Pictured here are the current men’s team with the men’s alumni team, following their match, which the alumni team won, 19-15. See more pictures and information at

4. Joanne Fogel Alper ’72 (front row, second from right), president of the SU Alumni Association Board of Directors, joined fellow alums at the wedding of Mark Starosielec ’99 in Buffalo last August. Pictured, left to right, are Josh Lipschitz ’99, G’01; Dave Slattery ’98; Brooke Alper ’04; Claudia Cappiello ’98; Starosielec; Michael Alper ’99; Alper; Kimesha Best ’99; Steve Doland ’99; and Rob Northway ’99.

5. Chance meeting: Walking the Forgiveness Path on Spain’s Camino de Santiago, Kara Curtis ’95 (left) spotted a familiar sight: an SU baseball cap, sported by Frances Carducci ’61, G’82 (right), who was traveling with Sanford Hersh ’72 on an SU alumni tour.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relationss

Changing Lives

It did not take much prodding to get Marta Pienkowski ’99 to talk about one of her favorite clients.

He was unemployed, emaciated, and sleeping on trains when
she met him. The staff had to physically pick him off the street to bring him into the substance abuse clinic. Today, he’s in recovery and running a homeless shelter. “We work with a really low-functioning population,” says Pienkowski, clinical supervisor of the outpatient program at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. “I hear stories that you would not believe. These people have been through so much trauma.”

The 26-year-old Pienkowski is the program’s youngest supervisor by nearly three decades, and—as a white woman not in recovery—she is an anomaly among the staff. “As a Caucasian in an African American and Hispanic treatment setting, she has to work especially hard,” says her supervisor, Elliot Driscoll. Among her responsibilities, Pienkowski screens potential clients (many of whom are homeless, unemployed, or former convicts), handles administrative, staffing, and supervision issues, and does crisis intervention and group work.

Pienkowski graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and then earned a master’s degree in the same discipline at Columbia University. Before coming to Beth Israel, she worked as the Bronx division director for NRI Group LLC, a New York-based organization that provides drug treatment and health-related services. She attributes her zeal for helping people to her own background. Born in Warsaw, Poland, she fled the country’s Communist regime as a child with her family and they eventually settled in Endicott, New York. The community gave her family clothing and furniture, and helped her parents, who barely spoke English, find jobs.

After surviving such a personal ordeal herself, it’s easy to see why she beams when she talks about her work. It’s also clear that she feels the joy and pain that surround recovery. “The most fulfilling part of the job is when clients say, ‘I want to thank you so much’ for some little thing that you don’t remember doing because it’s second nature to you,” Pienkowski says. “Yet that small thing that you did or said meant the world to them and changed the way they looked at their recovery.”

—Keith O’Brien

Invested in Growth

During a 1975 trip to Israel, SU Trustee Emanuel Shemin ’52 took special note of the country’s agriculture.

Emanuel Shemin, left, discusses Israeli agriculture with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Drawing on his decades of experience as president of Shemin Nurseries, he questioned why labor and water-intensive crops were grown on a landscape that is more conducive to high-tech, high-skills agriculture.

The visit prompted him to get involved in helping to develop Israel’s agricultural industry. He teamed with prominent Israeli horticulturalist Isaac Nir (whose son, Gilaad Nir ’07, is a student at the College of Visual and Performing Arts) to establish a plant propagation industry in the country, as well as an agribusiness course at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In 1993, they co-founded Genesis Seeds, now a leader in the international organic seed industry. Since 2000, the company has grown only organic seeds, which have become popular in recent years among people seeking more natural and environmentally friendly products, Shemin says.

Their work caught the attention of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Last June Nir and Shemin met for an hour with Sharon, at the prime minister’s request, to discuss Israeli agriculture and the role government can play in its advancement. “I told him that if Israel is going to have an agricultural presence, it needs to be in a high-tech niche,” Shemin says. “Israel cannot compete in commodities; there is simply not enough water or cheap labor. Israel can, though, provide the skills required to grow seeds.” He is proud of the work that has been accomplished so far, believing it will lead Israel to greater self-sufficiency. “By developing an export industry, Israel will be able to do more on its own,” he says.

Shemin also continues to contribute to Syracuse University in many ways. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the past 15 years and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee for the past seven years. He currently serves on the Board’s Academic Affairs and Facilities Committee. He is also a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and has donated 1,000 daffodil bulbs each year for
the past decade for planting around the University. He and his wife, Rhoda Zisman Shemin ’53, donated the funds to build Shemin Auditorium in the Shaffer Art Building, and Shemin recently dedicated a student lounge, in his wife’s honor, in the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life.

The Shemin family tradition spans four generations at SU. William ’24 (State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry), his father, played football and lacrosse for SU. Two sisters, Elsie Shemin Roth ’51 (Utica College) and Ina Shemin Bass ’53 (College for Human Development), as well as daughter Leslie Shemin Lester ’84 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), are graduates. Granddaughter Rachel Katz is a junior majoring in fashion design, and grandson William Cass was recently accepted into the Class of 2008 to study in the Newhouse School.

Shemin believes it is important to give back to the University that provided him the foundation for professional excellence. “Without the opportunities I received at Syracuse, that would not have happened,” he says. He sees his generosity as a way to thank SU for the opportunities that he, his wife, and his family have received. “We have had four generations go through SU,” he says. “It is appropriate for us to give back.”

—Kelly Homan Rodoski

A Rocker’s Return

In May 1996, Pete Yorn left Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication in his hand, several hundred songs in his head, and a dream of becoming a professional musician in his heart.

This fall, Yorn returned to campus for the first time. His performance in Goldstein Auditorium was attended by thousands of enthusiastic fans, many chanting his name and singing along to his songs. “Thanks everyone for showing up at my old school,” said the Columbia Records artist during his October concert. “It’s crazy for me to be back here playing.”

Yorn’s first album, musicforthemorningafter, sold a half-million copies. His second album, Day I Forgot, was released last April and looks to do equally well. His songs have been featured in Spiderman, and Me, Myself and Irene, and on television shows and in commercials. Long gone are the days of the self-proclaimed “shoe-gazer” who used to throw up before big concerts.
Before taking to the Goldstein stage last fall, Yorn spent a few hours visiting his favorite college hangouts, including Flint Hall and Cosmo’s on M Street. “I wish I could stay here for a while,” he said during his half-day visit. While on campus, Yorn and fellow band member Joe Kennedy ’94 participated in an open forum sponsored by SU’s Music and Entertainment Industry Students Association. The two musicians fielded questions covering everything from their musical influences to Napster and life on the road. “We had no idea how hard it was to get signed,” Yorn said. “Even after you get a record deal, it’s not all cut and dried.”

Yorn decided to be a musician halfway through his junior year at Syracuse. “The weather here was so horrible that it kept me in my room writing songs,” he says. He describes the songwriting process as “mysterious,” although he generally begins with the drums. “Rhythm inspires the melody,” says Yorn, who has hundreds of yet-to-be-released songs stashed away. “The way those melodies make me feel is how I start to write the lyrics.”

After graduating, the Montville, New Jersey, native moved to Los Angeles to launch his music career, and eventually his performances at clubs attracted the attention of Columbia Records. He’s been gaining popularity ever since. Yorn hopes to produce a new album this summer and has begun his own record label, Trampoline Records (, with Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and Jukebox Junkies singer/songwriter Marc Dauer to help young, talented musicians break into the business. “It’s a fun thing to do,” he says of the label.

Yorn offers this advice to aspiring musicians—or anyone chasing a dream: “Don’t worry about job security,” he says. “Worry about where your passion lies.”

—Margaret Costello

Artistic Vision

As dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Mary Schmidt Campbell G’73, G’80, G’82 wields a great deal of influence.

But for this gifted scholar, author, and teacher, the source of power rests not in fierce ambition, but in compassion, spirit, and authenticity. “A good leader has a great deal of integrity, and communicates clearly and honestly with the people around her,” says Campbell, who studied art history and the humanities and earned M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Formerly the New York City cultural affairs commissioner, Campbell joined the Tisch School in 1991 and now heads up the distinguished center of the arts, overseeing 10 professional training programs and two academic programs. In addition to her duties as dean, she continues to teach, publish books and articles, and lecture. “Speaking and publishing on serious topics give me opportunities to continue to probe the underlying ideas and first principles of leading an art school—to ask, ‘What does it mean to train as an artist?’” she says. “We pay a lot of attention to understanding the elements of craft, the tools of voice and movement. But once you have mastered that, in any art form, you should then ask, ‘For what purpose am I doing this? What role does this art form play in society?’”

Campbell looks back on her years at SU as a wonderful time, both academically and personally. “I was able to deepen my training in art history and enjoy active involvement with the University and Syracuse communities,” she says. “My husband [George W. Campbell Jr. G’77, H’03, president of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art] was also at Syracuse, and we started our family there.” Campbell has been honored with the Arents Pioneer Medal, a Chancellor’s Citation, and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award. “My time at SU was rich with opportunities to involve myself at many levels,” she says. “I had wonderful relationships with faculty who were excellent personal mentors. They gave me a great deal of their time, attention, and care.”

At the Tisch School, Campbell is equally attentive to the needs and capabilities of the people around her. “I believe that everyone wants to do a good job,” she says. “A good leader shapes and molds a job around people’s strengths.” Not only does this result in optimal performance, Campbell says, but it also allows each person doing a job to know he is making a difference. “It creates a sense of community, and a feeling of ‘we’re all in this together,’” she says. “That helps all of us to achieve the vision.”

—Amy Speach Shires

Going Once,
Going Twice…

Last January, the renowned Syracuse Snowman painting created by folk artist Warren Kimble ’57 was auctioned on eBay and purchased by a loyal alum for $8,650. Profits from the sale will benefit the SU cheerleading squad, which Kimble once captained. “I’m so pleased to be able to enhance the cheering program and assist the squad with travel and equipment expenses,” Kimble says. “I couldn’t be happier with the sale.”

The image has evolved into a Syracuse icon since it began appearing on T-shirts, cards, and flags in 2000. Prints—hand-signed by Kimble and donated by his publisher, Wild Apple Graphics—are on sale for $15 at the Office of Alumni Relations. For more information or to purchase a print, call 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867) or e-mail

Join the Club

We encourage you to get involved with your local alumni club. Clubs participate in a variety of activities, including game-watching events, networking opportunities, new student recruiting, and community service projects.

Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at:

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

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