schmitt shoots!!
You may recall reading in the Winter 1999-2000 issue that Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund has proposed merging the School of Social Work, College of Nursing, and College for Human Development into one unit that would focus on human services and health.

Upon first hearing this news, I had mixed feelings. Obviously this is a bold step that will benefit all three schools and allow for a more integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the field of human services. On the other hand, I worried about how alumni of the three schools would react.

During the exploratory phase of this merger, we are working hard to keep all alumni informed, particularly those whose schools are directly involved. I assure you that your ongoing relationship with your home school or college will remain an important part of being Syracuse University alumni. Actions such as this are not taken lightly or without thought as to how one of our most important constituencies will be affected.

For those of you whose schools are part of this merger, know that you’ll always be an alumnus of the College of Nursing, College for Human Development (which many of you remember as Home Economics), or the School of Social Work. And now you will be part of the legacy that led to the formation of a new school at SU.

We will continue to keep you updated as plans unfold and the structure of the new school becomes clearer. In the meantime, your input and ideas about this merger are welcome. Feel free to contact me by e-mail at or phone at 800-782-5867.

Lil Breul O'Rourke '77
Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations

Last fall, in preparation for an article he would write for a special millennium edition of the Daily Orange, managing editor Dave Levinthal ’01 traveled to Manchester, Vermont, to interview one of SU’s oldest living alumni, 106-year-old Ruth Colter.

Born in 1893, Colter ’13 says her lifelong goal has been to live each day well.

                                    mike prinzo

As Levinthal’s article reports: "It would be foolish to stop learning, stop enjoying the world now, she says, citing her daily ‘readings’ of audio books, the topics of which range from Homer’s Iliad to essays on modern Chinese government policy. Eighty-seven years after receiving her degree in history, Colter is still bent on proving she deserves it."

During the interview, Colter shared her memories of December 31, 1899, the dawn of the 20th century. She was 6 years old, and was staying with an aunt and uncle in Brooklyn, New York, because her mother was about to give birth. "I was in the dining room sitting on the dining room chair. My uncle kept telling me to stay up, but I could not understand why," Colter recalled. "I didn’t care about the turn of the century. I was tired and cold! But then I heard bells and whistles outside; men stamping their feet and people shouting from streetcars. There was such a to-do."

More than a century later, Colter says she takes great pride in being among the oldest alumni of SU, a place she found instrumental in shaping her ideals. "I never dreamed of being one of the oldest," she said. "Now, I just want to be the best I can."

The Alumni Association Board of Directors, led for the past five years by Michael Somich ’73, G’73, is facing a change.

Somich is stepping down as president at the end of June. Many of you who attended Homecoming or Reunion on campus have seen Somich taking a leadership role at awards ceremonies and University functions. What you have not seen are the hours of work and countless trips he made to Syracuse as a part of his volunteer responsibilities.

                                    steve sartori

Michael Somich '73, G'73

Besides serving as president of the Alumni Association, Somich also represented alumni on the Board of Trustees and chaired the audit committee. SU is grateful to Somich for his leadership, vision, and belief in the importance of the Alumni Association to the University’s future. Alumni relations staff members will miss working with him, but are confident it won’t be long before he returns to campus to continue his commitment to SU.

Welcome to Debbie Fritsche ’74, the newly elected president of the national Alumni Association. Fritsche is an attorney, avid skier, and hard-working volunteer for the Houston Alumni Club. When in school Fritsche was on the tennis team and majored in economics and political science, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. The Office of Alumni Relations is grateful to Fritsche for her willingness to continue Somich’s work, and partner with the alumni relations staff to assure that the Alumni Association meets the needs of our many and diverse alumni.

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