With more than 210,000 SU alumni worldwide, alumni worldwide, our
daily lives seem to be filled with many familiar SU connections:
the orange and blue sweatshirt you spot at your childs sports
game or your office coworker with whom you once crossed paths on
the Quad. These days, if youre looking for SU alumni, you
dont have to look far.
our recently published alumni directory to our extensive online
community, the Office of Alumni Relations offers a number of easy
ways to help you maintain those important connections to the University
and to each other. Many alumni take advantage of SUs Center
for Career Services, where a wide range of resources is available
for alumni and current students (students.syr.edu/
careerservices). Last year, the center assisted more than
500 alumni with career exploration and placement.
important way you can remain connected with fellow SU alumni and
current students is by serving as a career mentor. Presently, we
are in need of alumni volunteers to help students explore career
options. As a mentor, you can help by providing career-related information
and advice to students and alumni alike. To register online, visit
contact the Center for Career Services at
315-443-3616. Consider strengthening your SU connection by becoming
Breul OíRourke í77
Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations
Over the past century, The Daily Orange has influenced
the way journalism is practiced on college campuses throughout
the country, and its alumni have gone on to become influential
members of the media worldwide. In honor of the DOs
100th anniversary, join the Daily Orange Alumni Association
the weekend of September 20 for a festive celebration that
will include a gala dinner, speakers, and panel discussions.
For more information, visit the alumni associations
web site at alumni.dailyorange.com,
or call Stephen Cohen, Daily Orange Alumni Association president,
wonder where your fellow Army or Air Force ROTC classmates
are now? Become a member of the new Syracuse University
ROTC Alumni Association and find out. For more information
or to join, contact Captain Michael Bianchi in the Department
of Military Science at 315-443-9223,
or visit sumweb.syr.edu/armyrotc/.
INFORMATION ON ALUMNI TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES, contact Tina
Casella in the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-SUALUMS
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If you want information on:
The SU Alumni Online Community
The SU alumni club in your area
Visit the Office of Alumni Relations web site at www.syracuse.edu/alumni
and click on the appropriate link, or call 1-800-SUALUMS (782-5867)
of Sheila and Jeff Pitt 91
At top, Jeff Pitt 91 and wife, Sheila, relived their
engagement on the Kissing Bench on their wedding day in
October 1997. Above, the Kissing Bench has been a part of
the SU campus since 1912, when it was presented as a class
a cold, snowy January evening in 2000, Brian Eden 00 escorted
Megan Stull 00 to the Kissing Bench on the SU Quad. He seated
her on an orange and blue SU cushion, knelt, and proposed marriage.
I wanted to get engaged on campus because our whole experience
there was so special, he says. And what better place
to propose than on the Kissing Bench. Eden and Stull, who
married in May 2002, are among countless alumni couples who forged
their futures together with a visit to the SU landmark. The smooth
stone structure sits between the Hall of Languages and the Tolley
Administration Building and holds within its small frame a host
of fond memories and evolving traditions.
the 1950s, it was said that a woman kissed on the bench would avoid
the risk of becoming a spinster and spending her life alone. The
tradition changed in the 1970s, mandating that a woman must be kissed
on the bench to graduate and marry. Today, tradition holds that
if a man and woman kiss while sitting on the bench, they will eventually
marry. No one seems to know how, when, or by whom the tradition
of the Kissing Bench started, says Mary OBrien, assistant
archivist in SUs archives and records management department.
Class of 1912 had quite a different idea when it dedicated the stone
bench. The first class to ever present a memorial to the school,
it hoped to begin a tradition of graduating classes leaving behind
similar gifts that would add to the beauty of the campus. While
class memorials are still dedicated today, it is the romance of
the Kissing Bench tradition that has remained firmly connected to
the landmark for close to a century.
De Lancey 79, G81, a recorder/advisor in the College
of Arts and Sciences, has become familiar with many campus traditions
during his more than two decades at SU and says its easy for
them to develop around landmarks that have stood the test of time.
There arent many things on campus that have remained
as unchanged from year to year as the Kissing Bench, he says.
There is a certain sense of normalcy and familiarity about
it. Except for the engraved date, which has faded from the
back of the bench, the appearance of the Kissing Bench has stayed
practically the same. In 1912, the bench was surrounded by shrubbery
and, at one time, sheltered by a huge tree. Today, a smaller tree
shades the stone seat, inviting passersby to sit and relax. According
to De Lancey, the location of the bencha high-traffic area
on the Quadcauses more people to notice it and keeps the tradition
Pitt 91 was engaged to his wife, Sheila, on the bench seven
years ago. While working in the College of Arts and Sciences Visitors
Center, Sheila enjoyed telling people about the Kissing Bench. She
says tour guides often point out the landmark and tell the story
to visitors because it personalizes the campus and makes the bench
unique. SU is not just a place with beautiful buildingsthere
are stories and folklore surrounding the campus that people can
relate to, she says. These traditions are the links
that connect current students, prospective students, and alumni
to one another.
of Matterhorn Travel
of Nancy Edwards 57, G64
Nancy Edwards 57, G64
and husband Donald Edwards 56
modeled hats they purchased for their
grandsons at the Stonewall Jackson
Museum in Virginias Shenandoah Valley.
The Battle of Bull Run marked the start of the Civil War and the
beginning of a tour sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni
Association called This Hallowed Ground: A Patriotic Journey
Through the Civil War. The battlefield, located in Manassas,
Virginia, was the first stop on an eight-day excursion that examined
the causes of the conflict and included the wars major battlefield
sites. Next, the group traveled through Virginias Shenandoah
Valley on to Pennsylvania, where one of the most decisive battles
of the Civil War took place at Gettysburg. One night we dined
at a house built in 1815 that sits right on the Gettysburg battlefield,
says Carol Green 58. We were able to look out the attic
window over the street where the Confederates had fired upon Union
soldiers coming into townit was both fascinating and saddening.
57 says Gettysburg was one of the most impressive sites on
the tour. The battlefield is still well preserved and lends
itself to an easy understanding of what took place there,
he says. For Joan Chapman 53, visiting nearby Picketts
Chargewhere 10,000 men were killed in less than an hourmade
a lasting impression. Walking through the battlefield brought
the terrible tragedy of the war to life for me, she says.
The group journeyed
back to Virginia, where one-third of the Civil War battles took
place. In Petersburg, alumni visited the National Museum of the
Civil War Soldier, where they selected a comrade from
a group of soldiers. Using personal audio devices, they toured the
gallery while listening to words their comrade had written in his
diary and letters. At the end of the tour, they learned the soldiers
fate. The tour gave us a detailed look at the conditions the
soldiers faced and personalized the experience, says Nancy
Edwards 57, G64, who, along with husband Donald Edwards
56, has traced their family histories back to relatives who
served in the war.
eager to talk about life in the antebellum South, greeted alumni
at the Tudor Hall Plantation in Petersburg. The group viewed a multimedia
exhibit on slavery and toured a working kitchen and two slave quarters.
Then they moved on to the Berkeley Plantation for an authentic plantation
dinner on the James River.
There is still
a perceptible energy in the parlor of the McLean House, just outside
the town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. During the last stop
in the tour, alumni visited the house and viewed the original black
horsehair sofa and walnut grandfather clock that remain frozen in
time, exactly as they were the day General Robert E. Lee surrendered
to General Ulysses S. Grant. To be in the same room where
Grant and Lee once sat and agreed to end the conflict is very moving,
says historian Al Shine, who provided educational sessions to alumni
each morning. Many have seen movies or read books about the
Civil War, he says, but only by visiting the groundsby
seeing and experiencing what you had previously only read aboutcan
you truly understand that period in history.
March, SU faculty and staff attended the Han Lecture in Seoul,
South Korea. The lecture, sponsored by the Maxwell School
and Yonsei University in Seoul, is named after Pyo-Wook Han
42 (fourth from left), former Korean ambassador to the
United States. Joining the group was South Koreas new
prime minister Goh Kun (center), who holds a photo of himself
and Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw taken when Kun was awarded
an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2001. Pictured left to
right: Woo Jung Sok, sister-in-law of Han; Peter Koveos, School
of Management professor; Lil ORourke 77, associate
vice president for alumni relations; Han; Kun; Jim OConnor,
senior director of international development at SU; Emily
Robertson G81, School of Education interim dean; Kim
Kyung Hwa, translator to the prime minister; and Jongwoo Han,
2. Class of 1992 alumni cheered on the SU basketball team
at the Boston College game in the Carrier Dome. Pictured left
to right: Richard Reich, Evan Cohen, Scott Wolfson, and Mitch
3. George Hyder 73 shows off his Syracuse orange pride
on his Virginia state license plates.
4. Members of the Hilton Head Alumni Club enjoy their annual
sunset dinner cruise.
5. SU alumni and friends set sail for a Caribbean cruise in
February. Pictured left to right, standing: Marjorie Dunbar,
James Dunbar 64, Don Hunt 60, Donna Hunt, Theresa
Mychajlonka. Seated: Jennifer Wood, Dr. Charles Bishop 42,
G44, Dr. Beverly Bishop 44, Anita Van Patten.
Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations.
of the board of Herley Industries Inc., Lee N. Blatt 51 has
no illusions about his line of work. The microwave technology company,
which he founded in 1965, is a worldwide leader in the production
of sophisticated military and commercial aerospace equipment.
in the worry business, says Blatt, a University
trustee. Worry and uncertainty drive defense budgets, and
defenseor war, as they used to call itis the business
The son of Eastern
European immigrants, Blatt was born and raised in Brooklyn, where
he attended public schools. Enlisting in the Navy, he discovered
microwave technology while training to be a radar and electronics
technician. The Navy also gave him the means to study engineering
at Syracuse by qualifying him for veterans benefits under
the GI Bill of Rights. The GI Bill was one of the greatest
things that ever happened to America, he says. It allowed
a whole generation of people to get an education. Many of us, including
me, were the first in our families to go to college.
As a trustee,
Blatt is focusing his efforts on advancing engineering education
at SU. Its great to see the success that is being achieved
in environmental engineering, he says, and we need to
cultivate more pockets of excellence. Blatt is working with
fellow Trustee John Breyer, who is president and CEO of MI Industries,
an Atlanta-based company that, like Herley, is a dominant player
in the microwave field. We hope to improve the Universitys
resources and capabilities in microwave engineering, he says.
other SU activities include memberships in the Society of Fellows,
the Dave Bing Club, and the Chancellors Council. He and his
wife, Sydelle (Syd) Schnall Blatt 51, who were married at
the end of their junior year on the Hill, now divide their time
between Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and their winter home in Vero Beach,
Florida. While both were first-generation college students
(see related story),
the couple seem to have started a family tradition. The family now
boasts three generations of Syracuse alumni and students: two daughters,
Kathi Blatt Thonet 73 and Randi Blatt Rossignol 76;
a son-in-law, John A. Thonet 72; and two granddaughters, Hannah
B. Thonet 03 and Rebecca B. Thonet 05.
cynic (It comes with the territory in the defense industry,
he says), Blatt enjoys telling this cautionary anecdote about his
profession: Someone asked Albert Einstein, What weapons
will be used to fight World War III? I dont know,
Einstein replied. But regardless of which weapons they use
for World War III, I can say with some certainty that rocks and
clubs will be used to fight World War IV.
G78 loves a challenge, and thats exactly what she got
when she was appointed the first female executive director of the
New York State Bar Association.
members, the member-services organization is the largest voluntary
state bar association in the country. It provides attorneys with
numerous services, including state-mandated continuing education
courses, specialized publications, and research assistance. The
association also serves as an advocate for the profession and the
public, initiating programs to address a broad range of issues from
child abuse to governmental corruption to the cost of justice. We
advance the law by being the voice of this profession, Bucklin
says. We play an important role in improving the administration
of justice, reforming the law, and contributing to legal issues.
her position in 2001, Bucklin has been responsible for the associations
extensive operation and a staff of 120 headquartered in Albany.
She works closely with the associations officers and governing
bodies on numerous issues that impact the legal profession in New
York. These issues have included efforts to urge the state legislature
to enact a rate increasethe first in 15 yearsfor attorneys
providing legal services to the indigent as assigned counsel. The
associations aim is to have the current rates$25 per
hour for out-of-court time and $40 per hour in courtincreased
to $60 per hour for misdemeanor representation and $75 per hour
for family court and more serious felony-level criminal matters.
The association has worked on this issue for several years,
says Bucklin, who sees the rate increase as a top priority. Everyone
realizes the rates are extremely low, and this affects the quality
of work, as well as the pool of attorneys willing to accept assigned
her College of Law education with helping her succeed in the profession.
After law school, she worked for the New York State Court of Appeals,
ultimately becoming deputy consultation clerk to the courts
judges. That position prepared her for a post as assistant counsel
in 1983 with the New York State Governors Office, and then
as first assistant counsel, where she advised then-Governor Mario
Cuomo on legal and policy issues. From there she moved on to an
11-year tenure with the New York State Office of Court Administration,
as special counsel to the chief administrator of the courts, and
later as director of public affairs, where she managed staff operations
before becoming executive director of the state bar association.
Ive worked for some giants, Bucklin says,and
all of that experience has served as a tremendous foundation for
72, G74 vividly remembers a time when he, along with
other Vietnam War protesters, packed the SU Quad so tightly that
no one could move.
time of civil unrest, debates raged both inside and outside of his
history and political science classes, and he recalls how white
students and black students came together on such issues as civil
rights and opposition to the war. It was a very exciting time
to be on any college campus, he says. It was a different
type of mood back then.
a bachelors degree in political science from the College of
Arts and Sciences and an M.P.A. degree from the Maxwell School,
Clore first incorporated his activism into his professional career
as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Educations Office
for Civil Rights. His team enforced several federal civil rights
laws that ensured equal access to education and prohibited discrimination
based on race, color, gender, and disability in programs that received
financial assistance from the Department of Education. After 12
years with the Department of Education, Clore shifted his professional
focus to the environment, when he accepted a position with the Environmental
Protection Agency, Region 2, in lower Manhattan in 1989. The
EPA has an agenda that a majority of the nation supportsprotecting
the environment, says Clore, now a records management analyst
in Region 2s Division of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance.
Its not a glamorous job, but the work has to be done.
citizens complaints about safety issues in urban areas, such
as abandoned air-conditioning units and hazardous waste that has
been dumped on property, emitted into the air, or discharged into
water. Some of these issues EPA has authority over, and some
must be referred to the states, he says. We can explain
to people what to do, and what were allowed to do for them.
He also works on improving public awareness of environmental issues
regarding storm water, dry cleaners, and auto salvage yards.
Outside of work,
Clore always finds time to reconnect with friends from SU. He looks
forward to attending Coming Back Together (CBT) reunions, and has
yet to miss one. At CBT VII last fall, he moderated the Teens of
Color workshop. Its rewarding to see old friends at
CBT, he says. The campus changes so much, and every
time I come back I see someone I havent seen in years. I always
look forward to that one person.
a War-Torn Nation
When U.S. Army
Major Edmund Ed Luzine 86 was called up for active
military duty last year, he put his civilian life on hold and spent
10 months in such countries as Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan helping
fight the war on terror.
Even when Luzine
was stationed at a bombed-out hangar at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan,
he says he was never frightened. I volunteered at Ground Zero
and had an up-close and personal view of the devastation,
Luzine says. So, I believed I was doing the right thing as
an Army officer, New Yorker, and American.
Luzine was part of a Civil Affairs unit of the U.S. Army Special
Operations Command that helped the war effort by planning reconstruction
projects. We are the people who bring goodwill, Luzine
says. We are the ambassadors. He says one of his biggest
challenges was adapting to the desert climate and daytime temperatures
that reached 131 degrees. Its like putting your head
in an oven when its turned on to full broil, he says.
his overseas tour last September and remained on active duty, stationed
in Maryland, until the end of 2002. Being back in the states, however,
gave him time to focus on his work as president and CEO of Adirondack
Capital Management, an investment firm based in Albany, New York,
that he founded and owns. Balancing his business career with his
military obligations can be difficult, but often proves interesting.
Both are fast-paced jobs, he says. But each one
serves as a great change of pace.
act is nothing new for Luzine. At SU, he was a member of the Army
ROTC program while he earned a bachelors degree in biology
from the College of Arts and Sciences. After graduation, he continued
his education and busy lifestyle, serving part-time as a lieutenant
in the Army Reserves while working on an M.B.A. degree from the
University of Rochester.
Luzine says SU helped prepare him for his overseas mission by giving
him opportunities in the ROTC program and by exposing him to people
from around the world. SU has such a diverse student body,
he says. You learn so much about international students and
the Houston Chronicle, many of the best-dressed women in
Texas can be seen about town in clothing designed by Toni Whitaker
magazine lauds her garments for their elegance, simplicity,
and old-fashioned workmanship. Black Enterprise magazine
notes the success of Toni Whitaker Inc., her apparel manufacturing
business, as well as the Toni Whitaker Boutique, one of the smartest
shops in Houstons trend-setting Rice Village. When the Houston
Ebony Opera Guild staged a new production of Puccinis La
Boheme to be set in 1920s Harlem, the director turned to Whitaker
for period costume designs.
native of Camden, South Carolina, is not shy about the role SU played
in her personal evolution from a childhood in a segregated community
in the South to the artistic and entrepreneurial success she now
enjoys in one of Americas biggest cities. Syracuse gave
me a whole new look at the world, at life, and at people,
she says. It was what I wanted and I loved it. My parents
had wanted me to go to an all-black college, but I wanted to study
design, and that was not really happening in those schools. I came
to SU for orientation weekend and got to know people and saw the
campus. For me, it was the best of all worlds.
a B.S. degree in clothing studies from the College for Human Development.
(Now known as fashion design, the program has since
become part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.) She then
earned a second B.S. degree, in textile technology, at North Carolina
State University. In 1982, after teaching for a year at Arizona
State University, she moved to Houston.
As if her duties
as businesswoman, commercial clothing designer, and costumer arent
enough to keep her occupied, Whitaker still finds time to teach.
She has offered courses at the University of Houston and other area
institutions on everything from visual merchandising to the history
of costume and clothing design. Her costuming work for Houston Ebony
Opera Guild and other theater troupes provides good synergy for
her commercial work as well. The theater is where I get my
edge, Whitaker says. If I had not started costuming
plays, my other designs would be a little bit more ordinary, a little
more department store-like. I can let my imagination run wild on
the stage, and then I can pull it back and use the experience for
whats required in retail work.
of Musical Expression
From muted beginnings
in China, Xun Pans musical career as a concert pianist has
crescendoed into an expression of his artistic and political freedoms.
Raised by his grandparents in Shanghai during Mao Tse-tungs
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Pan G92 began his study
of piano without touching a key.
both piano teachers at Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing,
had been sent to labor camps to be re-educated, and
Western music and instruments like the piano were banned. But his
grandmother taught him the basics of music theory and reading piano
music. When he was 9, his parents returned from the work camp, determined
to pass on their musical skills to their son. His mother covered
the windows and doors, held down the pianos soft pedal, and
made him quietly practice Mozart sonatas and Chopin etudes. Music
never stopped in China, even during those years, Pan says.
People still played and practiced secretly.
In 1977, when
the Cultural Revolution was over, the Central Conservatory reopened
and Pan became one of 14 student pianists selected from more than
1,000 applicants to study there. Although hours of daily practice
initially seemed like eternity, by age 15, Pan loved spending time
perfecting advanced pieces and competing with peers. He graduated
from the conservatory with a bachelors degree in piano performance
and, for the next several years, taught piano and participated in
competitions across the globe, winning prizes in China, North Korea,
In 1987, he
met then Setnor School of Music director George Pappastavrou, who
invited him to attend the graduate program at Syracuse University.
But it wasnt until after Pan was involved in the 1989 Tiananmen
Square demonstrations in Beijing that he took advantage of Pappastavrous
offer. I was really disappointed with what happened, so I
decided to leave China, Pan says. He arrived in Syracuse in
fall 1990 anddespite language barriers that he eventually
overcamecompleted a masters degree in piano performance
in two years. My experience in Syracuse was unforgettable,
says Pan, who returns to Central New York each year to visit friends.
from SU, he earned a doctoral degree in musical arts from Rutgers
University in 1996. While there, he joined with violinist Michael
Jamanis and cellist Sara Male to form the Newstead Trio. The chamber
group has played such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center
in New York City and major concert halls in North America, Europe,
and Asia. This year, the trio hopes to record its fourth album in
China, accompanied by the China Philharmonic. Pan juggles Newstead
Trio performances with his responsibilities as a faculty member
and head of the piano department at the Pennsylvania Academy of
Music in Lancaster and as a visiting professor at China Conservatory
of Music in Beijing.
chamber music is such a luxury, Pan says. When I play
solo now, I have so much more space to use my imagination. I play
more expressively than I did in China. You have to make yourself
free before you make music.
me back to the contents page of this issue
Syracuse University Magazine | Syracuse University | 820 Comstock
Ave | Room 308 | Syracuse NY 13244-5040