Steve Sartori

Celebrating Orange

This has been a year of celebration for you, the SU alumni family, with us on campus, across the country, and around the world. On National Orange Day, March 24, our alumni family joined the celebration of the anniversary of the University’s founding in 1870. On campus, Chancellor Nancy Cantor cut SU’s birthday cake in the Schine Student Center. The Alumni Association made a gift to University Archives of the diaries of Jesse Peck, one of the University’s founders. The Office of Alumni Relations, with the help of many generous people across campus, presented 90 care packages to ROTC for alumni serving overseas in the military. Across the country, many alumni clubs sponsored community service projects, and we heard from several alumni abroad who proudly wore orange on that special day.

The Orange was celebrated in a different way in New York City two weeks before when the SU men’s basketball team, led by captain Gerry McNamara ’06, became the Big East champions, winning four thrilling games in Madison Square Garden.

In May, students celebrated the Orange at the Orange Wishes ceremony in the Orange Grove on the Quad. Seniors wrote their wishes for the future on orange ribbons, which were then tied around the tree guards. Many graduates stopped there after Commencement with their families to take their final photos on campus. We are delighted that 49 of our graduating seniors already have their names engraved at the site in perpetuity.

As we prepare for another new and exciting year, we look forward to a continued celebration of all aspects of the Orange experience.

Andrea Latchem
Interim Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations



Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives
  A student dean counsels a first-year student in 1953.

The Student Dean Program, which existed from 1931 to 1963 in the School of Education, combined coursework, practical experience, and a supportive staff to train women in the field of higher education administration and student counseling. In exchange for room and board, tuition, and fees, graduate students, who were mainly student personnel majors in education, were placed in campus housing to guide female first-year students, applying the theories they learned in their studies. “The Student Dean Program was one of the first programs in the country to prepare women for work in student affairs,” says higher education professor Catherine Engstrom. “The program put theory into practice.”

The program propelled many women into careers at colleges and universities across the United States and has meant much to hundreds of grateful graduates, many of whom reunited in 1991 for the program’s 60th anniversary. Alumni also gathered for a June luncheon with School of Education Dean Douglas Biklen G’73 in honor of the 75th anniversary and the three deans of women who developed the program. In 1930, Dean of Women Iva Peters, Class of 1901, designed a plan in which women graduate students served as resident counselors to help first-year female students adjust to campus life. Peters’s successor, Eugenie Leonard, who served as dean of women from 1931 to 1936, proposed including assistantships as part of the program for the graduate women.

 The program’s coursework expanded and became nationally known through the efforts of M. Eunice Hilton G’34, H’68, who was a member of the first class of student deans and the first woman to earn a Ph.D. degree from the School of Education. Hilton was director of the Student Dean Program from 1935 to 1959 and also served as dean of women for many years. “Eunice Hilton was the kind of leader who was farsighted, supportive, and demanding—but tolerant,” says Marion Meyer G’55, a former student dean. “If you had a problem, you could talk to her.” Expectations were high for the young graduate women, who were expected to wear hats, high-heel shoes, and gloves if they went into town or attended a special function. The student deans appreciated their training and expressed their gratitude in the song “Hilton’s Chorus.” The song included, “Chewing gum was never for us. Ladies, ladies we must be and respect the PPV (personnel point of view).”

Outside the University, Hilton held presidencies for several organizations, including the National Association of Women Deans. She used her contacts to place student deans in positions. “If you were one of her students looking for a job with anyone in student personnel, you practically had the position,” says Meyer, who took a position in the School of Management, eventually becoming an assistant academic dean.

Nearly 800 women were enrolled in the program during its existence. The majority of student deans went into college work, becoming deans of women, residence hall directors, and other administrators at such institutions as Cornell University, Oberlin College, and Duke University. “The School of Education gained a reputation for being the place to be if you were a woman who wanted to be a leader in higher education or student affairs,” Engstrom says. “It was way ahead of its time, particularly in terms of women in leadership roles.”

M. Eunice Hilton G’34, H’68

In the 1960s, the program became coeducational and was renamed the Higher Education Program. Although the program has changed structurally, interest has remained strong among its graduates. In recognition of the program and in memory of the woman who helped it flourish, student dean alumni raised more than $25,000 to establish the M. Eunice Hilton Memorial Fund during the 1991 celebration. The endowed fund provides financial assistance to a female graduate student in the Higher Education Program. Former student deans continue to contribute to the fund. “We appreciated the program and had such a great experience,” Meyer says. “There was a spirit, a caring, and a pride among us.”

—Kathleen Haley


Arts Initiative Creates Opportunities for Alumni Connections

Alumni connect their memories back to SU in many different ways, whether it’s remembering challenging academic programs, long-lasting friendships, or exciting athletic events. “For many people, their creativity was nurtured here,” says Tim Mahar ’95, executive director of alumni relations. “And they want to give back to the University through their artistry and talents.” The Office of Alumni Relations is working with those individuals to create new opportunities for artists and those who appreciate the arts to become involved with the University through performances, exhibitions, forums, and other events. “This arts initiative developed from the Chancellor’s vision of creating more connections between the arts and the community,” Mahar says. “We are connecting alumni throughout the country through the arts as well as bringing all kinds of arts programming to the campus and the Syracuse community.”

A variety of alumni artistry will be reflected in the events, which will include an interdisciplinary exploration of topics that link to the arts, such as how the arts affect society.

To facilitate this new initiative, an arts council was formed with representatives from across campus. “Our first objective is to identify individuals in areas across the United States where we can establish regional arts councils,” Mahar says. “Alumni from these councils will help design programs for those regions and connect programs back to campus.”

An arts committee is already established in Washington, D.C., and an alumni club in Orange County, California, is dedicated to promoting the arts. “When the board of the Orange County alumni club formed, we wanted to cheer on sports and offer other types of events,” says Janet Powell ’84, vice president of events for the SU Alumni Club of Orange County. “Art provides another avenue for alumni to connect with each other.” In February, the club held an art walk, which was open to the public and drew about 30 alumni. The walk ended at the Laguna Beach Art Museum with a display by contemporary artist and SU professor Jerome Witkin. “The ultimate goal is to have SU recognized as one of the leading creative institutions in the country and eventually the world,” Mahar says. “It is a realistic goal because of our alumni base and the artistic endeavors we’re involved with.”

—Kathleen Haley

Alumni interested in working with alumni relations on this new initiative can contact Tim Mahar at 315-443-3910 or



Photos courtesy of Gohagan & Company

Curious creatures of the Galapagos Islands were the highlight of an alumni excursion through the remote archipelago.

Charles Darwin wrote that the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands makes it “a little world within itself.” Like Darwin, a group of SU alumni discovered this for themselves on an eight-day trip through the archipelago’s 19-island chain—formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions—located 570 miles off the coast of Ecuador. “The landscape is stunning,” says Marianne Arseneau ’67 of Newark, New York. “When I first saw it, my jaw just hit the ground.” The exotic animals found on the Galapagos inspired Darwin’s theory of natural selection and evolution. The creatures that call the Galapagos Islands home are found nowhere else in the world, leading Darwin to hypothesize that the islands’ species survived by evolving over time, independent of species on the mainland. Galapagos animals were able to adapt and thrive, mainly because natural predators failed to survive the conditions, also explaining why the islands’ species never developed a sense of fear and therefore allow humans to observe them up-close. “The whole place looks like another planet with all of the exotic animals in their natural habitat,” Arseneau says.


Alumni explored the islands traveling on the M.V. Santa Cruz—the only ship designed exclusively to travel the Galapagos Islands—navigating through narrow channels, shallow bays, and environmentally sensitive waters. During the trip, which was sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association, alumni were led on guided tours off the first-class expedition vessel. They observed such wildlife as giant tortoises, frigate birds with their magnificent red, puffed-up chests, iguanas, and blue-footed boobie birds. One of the tortoises, named Lonesome George, is 70 years old and thought to be the last surviving member of one of the islands’ subspecies. “It’s hard to believe these creatures are so old and so huge, and they’re still surviving,” says Cathy Winger G’73, G’93, of DeWitt, New York.

Aside from the intriguing wildlife, alumni were also impressed by the islands’ pristine environment. “To see a place untouched by man and to be able to see the animals going about their business is amazing,” Winger says. “The natural environment is wonderful. It’s so unique to the world, and absolutely breathtaking.”

—Katherine Cantor




Alumni Happenings

1. Alumni mentors Michael Zgoda ’98 and Andrew Souvall ’95 attend the Maxwell in D.C. Mentor @ SU dinner on March 2 in Washington, D.C. Students and their mentors gathered for an informal meet and greet.

2. Chancellor Nancy Cantor slices a birthday cake at the Schine Student Center March 24 as part of National Orange Day, a celebration of the founding of SU. She is assisted by Andrea Latchem, interim assistant vice president for alumni relations.

3. Writer and producer Aaron Sorkin ’83 greets College of Visual and Performing Arts students who participated in the weeklong immersion program he supports in Los Angeles in March. Student actors and film directors meet alumni in the entertainment industry and get a behind-the-scenes look at film and -television production.

4. SU alumni, parents, friends, and students show their support for the men’s basketball team on The Early Show in New York City before the Big East Basketball Tournament in March.

5. WJPZ alumni celebrate at the annual WJPZ FM Birthday Banquet and Reunion Weekend in March. More than 100 students and alumni attended the event at the Syracuse University Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center. The program included a salute to the 10 winners of the Professor Rick Wright “Lock” Scholarship Award.

6. Jason Yaley ’05 and Bianca Caiella, of the Office of Alumni Relations, present Lisandra LaShomb ’09, an Air Force ROTC cadet, with one of 90 boxes created for Orange Around the World, in conjunction with National Orange Day. The Syracuse-themed care packages prepared by faculty, staff, and students were sent to SU alumni serving overseas in the military.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
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Partners First

John Chapple ’75 was at a crossroads.After undergoing a preliminary physical and taking time off from SU to prepare for his draft deployment to Vietnam, he was “betwixt and between” when he learned the draft was suspended just days before his number was to be called. With friends beckoning him to California, “I bought a backpack, stuck out my thumb, and headed across North America,” he says. Among his many road experiences, Chapple remembers being awakened by a wild boar in Tennessee and dropped off by a gold miner in the middle of nowhere between San Antonio and El Paso. “It was an adventure,” he says, “and reinforced for me the quality of people in our country, Canada, and Mexico.”

Chapple eventually returned to SU. After graduating with a political science degree, he worked for the City of Syracuse and later in management positions with Rogers Cablesystems and American Cablesystems. His first foray into wireless communications came when he joined McCaw Cellular Communications, serving as executive vice president of operations from 1988 to 1995.

After heading a Vancouver major league sports and entertainment group for a few years, Chapple was asked by Craig McCaw of Nextel Communications and formerly of McCaw Cellular, to set up a Nextel affiliate that would serve wireless customers in rural areas and mid-size cities. Chapple created Nextel Partners and introduced the policy that everyone would carry the “partner” title, including himself.  “Everyone in the company matters,” he says. “Whether they work as a field technician, in customer care, or in accounting, everyone is a partner.” The company quickly gained success, growing to 3,000 partners assisting more than 2 million customers, and is being acquired for approximately $10 billion by Sprint Nextel—a company formed when Sprint bought Nextel Communications in 2005.

As he considers his future options, Chapple, who is married with a son, continues to support SU financially and through his time on the Maxwell Advisory Board and SU’s Board of Trustees. He recently established the Chapple Family Professorship in Citizenship and Democracy at the Maxwell School for a professor responsible for leading the signature citizenship courses. He recalls learning from “extremely impressive” Maxwell professors like Michael O’Leary and Robert McClure, who was named the first Chapple Family Professor. “In many respects, Syracuse was the launching pad for my career,” he says. “I just view my support as part of giving back.”                                    

Consumer Confidence

When Deborah Henretta G’85 wanted to do her own market study on new Pampers designs several years ago, the Procter & Gamble (P&G) executive found a most discriminating consumer: her daughter. “I brought home stacks of designs and let Shannon help me understand which ones would be most popular,” says Henretta, who earned a master’s degree in advertising from Newhouse. “She had similar perspectives to the other 2-year-olds. We learned that design can make a big difference to toddlers—ducks and cats are more popular than pigs and roosters.”


Whether marketing baby care products or laundry products during her 21-year career with P&G, Henretta has paid close attention to the consumers’ needs. She holds strongly to the company’s mantra—the consumer is boss—in working with products that are staples in millions of households. “You need to talk to consumers,” she says. “You hear terrific insights that help guide your business strategies and your innovation choices.”

During her time at P&G, Henretta has worked with that concept in many roles, starting in 1985 as a brand assistant for Bold laundry detergent and now as president of P&G’s ASEAN, the Australasia and India business. One of her most interesting assignments included boosting the Tide brand. Her success there led to company officials asking her to take on the underperforming baby care business as vice president of North America Baby Care and later as president of Global Baby Care before heading up Global Baby/Toddler and Adult Care. “Four years after completing the job, we’ve just had our third year of record volume and sales,” says Henretta, who was listed among the “Most Powerful Women in Business” in Fortune magazine in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The job included a revamp of the $5 billion-a-year Pampers brand, one of the largest consumer brands in the world. The new design is thinner and has a cloth-like backsheet, velcro-like fasteners, and imprints of Sesame Street characters. “The combination really answered the needs of moms,” she says. “And, lo and behold, people started buying them with greater frequency.”

Henretta credits Newhouse advertising professor John Philip Jones with encouraging her to interview with P&G, and keeps in contact with him and other faculty members. She returns to campus as a member of Newhouse’s advisory board and continues the role even in her current P&G position in Singapore. “This gives me a view of the breadth of the company portfolio and is a fabulous learning experience,” she says, along with getting firsthand experience with the integration of P&G’s acquisition of the Gillette business. Outside of work, she and her husband, Sean Murray, plan to visit the different countries with their three children—Caitlin, 15, Connor, 13, and Shannon, 8. “It is a great family adventure,” she says.

—Kathleen Haley



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