Steve Sartori

Doerr to Lead Alumni Relations

Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88 has been named assistant vice president for alumni relations at Syracuse University, beginning February 1. “Having benefited from a remarkable SU education and overall experience, I am honored to lead the Office of Alumni Relations,” says Doerr, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law. “We have some of the best alums in the world, and I am excited to develop positive relationships between our alumni and our University. The future of SU, in many ways, is truly dependent upon their commitment. I look forward to the opportunity of serving our University and reaching out to as many alumni as possible.”

Doerr, currently a partner in the Syracuse law firm of McDermott, Doerr & Britt, PC, brings to the position 15 years of legal practice experience and 12 years of volunteer activity with five different SU alumni organizations. In 2003, Doerr was named president of the SU Alumni Association and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He will leave both positions and his law practice to assume his new job. “Don Doerr is, indeed, a doer,” Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw says. “He has at numerous times and in numerous ways showed his love for his University, and he will provide the leadership that is needed in the years ahead.”

In addition to his roles on the Board of Trustees and with the Alumni Association, Doerr has served on the SU College of Law Board of Visitors since 1990 and has held leadership roles in the SU Law Alumni Association and the SU Alumni Club of Central New York. “Don has been a dedicated supporter of the Alumni Association for years, generously devoting his time and rising up to its presidency,” says Board of Trustees Chair Joe Lampe ’53, G’55. “He is a perfect fit for the position, and I am very confident in him.”

Doerr resides in DeWitt, New York, with his wife, Maria, and has two stepsons.


Resource Center Opens at Lubin House

For 40 years, Lubin House has served as a gathering place for alumni in the New York City area. Now alumni can access important SU information or just sit and relax in the new Alumni Resource Center. Located on the second floor of Lubin House, the center offers a computer with Internet hookup; information on career services, alumni events, and development opportunities; and complimentary coffee, tea, and cold drinks. For more information, contact Jane Henn, director of metropolitan alumni programs, at 212-826-6504..















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.

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)


Beating the Winter Blues

In winter 1957, the City of Syracuse was blanketed with 143 inches of snow, and the average temperature hovered in the low 20s. That winter, Fred Scholl ’58, G’62 and his Sigma Nu fraternity brothers spent weeks creating two snow penguins, which towered close to 15 feet high over the lawn of their fraternity house. “It’s a very involved process,” Scholl says. “You have to pack the snow, ice it, sculpt it, and mix up large batches of food dye to color it.” According to Scholl, braving harsh weather conditions to create the icy art was the “in” thing to do. Along with the penguins, larger-than-life snow sculptures of gorillas, whales, hippos, elephants, and bears adorned the SU campus.

The snow sculpture contest, a student favorite among the traditions in SU’s Winter Carnival, brought members of fraternities, sororities, and residence halls together in the spirit of friendly competition. “Winter Carnival created a great sense of community both within the school and in the surrounding neighborhoods,” says Scholl, who remembers local residents driving around the University area to admire the snow sculptures.

SU’s Winter Carnival began in 1933 as a brief celebration before the onset of exams. Slated for late January or early February, it was often postponed—at times by up to three weeks—due to uncooperative weather. Over the years, the carnival developed into a four-day festival that included such activities as the snow sculpture contest; ice skating; sledding; and downhill, slalom, and cross-country skiing. In later years, a ski jump and an obstacle course for skiers and skaters were added.

Snow sculpture photos by Fred Scholl ’58, G’62
The snow sculpture contest was a popular part of Winter Carnival. At top: winter 1957 featured snow penguins at the Sigma Nu fraternity house,(above) a rollercoaster frozen in motion, and a life-sized snow carousel. At right, Marty Glickman ’39, left, and musician Tex Beneke crown 1950 carnival queen Sylvia Fleishman Medalie ’51.
Courtesy of SU Archives

Despite the wintry fun available outside, the carnival’s highlights often occurred indoors. At the Stockingfoot Dance, or Sock Hop, students checked their shoes at the door and kept warm with a night of dancing and sing-a-longs. “Each year we would get together with friends and decorate our socks with ribbons, felt, or markers,” says Callie Stein Katz ’58, whose dancing monkey design earned her and then-beau Alan Katz ’58 first place in a jungle-theme sock contest in 1956.

The weekend culminated with the Snow Ball, a formal dance featuring the crowning of a carnival queen. Candidates for the title were nominated by their sorority or the Independent Women’s Association, and a panel of professors and administrators selected finalists based on a personal interview. Students then voted for the queen at the ball. “I remember it like it was yesterday,” says Sylvia Fleishman Medalie ’51, the 1950 carnival queen. According to Medalie, Winter Carnival was a perfect remedy for the “winter blues,” which often occurred during the long stretch between the holidays and the spring thaw. “Students need social interaction, entertainment, and creative activity to divest their anxieties over the weather, their schoolwork, and exams,” she says.

For more than 30 years, Winter Carnival continued to provide fun and merriment for students before it fell by the wayside in 1969. The carnival reappeared briefly in the 1980s, only to fade again—until last winter, when students, faculty, and staff across the University joined together to resurrect the much-missed celebration. “Winter Carnival is a great opportunity for students to get involved, to learn, and to be active in campus programming,” says Ellen King, director of student events, who worked with members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and the Interfraternity Council to coordinate the carnival. Last year’s festivities included a snow sculpture contest, “wacky winter olympics” like snow volleyball and football, and horse and carriage rides around campus. In addition, the Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion offered figure skating, hockey, and other special events, and members of DanceWorks put on a show in the Schine Student Center. “Winter Carnival is definitely something we want to see continue again throughout the years,” says Chad Bender ’05, last year’s director of social programming for RHA. “We’d like to bring back the traditional events on campus for a new generation.” According to King, plans are under way for Winter Carnival 2004. “Winter Carnival is a part of the University’s rich heritage,” she says. “It’s important to uphold the events that contribute to our students’ college experience.”

—Kate Gaetano

Courtesy of Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Alumni walked among the geysers in Namaskard, Iceland, during an 11-day Legends and Landscapes tour.

Icelandic Escapades

Ancient lava fields, volcanic pillars, majestic glaciers, and thundering waterfalls are common sights in Iceland. “Walking around the landscape is like being on the moon,” says Lee Katz G’61, who traveled last June with alumni and friends of SU on the 11-day Legends and Landscapes tour sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association. “It’s mysterious, awesome, and forbidding all at once.”

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

The tour began in Reykjavik, the capital and the world’s northernmost city. Approximately 108,000 of the country’s 170,000 inhabitants make their home in the city, and the majority of them speak English. Alumni chatted with locals as they explored the Arbaer Open Air Museum, which featured restored buildings illustrating Reykjavik’s storied past. They toured the Hallgrimskirkja church and City Hall, and shopped in Laugavegur, a downtown area of contemporary art galleries and boutiques, offering such products as silver replicas of Viking-era jewelry and hand-woven wool sweaters. At the glass-domed Pearl, a revolving restaurant situated at the city’s highest point, alumni feasted on the country’s celebrated gourmet seafood, including smoked salmon, arctic trout, haddock, cod, and even shark. “The food itself was an adventure,” Katz says.

More adventure was found in the town of Akureyri, where alumni went rock climbing and hiking amid dazzling views of snow-tipped granite mountains. Located just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, Akureyri boasts summer temperatures in the 60s, ironically making it Iceland’s warmest spot. For Thora Sheldon VanHorn ’60, the Akureyri landscape was awe-inspiring. “It’s a study in contrast,” she says. “There’s black sand and tiny polished pebbles, surf crashing against rock cliffs, lava fields covered in gray moss, and beautiful waterfalls.” Following an excursion to Godafoss (“fall of the gods”), alumni traveled to Lake Myvatn and marveled at puffins and eagles nesting among natural lava sculptures. Day trips to Dimmuborgir, a 2,000-year-old field of contorted volcanic pillars, and Namaskard, a town of steam jets, boiling sulfur pits, and geysers, rounded out the group’s stay.

Beyond its natural beauty, Iceland is a country steeped in history and legend. At Pingvellir National Park, the only legally declared sacred place in the country, alumni learned of Iceland’s early settlers, who formed the first national assembly in 930 A.D. Following visits to Skaholt, Iceland’s cradle of Christianity, and Selfoss, the center of Iceland’s dairy industry, alumni arrived at the village of Vik, which faces the ocean from a huge, wave-shaped gap in the cliffs. The Reynisdrangar Rocks—which rise more than 200 feet above sea level at their highest point—stand just outside the small village. According to legend, the rocks were formed when two trolls tried to drag a ship to land and turned to stone when daylight broke. “The sagas are fascinating,” VanHorn says. “It’s easy to see that Icelanders are loyal to and proud of their heritage in the way they pass down their legends over the years.”

—Kate Gaetano



Alumni Happenings

1. Rob Edwards ’85 (right), president of SU’s Southern California Alumni Club, presents Christopher McGurk ’78, vice chairman and COO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., with SU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

2. John J. Schantz Sr. ’59 (left) of Rochester, N.Y., received the Chancellor’s Council Award at an SU luncheon last March. Pictured with him are friends Mona Brush and Robert Fearon Jr. ’49.

3. Jason Davis ’97, a captain and aviation operations officer in the U.S. Army’s 56th Medical Evacuation Battalion, flew the Syracuse University flag over battalion headquarters in Iraq this past September 11.

4. David Reischman (far left), SU men’s head crew coach, and Chris Ludden ’91, G’96 (far right), freshman crew coach, joined members of the 1953 crew team for a practice at the Onondaga Lake Boathouse during Reunion weekend last June.

5. Still friends after all these years: Class of 1966 Phi Sigma Delta fraternity brothers (clockwise from top) Jim Dine, Chet Gordon, Gerry Yaffe, Ron Jemal, and Budd Taylor reunite each summer at the Jersey Shore andreminisce over their days on Walnut Place.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relationss




Information Source

If you’ve got questions, chances are Matthew Koll G’79 has answers.

As founder and chairman of the board of the Wondir Foundation (, a nonprofit organization that provides a free online information service to the public, Koll is dedicated to connecting people with questions to others who can provide helpful answers. “Even though there are a lot of search engines out there, I believe the world still has more to offer in terms of finding a good, fast answer to a question,” Koll says. “With Wondir, we’ve found a way to combine the world of search with the world of answering questions, the kind of thing reference librarians do so well. Wondir’s a search engine with a uniquely human voice.”

An information scientist and entrepreneur, Koll has dedicated more than 25 years to the “search industry.” After earning a Ph.D. in information and library science from the School of Information Studies, he co-founded Personal Library Software, a search company that he built into a major technology provider for online services. The company was acquired by America Online in 1998. “After working there for three years, I started thinking about what I wanted to do next,” he says. “I wanted to find something a little different in the search area—identify a problem that the commercial industry wasn’t solving. To initiate that, I thought it was best to do it on my own with a small team.”

Koll’s belief that innovation is best developed within a small company has proven true at the Wondir Foundation, which has made substantial progress since its founding in 2002. When users type a question into the site, they receive a list of profiles from people who might be helpful in providing an answer; at the same time, their question is streamed across the web page so anyone visiting the site can view it and send a reply. The service is designed to aid a variety of users of any age—just about anyone with a question. It aims to have a core set of resources from people and organizations committed to helping others, like government and service agencies, libraries, universities, charities, advocates, and mentors. “The enthusiastic responses we’ve received are gratifying,” Koll says. “I truly believe this will be a very useful service. Helping to bring it to life is a wonderfully rewarding experience.”

—Kate Gaetano

Smart and Sassy

When Sheryl Llewellyn-Wilkerson ’91 decided to develop a line of greeting cards, she created Sondra, a sassy African American female character who speaks her mind and offers smart advice for all occasions.

Take job stress, for example. One card shows Sondra at work, dressed in a pinstriped suit, with a bubble full of shoes floating above her head. “Girl, remember what’s important,” she reminds inside. Another card offers comfort after a breakup. “So, you finally dumped that loser,” Sondra snaps. “Let’s party.”

“She’s a universal character,” says Llewellyn-Wilkerson, who believes Sondra adds a fresh voice to the greeting card industry. “She says things I think many women want to, but are too shy or afraid to express comfortably.”

Llewellyn-Wilkerson, who earned a B.A. degree in English from the College of Arts and Sciences, founded Last Word Greetings in 2000, but her journey in illustration began in 1994 when she designed bookmarks for the book club she was in. While pursuing a career in advertising, she followed her longtime interest in art and began taking courses in children’s book illustration and greeting card design at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

During this time, the Brooklyn-based artist developed characters with elements of her own personality. She wrote a children’s book about a central character named Tweeky—her childhood nickname—and her close circle of friends. Sondra’s character was inspired by both a close friend and a self-portrait. “Sondra is my alter ego,” she admits.

Last fall, she incorporated Last Word Greetings into Sheryl’s Studio, a business with three divisions. In addition to the greeting cards, the company includes Tweekyworld (books, animation, and products for children) and Urban Amazon (female empowerment books and products featuring Sondra). Although Llewellyn-Wilkerson currently works in the communications department of a nonprofit agency, she hopes to one day devote all her time to her own creative work. Meanwhile, she is happy with the direction of her company. “I have always loved to write and draw and have finally found a way to combine my love for both, while bringing smiles and laughter to people,” she says.

While her goal is to prepare products for licensing purposes in the style of Peanuts and Garfield, Llewellyn-Wilkerson has grander visions for her cartoon characters. “I would be very proud to have either Sondra or Tweeky become a popular mainstream character and influence our culture in some way,” she says. “That would be a truly wonderful legacy.”

—Lindsay Beller

Influential Voice

University Trustee L. Ross Love ’68 traces his long, passionate attachment to Syracuse to his childhood in the Philadelphia area, where he followed Orange football legends Jim Brown ’57 and Ernie Davis ’62.

Entertaining thoughts of a career in politics while in high school, Love turned his attention to the Maxwell School. When he began to write a column for the school paper, he looked into opportunities at the Newhouse School. “A great school
of the social sciences, and a great communications school—those were the two largest factors in my choice of SU,” he says.

Arriving on the Hill in 1964, Love thrived amid the turbulence of the time, writing for an underground campus weekly and then contributing a regular column to The Daily Orange. He was a member of Tau Delta Phi and helped revive the dormant Omega Psi Phi—SU’s first African American fraternity. Love is particularly proud to be a founding member of the Student Afro-American Society (SAS). Despite a busy schedule, he did find time for other things. “I proposed to my wife, Cheryl Hardin ’72, on the steps of Crouse College on a perfect starlit night,” he says.

After receiving a B.A. degree in political science, Love embarked on a remarkable career. Recruited by Procter & Gamble, he rose to become vice president of advertising, which at the time was the highest position ever achieved at the company by an African American. “At P&G, results made the difference,” he says. “Even people who didn’t believe you could perform turned around and respected you for your achievements. I substantially built several company brands and saw the organization change.”

In 1996, Love resigned from the company to pursue a new interest. “When I learned that the only FM station in Cincinnati targeted toward the black community was going bankrupt, I bought it—and I fell in love with radio,” he says. “It’s the single most effective way to communicate with local African American communities.” Love added 19 more stations to Blue Chip Broadcasting, before selling the company in 2001. Today he is president and CEO of Blue Chip Enterprises, a diversified company, which owns several businesses.

A member of the Society of Fellows and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management Corporate Advisory Board, Love is a major donor to the Our Time Has Come minority scholarship fund, and a participant and speaker at the Coming Back Together reunions. In 1991, he was honored with the Arents Pioneer Medal for business achievement. He is active in civic affairs in Cincinnati and his personal philanthropy includes a gift of $1 million to the United Way.

“I experienced a period of incredible personal growth at Syracuse, paralleling the moment in history,” he says. “We were deeply engaged in the issues of the day—civil rights, economic empowerment, the Vietnam War. The beauty of it was that we were engaged not only intellectually, but in a hands-on way: writing, organizing, expressing our ideas, and influencing people. I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone through it.”

—David Marc


Syracuse University Magazine | Syracuse University | 820 Comstock Ave | Room 308 | Syracuse NY 13244-5040