by Jessica Allen
giving is a way of life for many Syracuse University
alumni and friends. Their reasons for giving to Syracuse
are as diverse as they aresome wish to leave
behind a legacy, some are motivated by social conscience,
and some simply want to say thank you
to the University for helping them fulfill their dreams.
But one thing all donors have in common is the joy
of knowing they have helped others. As Ralph Waldo
Emerson said, It is one of the most beautiful
compensations of this life that no man can sincerely
try to help another without helping himself.
who share their rewards with others understand that
none of us lives in a world all our own. That is especially
true of José Cruz, a 1999 graduate of the Martin
J. Whitman School of Management. At a time in life
when many young men spend their money on materialistic
pursuits, Cruz established a scholarship fund for
junior and senior minority accounting majors because
he understands firsthand how important financial support
can be to a cash-strapped college student. During
his freshman year at SU, Cruz was selected as a GE
Scholar, which included a renewable tuition scholarship.
In addition, he received an Our Time Has Come Scholarship
from the University. I am grateful I didnt
have to struggle financially to get through school,
Cruz says. Now its time to help someone
José Cruz 99
made yearly donations to SUs Annual Fund, but
always knew he wanted to do more. When he saw his
friends struggling to repay student loans, he realized
how fortunate he had been to begin his accounting
career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in New York City
without a heavy financial burden. So one day he picked
up the telephone and called the Universitys
development office to find out how to set up a scholarship
in his name. It was so easy to establish the
José Cruz Supported Scholarship Fund that I
wondered why I hadnt done it before, says
Cruz, who now works in the internal audit department
at Deutsche Bank in New York City. Im
looking forward to meeting my first scholarship recipient
this year. My goal is to provide financial support
for future generations by establishing an endowed
who give to SU are often the Universitys best
ambassadors. Cruz, for instance, now talks to his
friends about supporting Syracuse. We need to
appreciate what Syracuse University did for us,
he says. The scholarship fund is my way of giving
something back and staying connected to SU.
Wolcott 50 and his wife, Betty Berger Wolcott
51, share that sentiment. They have been active
in alumni affairs since the early 50s and give
to Syracuse University on a regular basis. At
first our gifts were miniscule, says Wolcott,
who lives with his wife on a cattle ranch in Mancos,
Colorado. Over the years the Wolcotts generosity
grew. During SUs Commitment to Learning campaign,
they established an endowed Deans Scholarship
Fund that supports four Deans Scholars simultaneously
in the College of Arts and Sciences. Betty got
through school with scholarship support and by waiting
tables, says Wolcott, who enjoyed a 34-year
career with Aetna Life & Casualty Company. That
motivated us to give money to SU. We want to help
other young people have an opportunity to pursue a
of their four children, Elizabeth, graduated from
SUs School of Nursing in 1977. Following her
death in 1999, the Wolcotts honored her memory by
creating the Elizabeth G. Wolcott Deans Scholarship
for nursing students. With the closing of the nursing
school, the scholarship will continue to support students
in the College of Human Services and Health Professions.
We are great believers in SU, Wolcott
says. Establishing a scholarship in Elizabeths
name was important to us.
Wolcotts most recent commitment consists of
two more endowed Deans Scholarship Funds in
their namesone in the Martin J. Whitman School
of Management and the other in the College of Human
Services and Health Professions. It is our way
of saying thank you, Wolcott says.
Dr. Kedar Karim Adour
those who make the most generous gifts start out in
life with the least. Dr. Kedar Karim Adour knows this
journey well. The fifth of nine children of Syrian
and Lebanese parents, Adour grew up on a farm in Clark
Mills, a small town in upstate New York. He learned
the value of a good education from his mother, Zina,
who struggled all of her life to feed and clothe her
children. My mother drummed it into our heads
that education is the pathway to a better life,
says Adour, a semi-retired surgeon from Oakland, California.
She couldnt read or write, but she knew
the red mark on my report card meant I had brought
home a failing grade. She was distraught and heartbroken,
and I can tell you it never happened again. Unfortunately,
my mother died while I was still in high school, but
I know she would have been absolutely thrilled that
I became a doctor.
honor his mothers memoryand her enduring
belief in the transforming power of educationAdour
set up a charitable gift annuity in 2002 to establish
the Zina Adour Endowed Scholarship Fund at Syracuse
University. Early on, Adour became aware that few,
if any, scholarships were available to help Arab American
children receive a higher education. There was
scholarship money for all ethnic groups, except Arabs,
says Adour, who worked his way through Hamilton College
and studied medicine in Syracuse. That is why
I have designated my scholarship funds to give preference
to Arab American children from the Clark Mills-Utica,
New York, area.
uses the income generated by his charitable gift annuity
to help support his extended family. Following his
death, the income will support the scholarship fund
he established in his mothers name in perpetuity.
Single with no children of his own, he says he didnt
want his money frittered away after he
is gone. I feel strongly that we should not
provide children with luxuries, Adour says.
We should educate children to make their own
way in the world. Here in the United States, education
is what takes you ahead. If people want to leave something
of importance behind when they die, they should leave
a legacy of education.
Anita and Lionel Grossman 16
was Anita and Lionel Grossmans intention when
they used tax-free bonds in 1990 to set up a charitable
remainder trust to provide them with lifetime income.
The trust specified that following their deaths, the
trust assets would be used to support law students
and general University students. It is a wonderful
way to give, says Anita Grossman, whose late
husband, Lionel, graduated from the College of Law
in 1916. It gave us income during our lifetimes
and allowed the University to plan on the money after
our deaths. I just wish it could have been more.
the time, the Grossmans relied on income from the
trust. Recently however, Anita Grossman decided to
terminate the trust and distribute the assets to SU
now. There came a time this past year when I
realized I didnt need the income from the trust
anymore, so I said to myself, You know what?
Ill give my gift to SU right now,
says Grossman, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida. I
was very happy that we could make a gift to Syracuse
University years ago, and now it is time to smell
the roses. It makes me happy to know that deserving
young people will benefit right away from our gift.
not an SU alumnus, Alan Mirken now makes gifts to
Syracuse University because he knows it was important
to his late wife, Barbara Bobby Richman
Mirken 51. Before her death, they endowed a
Chancellors Scholarship in the College of Arts
and Sciences and created the Barbara Richman Mirken
Student Internship Award Fund in the School of Social
Work in honor of Bernie Wohl 51, a classmate
and friend who is the former executive director of
Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City.
The fund provides partial internship support for an
undergraduate or graduate student in social work.
Mirken also sponsored a field trip to New York City
so students from the College of Human Services and
Health Professions could learn about the origins and
growth of social work in the United States. During
their three-day stay, the students toured Bellevue
Hospital, UNICEF House, the United Nations, the Lower
East Side Tenement Museum, and the Goddard Riverside
Community Center, on whose board Barbara Mirken had
served for 15 years.
to honor his wifes affection for SU, Mirken
sponsored the social work field trip again this year.
He also sponsored a similar trip for fine arts students
who met behind the scenes with museum professionals,
gallery directors, collectors, and publishing executives.
Bobby and I were grateful for what we had achieved
and felt we should share our good fortune with others,
says Mirken, who is also an active supporter of his
alma mater, Colby College.