Steve Sartori

The SU Alumni Family

As I meet with Syracuse University alumni, both on campus and around the world, I have discovered they find opportunities to connect and reach out to others at times when their assistance is needed most. From our most accomplished alumni to our newest ones, it is truly amazing to see all the wonderful things they are doing both locally and around the globe.

In the ties that bind us back to the University, it is refreshing to see that so many have helped current students and alumni in pursuit of their dreams of achieving greatness. Mentoring with career decisions and job placement of our future alumni has made our network strong.

Through our partnership with the Office of Career Services, the online mentoring program Mentor @ SU has helped alumni and students in all fields from all over the world. If you would like to become a mentor or wish to find out more about the program, e-mail sumentor@syr.edu.

In addition to mentoring, our alumni have stepped to the forefront in assisting those in need of the most essential kinds of help. Several of our SU classmates have reached out to individuals affected by the devastation of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. To those still struggling to rebuild their lives in the wake of these disasters, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Your alma mater is here to support you in whatever way it can. 

Thanks to all of you who give back to your alma mater, as well as to those who give back to each other.

On behalf of all of us at the Office of Alumni Relations, I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year!

Go Orange!

Best regards,

Donald C. Doerr ’85, G’88
Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations

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Timeless Tune

In University Archives on the sixth floor of Bird Library, a tired piece of scrap paper with slightly worn edges and faded writing holds a piece of SU’s heart. The 112-year-old document, pictured above, carries the simple words of a song written by Junius W. Stevens, the lyricist of the University’s alma mater. Played at graduations, convocations, and sporting events, the song is recognizable to generations of SU alumni and fans. “The alma mater has a very special meaning, particularly for those performing it,” says College of Visual and Performing Arts professor John Laverty, SU director of bands. “It’s a nice reminder of the campus.”

Having been asked to compose a song by members of the University Glee Club, Stevens, a member of the Class of 1895, was inspired by images of the University and city during an evening stroll. He spoke of his inspiration in a 1939 letter to a University official:

“…while I was walking home across the city…an idea for the song came to me. I had often noticed how the setting sun lighted up the walls of Crouse College long after dusk had fallen over the city and the valley.

“As I walked through the empty streets the words of a song took shape in my mind. By the time I had reached home, the song was finished.”

Courtesy of Syracuse University Art Collection
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Junius W. Stevens

He set the words to “Annie Lisle,” a popular tune of the time that Stevens’s mother often sang. His “Song of Syracuse” was first performed on March 15, 1893, in concert by the University Glee and Banjo Club at the Wieting Opera House in downtown Syracuse. Although other University songs were composed, Stevens’s piece became the most popular and was adopted as the alma mater. After his time at SU, Stevens embarked on a long career teaching high school English. He died in 1947 at age 73. A year after his death, a new alma mater was proposed by an English professor and a music professor. The song never took. However, a subtle change was made many years later to the original piece to be more inclusive. In 1986, the last line was changed from “…May thy sons be leal and loyal to thy memory” to “…Loyal be thy sons and daughters to thy memory.” Stevens’s original words—penned on a manuscript donated by his family—are well cared for in University Archives. The music also received a bit of an update in the mid-1990s by former Syracuse University Marching Band (SUMB) director  Larry Clark, who made some changes to the arrangement as played by the band.

Over the years, the alma mater has continued to be a familiar melody to the backdrop of the University community’s meaningful events. Sarabeth Wager ’05 will always remember leading the singing of the alma mater at her graduation in May. “I’ve been performing my whole life and so rarely get nervous,” says Wager, a vocal performance graduate. “But, I got up there and I happened to meet the eyes of a friend. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’m singing for 20,000 people.’” She quickly composed herself. “Once things started going I was fine.” The most memorable performance for Justin Mertz ’01, G’03, an SUMB member and drum major his senior year, was when he conducted the alma mater at the end of his last home football game. “I got very emotional as I looked at my friends and colleagues with whom I so enjoyed the previous years,” says Mertz, who now directs the SUMB and is assistant director of bands.

Those like Mertz who are familiar with performing the piece, say the alma mater is not technically difficult. “But, it requires a high degree of musicianship to play with the correct phrasing, intonation, balance, and dynamics that would make a good performance,” he says. Singing the tune—especially in four-part harmony—also takes control to perform it to its fullest. “When it all comes together, it is quite beautiful,” he says.

—Kathleen Haley

Where the vale of Onondaga
Meets the eastern sky
Proudly stands our Alma Mater
On her hilltop high
Flag we love! Orange! Float for aye—
Old Syracuse, o’er thee,
Loyal be thy sons and daughters
To thy memory.

 


CBT 8 Draws Record Attendance

Steve Sartori
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Five alumni were presented with Chancellor’s Citations at CBT 8’s Saturday night dinner-dance: (from left) Franklin R. Alvarado ’93 (real estate development); Dr. Alicia M. Carroll ’88 (medicine); Shanti Das ’93 (music); Don McPherson ’87 (public service), and Kirsten Poe Hill ’85 (public relations), with Chancellor Nancy Cantor.

Coming Back Together (CBT) 8, SU’s triennial reunion and celebration of its African American and Latino alumni, was a tremendous success. More than 400 alumni returned to campus in September for the event to reconnect with classmates; meet current students, faculty, and staff; and learn how the University has changed since they graduated. They attended a variety of presentations, performances, and discussions.

Larry Martin, assistant vice president for program development, was thrilled with the turnout and the energy generated at CBT 8. “We had a record number of alumni return to campus for our reunion activities, which included more than 40 seminars, the Chancellor’s reception, and a sold-out gala dinner dance,” Martin says. “Many of our alumni said it was the best reunion ever.”

A highlight of the weekend was “The Syracuse University Football Boycott of 1970 Revisited: Our Historical Perspective, 35 Years Later,” a panel discussion with former SU football players Gregory Allen ’72; Dana Harrell ’71, G’73; John Lobon ’73; Clarence “Bucky” McGill ’72; Alif Muhammad ’71; Duane Walker ’80; and Ronald Womack ’71. The players reunited for the first time to publicly discuss the event. They recalled the adversity they faced as student-athletes 35 years ago and explained why they felt compelled to stand up for themselves as students, athletes, and people of color by declining to play football during the 1970 season. Later that day, in a gesture of support and respect, the seven alumni received a standing ovation in the Carrier Dome at the SU-Virginia football game.

Several alumni were also honored during CBT 8 as the 2005 recipients of the Chancellor’s Citation, an award recognizing outstanding alumni ages 40 and younger.

—Carol Kim

Photos courtesy of Erika Haber
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Alumni explored the glory of Czarist Russia during a visit to Peterhof, known as the “Russian Versailles” (left), as part of a 16-day river cruise. Located outside of St. Petersburg, it served as Peter the Great’s summer residence.

redsquareIn northern Russia, the 22-domed Transfiguration Church (below) on Kizhi Island captivated visitors.
Ann Staniec ’64 remembers growing up during the Cold War and seeing startling images of Soviet military troops as they flooded American television screens, newspapers, and magazines. She recalls feeling, like many, inherently threatened by the sight of stone-faced Soviet leaders watching over Moscow’s Red Square during May Day parades. But with her half-Russian heritage, those images hit a special nerve and stayed with her years after the Cold War thawed. When she decided to travel to Russia in June with other Syracuse alumni for the Imperial Russian Waterways tour, she was amazed to see how much the country had changed since she first saw it on television. “Today, Russia is phenomenal,” she says. “The cities are beautiful and strikingly clean and full of parks. You can tell that a lot of work has been put into them.”

The 16-day river cruise, sponsored by the Syracuse University Alumni Association, brought the alumni from St. Petersburg to Moscow aboard the MS Nikolay Chernyshevsky. Travelers learned about Russia’s rich history and culture while exploring large cities as well as ancient towns and taking in the country’s natural beauty. The cruise began with four days in St. Petersburg, “the City of the Czars,” where alumni were greeted by the picturesque St. Isaac’s Cathedral. “It was amazing to see the beautiful gold domes on the cathedral,” Staniec says. Alumni also attended a ballet performance at the famed Hermitage Theater and browsed the Hermitage’s extensive art collection.

Erika Haber, who teaches Russian literature, language, and culture at SU, hosted the tour, providing insights into the historic landscape. She found sharing her favorite sites and memories of Russia with tour members the most exciting and enjoyable part of the trip. Alumni visited a different place every day, including Kizhi Island on Lake Onega in northern Russia. “We saw the Transfiguration Church, which was built in 1714,” Haber says. “Made entirely of wood, without the use of a single nail, the church has 22 cupolas, or onion domes. It’s a mythical site.”

In other riverfront villages, visitors bargained with merchants for Russian goods. Staniec bought a fine woolen and silk shawl and a stacking doll. “Bargaining on the streets was wonderful,” she says. In Uglich, they dined with a local family.

The tour ended with four days in Moscow, the Russian capital. Alumni took in the legendary Moscow Circus and the Tretyakov Art Gallery. The highlights of the Moscow visit, however, were Red Square and the Kremlin. The Kremlin remains ingrained in most memories as a symbol of the 70-year reign of the Soviet Union, but the “city-within-a-city” has existed for more than 900 years. “One of the most memorable things was going to the Armory Chamber at the Kremlin and seeing the Fabergé egg collection,” Staniec says. At Red Square, alumni saw Lenin’s tomb and St. Basil’s Cathedral. “Walking onto Red Square is pretty incredible for most people because people usually think of St. Basil’s when they think of Russia,” Haber says. “It’s something you always see in pictures, but to see it rise up in front of you is an unforgettable experience.”

Staniec returned home with an enlightened view of Russia. “This trip gave me a totally different perspective from when I was growing up,” she says. “I used to see pictures from May Day and Red Square and it was all a big military thing. It isn’t like that today. Russia is phenomenal.”

—Christine Mattheis

Alumni Happenings

1. The Syracuse University Alumni Association Board of Directors and more than 30 Syracuse University Alumni Club presidents gathered on the steps of the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center during Homecoming Weekend 2005. This outstanding group of alumni met November 10-13 to celebrate Homecoming Weekend and to attend the association’s annual on-campus meeting.

2. Marilyn Shulman Ratner ’67, left, Marsha Davis Marcus ’67, and Karen Hart Lowenstein ’67 journeyed to Tuscany in June. They are shown here at SU’s Villa Rossa in Firenze, Italy, where Ratner studied in 1966. The trio contributed a bench to the villa’s newly expanded garden.   

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3. William C. Schofield, left, SU athletic director Daryl Gross, SU Alumni Association president Neil Gold ’70, and Roberta C. Schofield ’57, G’77 enjoyed the Orange Friendzy pregame event at Doak Campbell Stadium before SU took on Florida State on October 1.

4. The Syracuse University Alumni Association honored its outstanding alumni, University teachers, and student award recipients in a ceremony at the Schine Student Center on November 11 during Homecoming Weekend 2005. Pictured in the top row are, from left, Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Judy Popky ’92, Outstanding Young Alumni Award; Stacey Katz ’99, Outstanding Young Alumni Award; Ira Berkowitz ’82, president of the SU Alumni Club of Northern New Jersey, Alumni Club of the Year Award; Ghaleb Daouk ’79, Outstanding Alumni Award; Juri Tults ’80, chair of the clubs committee for the Alumni Club of South Florida, Alumni Club Officers of the Year Award; and Neil Gold ’70, president of the Syracuse University Alumni Association. Pictured in the bottom row are, from left, Ryan Chadick ’07, Orange Spirit Student Award; Dick Calagiovanni ’70, G’99, president of the Central New York Alumni Club, Alumni Club Community Service Program of the Year Award; Professor Elletta Sangrey Callahan G’84, Whitman School of Management, Outstanding Teacher Award; Donald Favre ’80, Outstanding Alumni Award; Professor Shiu-Kai Chin ’75, G’78, G’86, L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, Outstanding Teacher Award; and Jean Koh, G’86, G’94, president of the Syracuse University Korean Alumni Association, Alumni Club Program of the Year Award.

5. The Syracuse University Alumni Association welcomed its newest board members during Homecoming Weekend 2005. They are, from left, A. Mark Winter ’73, student representative Lauren D’Angelo ’08, Thomas Jambro G’75, Dennis DuVal ’97, Brian Spector ’78, Melinda Reiner ’84, and Joanie Frankel ’68.

6. Dominick C. Alessandro ’88, his wife, Patricia, and their daughters, Olivia and Erin, joined in the fun at the Orange Friendzy pregame celebration on the Quad before the SU-West Virginia football game on September 4. 

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to alumni.syr.edu/photoalb.htm.

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© Giliola Chisté
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Practicing with Professionalism and Compassion

Melanie Gray G’81 believes in two fundamental guidelines for living: (1) Follow your heart; and (2) What goes around comes around. A partner with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in its Houston office and a new member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, Gray has built a successful career and a fulfilling personal life around her sincere commitment to making a difference. “My father, who died when I was young, was a community leader who instilled in me the importance of contributing to the institutions that helped me succeed,” says Gray, a College of Law graduate originally from the small town of Parish, New York. “He taught me to ask myself each day, ‘Have you done something to give back? Are you performing at the highest level of professionalism and compassion?’”

Following her heart led Gray to the many loves of her life: Syracuse University, her work as a commercial and bankruptcy litigation trial lawyer, her husband Mark L.D. Wawro, an attorney and partner with Susman Godfrey LLP, and their three children. Gray began with Weil Gotshal in 1985, and was made a partner four years later. “The practice of law is a challenging profession,” says Gray, who especially enjoys being in the courtroom and working on business restructuring cases. She has spent the last three years deeply involved in the firm’s representation of Enron in its bankruptcy proceedings, widely considered the most complex Chapter 11 case in history. “Normally, as a trial lawyer, you work on cases in which company A is suing company B,” she says. “Restructuring is a more dynamic and fluent process in which multiple constituencies are all vying for a seat at the table, and litigation is a tool to accomplish a broader goal. It is more like a chess game than a boxing match.”

Gray credits her success to the education she received at the College of Law. “The quality of my experience was determined by the excellent faculty and the opportunity to work on the Syracuse Law Review,” says Gray, who was recognized in 2001 as one of Houston’s 10 “Women on the Move” and in 2003 by the New York City YMCA as a “Woman Achiever.” Widely published in the area of bankruptcy and legal ethics, she frequently speaks at continuing education seminars. She chairs the board of her children’s school and serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas and the Society for the Performing Arts. A member of the College of Law Board of Advisors since 2003, Gray looks forward to her role as a University Trustee as a rewarding and challenging one. “I’m happy to support opportunities for the University, and excited to share my views about the importance of having a great law school,” she says. “I’m honored to be considered by the board, and look forward to contributing to their efforts to provide increased opportunities for meaningful higher education.”

—Amy Shires

Minding a Virtual Lab

Imagine racing in the Indy 500 while building the car you’re driving. That’s how Darren J. Carroll ’83, G’87, G’98 characterizes the formation of InnoCentive Inc., an online forum based in Andover, Massachusetts, that brings together leading corporations and scientists from around the world to solve research and development challenges. “We were developing the concept and creating the company at the same time,” says Carroll, the company’s CEO. “As a result, we’ve built a tremendous network. It’s a powerful instance of how the Internet has destroyed boundaries of time and place and changed the ways companies work together.” 


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A division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company, InnoCentive Inc. was launched in 2001 by a creative team led by Carroll. “We were looking for a business model that would address two factors in the pharmaceutical industry: the expensive nature of the failure-ridden research and development process, and the limited access each R&D company has to a share of the world’s minds,” says Carroll, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in public administration, and a law degree, all from SU. “We found ways to disclose a basic kernel of information and broadcast it while protecting everyone’s intellectual property rights.”

InnoCentive is a virtual laboratory that makes it possible for such companies as Procter & Gamble and Dow Chemical to post scientific problems confidentially online, where more than 80,000 scientists and scientific organizations in more than 165 countries can see them and apply to solve them. “We ask scientists—called ‘solvers’—to submit solutions at their own risk,” Carroll says. “Essentially, it is a way for them to ‘raise their hands’ to give an answer they had already worked through. They just didn’t know anyone had asked the question. We only call on people with their hands up; that is, we only pay for those solutions that meet all criteria.”

Recently named to the Maxwell School Advisory Board, Carroll says he relied heavily on his SU experiences in developing the company, and often reflects on how much of his life professionally and personally has SU at its core. “I draw on my education on a daily basis,” says Carroll, who is married to René Layton-Carroll ’83, G’90 and has three children. “The specific skills I learned are very valuable. But more importantly, I learned a broad analytical framework and an openness to different points of view.” The first member of his family ever to attend college, Carroll is mindful of that privilege, which he says he couldn’t have enjoyed without the University’s support. He considers himself an eternal student and reads nearly 100 books a year, covering diverse topics. “My liberal arts training really flipped a switch in my brain,” he says. “I have a curiosity for exploring every field, and a hunger for it.”

—Amy Shires

 


Speaking Life

Steve Sartori
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The gridiron exploits of Art Monk ’80 are well known. As a running back, wide receiver, and kick return specialist for Syracuse during the late ’70s, he rushed for more than 1,100 yards, returned kicks for another 1,100 yards, and caught 102 passes for 1,644 more. Drafted by the Washington Redskins, he caught more passes than any player in NFL history during a 16-season career. Washington fans voted Monk “greatest player in franchise history” in a 1994 poll.

Other things about Art Monk are not so well known. A second cousin of jazz great Thelonius Monk, he was proficient at bass guitar, drums, trombone, and tuba while still in elementary school. As a football star at White Plains (New York) High School, he set his sights on another school until his mother vetoed that plan in favor of Syracuse, based on SU’s student-athlete graduation record. Perhaps the least known fact about Monk is that he had to overcome a lack of self-esteem before embarking on his remarkable career. “When I was a kid, I didn’t think I could play football on the college or professional levels,” Monk says. “Even when the scholarship offer came from Syracuse, I just didn’t think I was good enough.” He credits the unwavering support of his family and his desire to get an education for giving him the chance to prove himself wrong.

Monk, who lives with his wife of 23 years, Desiree ’81, and their three children in Great Falls, Virginia, has not forgotten the crucial role adult support played in his success. In 1992, he joined with three of his Redskins teammates to form the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF). In fulfilling its mission “to prepare youth for leadership in the community and the workplace,” GSF funds a variety of programs for District of Columbia students, including academic tutoring services; social, cultural, and career development field trips; and one-on-one mentoring.

Due to the efforts of Monk and Mary Anagnost ’86 of SU’s Greenberg House in Washington, D.C., GSF and SU are partnering to organize Syracuse alumni as mentors for students at Anacostia High School. “We’ve got some great kids who just need someone to come alongside them and speak life into them and take them to museums, ball games, and other places they can’t go,” Monk says. “Working with Syracuse alumni, we have great opportunities to match up students with successful, caring individuals in mentoring relationships.”

—David Marc

 

 

Romancing Words


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Christine Bailey Tayntor ’70 compares an oyster’s relentless work to that of an author’s need to put pen to paper. “An oyster doesn’t choose to create a pearl. It’s caused by an irritation,” she says. “You don’t write because you’re inspired, but because something is forcing you to write. It might be that you need to pay the mortgage or you have a story that wants to be told.” As the author of 18 published romance novels (under the pseudonym of Amanda Harte), two novellas, and two technical books, Tayntor speaks from experience. “There’s got to be something compelling you to write—because it’s hard work,” she says.

Even as a youngster, Tayntor imagined a writing career, but thought she couldn’t make a living at it. At SU, she majored in French and was named a Centennial Scholar, enabling her to take extra courses and receive special mentoring. “I was fortunate because Syracuse gave me a lot of opportunities,” she says. After graduating and marrying her high school sweetheart, Tayntor, originally from Davenport, Iowa, landed what today might seem like an unlikely position in computer programming: There were no computer science degrees at the time and companies were looking for people who were either language or music majors, she says.

Although busy with her professional career, Tayntor began writing after seeing a television commercial for Harlequin books. The publisher rejected her submission, but another company picked up the story and her first book, Half Heart, was published in 1981. Her latest novel, Bluebonnet Spring, was released this summer.

Tayntor weaves tales of strong-willed heroines who confront their fears and find love. “All of my books have a similar theme, which is about overcoming obstacles,” she says. From a schoolteacher who braves the Alaska territory in the early 1900s (Rainbows at Midnight) to a woman searching for her brother in France during World War I (Whistling in the Dark), her characters grow, flourish, and captivate readers. “When you pick up a romance, you know there will be justice and a happy ending,” she says. “I think that reassures people.”

Tayntor, who lives with her husband in Cheyenne, Wyoming, retired from Honeywell International in 2004 to pursue a full-time writing career. “Writing is who I am,” she says. “It’s part of me. It brings me pleasure and pain and everything else in between.” 

—Kathleen Haley


Supersonic Success

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One sunny day in November 2004 in the skies over Edwards Air Force Base in California, NASA test flight information engineer Jessica Lux-Baumann ’02 and her teammates made aviation history when an experimental airplane, powered by an air-breathing scramjet engine, reached Mach 10 speed—or 10 times faster than the speed of sound. Billed as the next generation space shuttle engine, NASA’s Hyper-X scramjet is lighter, easier to maneuver, cheaper, and safer than traditional rocket-powered shuttles. “The success of the Hyper-X Program took a team of people years of working together on their separate parts,” Lux-Baumann says. “You only get one shot, so everything needs to go perfectly. It was an unbelievable experience.”

Lux-Baumann first worked at NASA Dryden test flight center in California as an engineering student in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science’s Cooperative (co-op) Education Program. Through a full-time paid summer position, she learned how to create computer programs to extract information about air pressure, temperature, speed, position, and other crucial measurements from the unmanned Hyper-X planes, modified fighter jets, and other experimental planes, and send that information back to the control room. “This information is necessary to make decisions about the safeness of flight and to determine the mission’s success,” she says. “For years after the flight, researchers study the data, publish papers on their findings, and can then design more advanced airplanes.”

Although she originally intended to use her engineering education to become a patent attorney, she is grateful for the change in course midway through her SU tenure. The ECS co-op experience, the college’s flexibility in allowing her to stay in the co-op position for an extra semester, and her involvement in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Design/Build/Fly Competition led her to a fulfilling career in engineering. The co-op experience also led her to her husband, Ethan Baumann. “I’m really thankful I made the choice to attend SU,” says Lux-Baumann, who is now pursuing a master’s degree in systems engineering through a distance-learning program at the University of Arizona. “And I’m very excited that my sister is attending SU.”

When she’s not working or completing coursework, Lux-Baumann enjoys running a book club and competing in long-distance, open-water swimming events. Yet she says her career is an integral part of who she is. “It’s how I define myself,” she says.

—Margaret Costello

 


Dramatic Career Move

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Peter Hyams ’64, left, and George-Ann Spota Hyams ’64, third from left, with their family

Peter Hyams ’64 has directed more than 20 feature films (including End of Days and Time Cop), played drums at the Newport Jazz Festival, anchored newscasts on CBS television, and painted canvases that hang in the Whitney. George-Ann Spota Hyams ’64 is a film producer, president of Spota Productions, and a lifelong fighter for progressive causes. Both come from New York families with rich traditions in the arts. Their ancestors include Sol Hurok (his grandfather), an impresario who presented more than 4,000 concert, opera, and dance performances to American audiences, and George Spota (her father), a writer-director-producer who managed such stars as Carol Burnett and Jonathan Winters. The Hyamses met on the Hill more than 40 years ago.

“I studied art from the time I could walk,” says Peter Hyams. “I attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, and when it came time for college, I thought only of conservatories. But my mom said, ‘I want you to get a liberal arts education.’” Enrolling at SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), he discovered the benefits of a well-rounded education. “I fell in love with a history major, and tagged along to her history and political science classes. I took Constitutional Law with Professor Michael Sawyer. He was genuinely inspirational.”

George-Ann Hyams, the history major (in truth, a dual major in history and social studies), says, “When I came to Syracuse, I took Citizenship I, a required course taught with a set of wonderful books written specially for it by Maxwell faculty. It changed my life. I fashioned my own thoughts into ideas. I became an adult citizen.” The longtime California resident insists now, as then, she enjoys a special feeling walking across the Quad to attend Maxwell School Advisory Board meetings. “There’s something uplifting about being near where the ideas are,” she says.

The family tradition continued when John Hyams ’93 came east to Syracuse. He was the first student ever to win VPA’s “outstanding painter” and  “outstanding sculptor” awards in the same year. “He was also the first non-abstract artist to win in painting in 30 years,” his proud mother says. A producer and director for film and television, John Hyams is currently collaborating on a screenplay with novelist John Irving.

Peter Hyams has been hosting SU students on Hollywood sets for some 20 years and is glad to see the University expanding its presence in the Los Angeles area. For George-Ann Hyams, the match is complementary. “California is important not only because of its economy, but because it’s a place where people experiment and push the envelope,” she says. “This is exactly what Syracuse is good at.”

—David Marc


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