Steve Sartori

Creating Connections

We are constantly striving in the Office of Alumni Relations to enhance our services for alumni so that you can connect easily with one another and the University. In the last year, we have made some advances that I encourage you to take advantage of.

Our alumni Online Community (OLC) is constantly being improved. Tens of thousands of alumni have registered, but, for it to be a true community of Syracuse alumni, we want all of you involved. Once you register for OLC at, you can update your profile and contact information, submit class notes to be displayed online and in this magazine, connect with old friends and classmates, and network with others in your career field or city. There are links to our regional, specialty, and international club web sites, and you can sign up for a permanent alumni forwarding e-mail address. You can also sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter, Orangebytes, which will keep you informed on current SU activities on campus, across the country, and around the world. All of these services are provided free to alumni.

As we continue to move forward, we plan to add more services for your benefit, including an alumni events calendar and an extensive career networking community. Please check back on the community so you don’t miss these additions.

 We want to serve our alumni in the best way possible. Our goal is to engage you in ways that make a difference in your lives and for your alma mater, with your fellow alumni and with Syracuse. You can help our efforts by keeping us updated on your activities and letting us know what you think about our services and what else we can do to keep you connected.

Go Orange!

Andrea Latchem
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations

For more information or to get involved with Homecoming 2007, please contact Andrea Latchem at 1-800-782-5867 or

Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives
Yates Castle

Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives
Journalism students gather for class inside Yates Castle in 1953.

A lonely, ivy-covered stone wall is one of the only surviving physical reminders of what once was an architectural gem at the base of Crouse College. Yates Castle towered above a lush 16-acre estate off Irving Avenue, part of SU’s landscape for the first half of the 20th century. Protected by heavy oak doors and rising parapets, the fortress harbored students in Teachers College (now the School of Education) and later the School of Journalism (now the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications). Built as a private residence, the stone and brick building featured a sweeping staircase, stained glass windows, a nearly floor-to-ceiling mirror, and frescoes. “The castle was unlike any other campus building, although Crouse College comes close,” says Eileen Chamberlain Lockwood ’55, School of Journalism alumna and former Daily Orange managing editor. “The castle had nooks and crannies you couldn’t find in a modern classroom building and gorgeous Norman architecture that embraced us as soon as we pulled open its huge decorative doors. We all reveled in its oldness.”

In the 1850s, Cornelius Longstreet, a successful clothing manufacturer, commissioned architect James Renwick, who later designed the Smithsonian Institution, to build a distinctive home on a 49-acre parcel on the outskirts of Syracuse. Renwick Castle, as it was first known, was built in the Tudor Gothic style at a cost of $200,000. In 1867, the Longstreet family traded homes with Alonzo Yates Sr. Renamed for its new residents, the castle became a setting for extravagant social gatherings. But the family fortune dried up in the next generation and the house was deserted in 1898.

SU purchased the property in 1905 and Trustee Margaret Slocum Sage donated money for renovations. The Margaret Olivia Slocum Teachers College first inhabited Yates, but in 1934, the new School of Journalism moved in. The students became known as “Kastle Kids.” Lockwood remembers a magazine survey course taught by a former Des Moines feature editor, Bob Root, and newspaper reporting courses. “The walls were thin, so we could hear booming professorial voices like Bob Root’s—even through closed doors,” she says. “The floors creaked quite a bit, which added to the charm.” Along with many other Kastle Kids, Lockwood joined The Daily Orange, which was headquartered in “The Hellbox,” a prefabricated building near Yates.

Although the castle survived hordes of students over the years, it could not withstand the invasion of progress. In 1953, the castle’s new owner, the State University of New York, announced plans to raze it to add a wing to the state university medical college. “On one of our last days, a number of us junior editors went up on the roof,” says Edward Hardy ’55, a School of Journalism alumnus who was The Daily Orange editor in chief. “We hauled up some typewriters and sat on the ramparts writing stories. It was our way of saying good-bye to the castle.”

Before the castle was brought down, the University held a farewell ball there on April 25, 1953. For Eileen Lockwood and her husband, George Lockwood ’53, The Daily Orange managing editor that year, mention of the ball always brings back a shared memory. George had asked a freshman he had been dating to accompany him to “what was to be one of the grandest dances on the campus calendar,” he says. He learned she had been seeing someone else, so he wondered whether he should instead ask sophomore Eileen Chamberlain, who had caught his eye. George’s buddy advised him to take the first young woman. “I did that—and hated every minute of the ball,” he remembers. “Eileen forgave me for my indiscretion, and we still laugh, after 50 years of marriage, whenever the Yates Castle ball comes up.”

In spring 1954, the structure was demolished, leaving just the stone wall that bordered the property. The Daily Orange editorial page writer Roger Herz ’55 paid tribute to the stately structure in a May 1954 column. “We who had the Castle as our home can be thankful for the days within its greyed brick walls,” he wrote. “Those days that live in memory will hardly fade with the years, and as the almost-cliché has been stated, ‘The Castle will never die.’”

—Kathleen Haley


Bobkiewicz Named National Annual Giving Chair


Wally Bobkiewicz G’89, president-elect of Syracuse University’s National Alumni Association Board of Directors, has been named the University’s first national annual giving chair. He will serve as the University’s leading voice to alumni on the significance and satisfaction of being engaged with the University and of participating with others in giving back to SU. “As a dedicated and loyal alumnus who gives generously of his time, energy, and resources to support his alma mater, there is no one better to inspire other alumni to do the same,” says Andrea Latchem, assistant vice president for alumni relations.

Bobkiewicz will work to involve more alumni in University activities and help them understand that their financial support—at whatever level is significant to them—is essential for SU to continue providing the growth, challenges, and memorable times that alumni experienced as students.

Bobkiewicz, who earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1989, is city manager of Santa Paula, California. Since graduating, he has served as a mentor and career advisor for Maxwell students. He has been a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2001 and chaired the board’s finance and resources committee from 2002-04. He also chaired the committee that oversaw the development of the Orange Grove. Bobkiewicz has been a loyal donor to the Fund for Syracuse and has been a member of the University’s Society of Fellows since 2002.

Bobkiewicz says his new role offers him a chance to give back to the University that means so much to him. “Syracuse did so much for me in helping to educate and shape who I am today,” he says. “The University needs the support of its alumni to keep itself strong. It is up to all of us to ensure that the experiences we enjoyed here can continue for future generations of students.”

—Kelly Homan Rodoski

Photos courtesy of Gohagan & Company
Classical Europe




Recent graduates explored Paris, Rome, and other European cities as part of a tour sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations.




For information on alumni travel opportunities,
contact Tina Casella
in the Office of
Alumni Relations
at 1-800-SUALUMS


Christopher Telesford ’06 took the giant leap into adulthood last May, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. About to embark on the next chapter in his life, with new concerns of starting a career or applying to graduate school, he received a special graduation gift from his parents: a chance to see more of the world. Telesford was one of eight Syracuse University students who participated in the Office of Alumni Relations’ post-graduate classical Europe trip. Given to him as a reward for his hard work and dedication throughout his college years, the trip was a chance for Telesford to unwind, but continue learning in a different way. “I really enjoyed the trip because I saw so many places I had learned about in class,” he says. “It was an amazing experience to see the content of history books right in front of you.”

During the 17-day trip, which began in late May, the new alumni visited the classical sights of Europe, touring four countries and experiencing the continent’s blend of modern and ancient, from local shops to historic sites and monuments. Starting in London, the travelers explored the diversity of Europe’s cultures, working their way through France and Italy before ending in the beautiful Greek isles. “The trip was great because there was a chance to see so many different things,” Telesford says.


In Paris, graduates took advantage of an all-access museum pass to see some of the world’s most famous works of art in the Louvre. Their time in the City of Light concluded with a traditional French dinner in a basement bistro. “The food was amazing as I expected, but they actually served us French fries, probably because we were American,” Telesford says.

In each city, a local expert gave a guided tour and answered the graduates’ questions and revealed little-known facts. “Each city had a specific landmark that we explored and learned more about,” Telesford says. “We had a great tour guide in Rome. He was so knowledgeable and kept the tour interesting.” The group delved into the rich history of such ancient landmarks as the Colosseum and the Forum. While in Italy, they interacted with locals and sampled more traditional foods.

On the last day of the excursion the group reluctantly bid “good-bye” to Europe, receiving an elaborate farewell dinner in Athens. Having made new friends and finding a love for Europe, Telesford returned home with a fresh perspective and an experience he won’t soon forget. “I know I need to go back,” he says. “There is so much more I want to explore.”

—Kayleigh Minicozzi





Alumni Happenings

1. Members of the SU Alumni Club of New Hampshire meet up with students for a New Student Send-Off and Soft Landing event in Manchester. From left to right: Laurie Storey-Manseau ’81, Andrea Manseau ’05, Mike Anderson ’06, Erica Short ’01, Melissa Anderson ’10, Verne Wilson ’97, and Craig Liadis ’00.

2. SU officials honor the recipients of the 2006 Homecoming awards during a pregame ceremony. Presented by the Office of Alumni Relations and the SU Alumni Association, the awards recognize outstanding alumni, University teachers, alumni clubs, and students. From left to right: Chancellor Nancy Cantor; Neil Gold ’70, president of the SU Alumni Association; Laurie Storey-Manseau ’81, president of the SU Alumni Club of New Hampshire, Outstanding Club Program Award; Andrea Latchem, assistant vice president for alumni relations; Lauren D’Angelo ’08, Orange Spirit committee chair; Professor Carla Vaccaro Lloyd G’94, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Outstanding Teacher Award; Professor Alejandro Garcia, College of Human Services and Health Professions, Outstanding Teacher Award; Sekia Strange ’97, president of the SU Alumni Club of Philadelphia, Outstanding Alumni Club Officer Award; Jennifer Erzen ’97, Outstanding Young Alumni Award; Wendy Lane Dworkin ’91, Outstanding Young Alumni Award; Daniel Heumann ’91, Outstanding Alumni Award; David Dworkin ’91, Outstanding Young Alumni Award; John Echeandia Font ’53, G’54, Outstanding Alumni Award; Brian Spector ’78, representative of the SU Alumni Club of Northern New Jersey, Outstanding Community Service Award; and Lauren Abramson ’07, Orange Spirit Award.

3. The Homecoming court leads the parade into the Quad for the football pep rally and bonfire.

4. Stacey Katz ’99 and Michael Friedlander ’99 celebrate their July wedding with fellow alumni at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, New Jersey.

5. Members of the SU National Alumni Association and alumni club presidents visit the Orange Grove during Homecoming Weekend in October.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Alumni Relations
For more photos, go to

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A dream, a friend, and a little hustle equaled success for Samuel Goekjian ’52. Goekjian’s dream was to become a U.S. citizen. His friend was Chancellor William P. Tolley, who became acquainted with Goekjian during retreats for student government leaders. After Tolley learned Goekjian had come to the United States with only a student visa, he persuaded a U.S. senator to introduce a bill granting Goekjian immigrant status. When Congress approved the bill, Goekjian was drafted and joined the U.S. Army while in Harvard Law School, and, because of his military service, he realized his goal nine months later in 1954. “I spent most of my childhood dreaming of becoming a U.S. citizen,” says Goekjian, who brought his Armenian parents to the United States after he became a citizen. “When it happens, it’s difficult to describe the happiness one feels.”

Goekjian grew up in Ethiopia and attended an American boarding school in Cyprus with his twin brother, Krikor ’53. He came to appreciate America through the principal’s family and books. After graduating from high school, he worked as secretary and administrative assistant to the American advisor to the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, often translating between his American boss and Emperor Haile Selassie, acting as rapporteur for curriculum committees, and placing Ethiopian students in American universities. With encouragement from his boss, Goekjian applied to SU, which provided him a scholarship. Once on campus, he adapted quickly to life in the United States due to his avid reading while in Ethiopia of 30 years of Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post issues and books on American sports. “When I came to the United States, I never really felt that I was in a foreign country,” Goekjian says.

Goekjian held student government positions, participated in sports and clubs, and loaded up on courses, eventually graduating magna cum laude with a history degree. After his service in the Army, he earned a J.D. in 1957 from Harvard, where he met his future wife, Jean Alison MacLeod, and he went on to build a career as an international corporate, commercial, and arbitration attorney.

In 1960, he joined Surrey and Morse, a Washington, D.C., law firm, becoming managing partner and heading up its Beirut and Paris offices. He later served as chair and CEO of Consolidated Westway Group Inc., the holding company for U.S. subsidiaries of an international trading and agro-industrial group. He is currently chair and CEO of Intracon Associates, a consulting and venture capital company, and is the managing partner of Kile, Goekjian, Reed & McManus in Washington. Goekjian continues to find international business fascinating. “There is no one transaction that is similar to another,” he says. “There is a diversity of parties, cultures, products, and legal systems. Each client has its own unique challenge.”

Eager to share his professional experience, Goekjian is a member of the Maxwell School’s Advisory Board as well as SU’s Board of Trustees. He has made contributions to support faculty and global affairs, including the Goekjian Summer Scholars program, which provides funding for student research abroad. His involvement is an expression of gratitude to the University that welcomed him. “There is satisfaction and pleasure in supporting the University,” Goekjian says. “I’m giving something, but I’m getting something back.”

—Kathleen Haley


Achieving Advertising Excellence

Andrea Fant-Hobbs

Andrea Fant-Hobbs ’82 was the principal architect of The Oprah Winfrey Show’s biggest broadcast event ever: giving away a free Pontiac G6 to every member of the studio audience in fall 2004. As then-vice president account director at Vigilante Advertising in New York City, Fant-Hobbs completed the top-secret mission, working with her team at Vigilante, the Pontiac clients, Vigilante’s partner agency Leo Burnett Detroit, and Oprah’s team to plan the event in one month. “When I am passionate about something, I am comfortable in my ability to create the right idea, get the right people together, get a team functioning, and manage the details big and small to get it done,” she says.

Her passion for such work continues in her role at Verizon, where she was appointed vice president of brand management and media earlier this year, leading the development of Verizon’s new brand advertising campaign. “We are in the midst of transforming our company from a traditional telecommunications company to a broadband and entertainment provider,” Fant-Hobbs says. “This is an exciting time to be with Verizon—and I am in the middle of it and I love it!”

Even as a little girl, Fant-Hobbs had an enthusiasm for advertising. “I used to enjoy entertaining my family by performing commercials,” she says. Her interest in communications and management led her to earn a dual degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Whitman School of Management.

Fant-Hobbs, who lives in South Orange, New Jersey, with her husband, Brad, and 4-year-old daughter Madison, is especially proud of two professional accomplishments. “My greatest career achievement has been to act with honor and integrity in a business that can sometimes be challenging to navigate with these personal values,” she says. In 2005, she won the Cannes Gold Lion—the highest international accolade for marketing and media in the industry. “It must be what winning an Oscar is like,” she says. 

Fant-Hobbs credits her ambition and drive to her first role model, her mother, Annette, who worked her way up the corporate ladder from an entry-level position, and then became an entrepreneur. “This was the best demonstration of what was possible,” Fant-Hobbs says. “She truly led by example, teaching my three sisters and me to challenge ourselves and never be afraid, and that education is one of the keys to success.” Her second role model is her husband. “In business, his strategic partnership is tops,” she says, “and in life, his love and support are the wind beneath my wings.”                                                                 

—Katherine Cantor


Creative Critters Ease Money Jitters

Kevin Wassong and Todd Harrison

When freshman Todd Harrison ’91 introduced himself to sophomore Kevin Wassong ’90 on his first day of class at SU, he knew he had met his first real college friend. What he did not know was that 18 years later their friendship would result in the creation of Minyanville, a fiscal literacy web site that combines financial information with entertainment. After graduating from SU, Harrison began work as a trader at Morgan Stanley in New York City, and Wassong started as an agent trainee at Creative Artists Agency in Hollywood. “Our chosen professions were drastically different,” Harrison says. “But we each found success and climbed the corporate ladders on either side of the country.”

In 2000, while president of Cramer Berkowitz, a New York City hedge fund, Harrison began writing the lead column for, a company that provides financial commentary and news. He created animated characters Hoofy the Bull and Boo the Bear to symbolize the ups and downs of the stock market. “People came to rely on them as a way to easily understand confusing market trends and concepts,” Harrison says. While he was the most widely read columnist on the site, Harrison wasn’t quite ready to abandon his job in finance and concentrate solely on his creation until the events of 9/11 led him to reassess his life. “That really pushed me to expand the characters and the platform,” he says. In October 2002, Harrison established Minyanville Publishing & Media in New York City and launched, a web site that uses animated cartoon characters to help make the world of markets and money understandable. The site features important headlines regarding the financial world, daily stock updates, and profiles of Minyanville’s “professors,” the web site’s staff members.


In March 2005, Wassong, who had been CEO of J. Walter Thompson’s interactive marketing and development group in Manhattan since 1998, joined his old college friend Harrison at Minyanville. Harrison and Wassong came back to SU last spring to discuss Minyanville with Newhouse students. They see the site as a way to create a tighter connection between people and their money. “It’s a platform that demystifies the world of finance,” Wassong says. Minyanville focuses on the sophisticated, active investor, but strives to make matters of finance accessible to people of all ages. “It really has endless possibilities in terms of a fiscal fitness franchise,” Harrison says. “I believe Minyanville will be a franchise that spans the generations from preschool to old school and the ABCs to 401(k)s.”

—Katherine Cantor


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