None of the major building projects or endowed scholarships at Syracuse would be possible without sizable gifts from our alumni and friends. Those whose extraordinary support is at the highest levels are honored as members of the Chancellor's Councilmore than 300 people whose lifetime giving, either individually or as couples, exceeds $100,000. Of those, more than 20 couples or individuals, known as Gold members, have given more than $1 million. (Silver members have given more than $500,000.)
Such donors are some of the best spokespeople for the University; engaged in the University's affairs and devoted to its programs and students, they demonstrate with very notable gifts the kind of commitment any alumnus might feel and act on. While the giving of some Chancellor's Council members is widely known, the University aims to increase the public recognition and thanks accorded these donors.
"I hold the members of the Chancellor's Council in the highest regard," says Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. "Their support represents a profound degree of investment in this place and our faculty and students. I feel a very personal sense of gratitude to these friends."
Richard Dulude, a 1954 engineering graduate and retired senior executive for Corning Incorporated, says attaining the Chancellor's Council level was a gradual process. "I became involved with the College of Engineering and Computer Science advisory board, I started giving on an annual basis, and I was invited to be a trustee. One thing just led to another," says Dulude, who serves on the budget committee for the SUBoard of Trustees.
During the last campaign, Dulude endowed an engineering scholarship. For this campaign, he increased his commitment to the scholarship. "I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to attend SU," says Dulude. "So my major motivation in giving is to help others attend."
Civic leader Renee Schine Crown, a 1950 graduate of The College of Arts and Sciences, has supported a number of Chicago-based organizations through the years as well as her alma mater. "I'm not interested in Syracuse being the biggest university in the country, just one of the best," says the trustee. A member of the search committee that hired Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw, Crown believes Shaw has "surpassed our expectations and lived up to his promises. We are today fiscally responsible, and not satisfied with anything less than the highest quality."
A Chancellor's Council plaque: one sign of the University's appreciation. This plaque belonged to the late Ruth Freeman Meyer, who established SU's largest scholarship fund and whose bequest was the University's largest gift from an individual.
Crown's first major commitment to Syracuse was providing the naming gift in 1985 for the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. "A student center was long overdue," she says, "and the gift was a way to acknowledge my wonderful parents. The building is alive and full of young people, a place of great use and great meaning."
The construction of Melvin A. Eggers Hall next drew Crown's support. "I always admired his vision and energy."
Attentive to the University's needs, Crown made her most recent gift to the dean's fund at The College of Arts and Sciences. "Dean Jensen is doing a wonderful job, but the college has experienced belt-tightening," Crown says. "This will enable him to go to his wish list and enrich the lives of students where it might not have been possible before."
Although Chancellor's Council recognition gives the University a way to honor its most significant donors, both Crown and Dulude seem to find the greatest satisfaction in supporting a place they love, where they know the money will be wisely channeled.
Dulude was recently surprised by a comment from an accountant doing his taxes. "She noticed I'd given to the University, and she had attended Syracuse on a scholarship," says Dulude. "She was kind enough to say thank you. I was glad to be able to tell her that our University is doing exceptionally well."