Syracuse UniversityChancellor

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Are You a "Deer" or a "Bear"?

April 24, 2014

Dear Orange Friends:

I have a question to ask you: When you say “Syracuse,” does the first syllable rhyme with “deer” or with “bear”? I ask because, in three months here, I have heard you say it both ways, and for a newcomer it can be confusing.

I’ve met both “deers” and “bears” everywhere, among those who grew up here, among people from New York City, and even among people from China. Apparently there is no approved way, even for Syracusans, to say Syracuse.

So please, let me know your preference, and why. I will choose one or the other and stick to that from then on.

Kent Syverud
Chancellor Kent Syverud