Fast Forward Syracuse

Dear Orange Friends:

I’ve been saying that we need to get better by aiming high and aiming carefully. I believe that our direction should be inspired and empowered by the insights of all our people, from a shared dialogue about the direction we go in together.

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Improvements

Dear Orange Friends:

I have been visiting dorms these past few weeks. Most nights, after work, I walk through a different (mostly empty) dormitory. I’ve been up on Mount Olympus, at Flint and Day, over beyond the Dome, at Sadler and Lawrinson. I am now working my way through the dorms between Life Sciences and my house, including Ernie Davis, DellPlain, Kimmel, Marion, Haven, Booth and Shaw.

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Chimes

Dear Orange Friends:

Faculty, students, neighbors and our newest trustee, Patricia Mautino, gathered on the lawn around Crouse College one evening last week to listen to the chimes. Up in the bell tower, four student Chimemasters from the Setnor School of Music performed everything from Sibelius to “The Star-Spangled Banner” on a beautiful late spring day while we sat on lawn chairs and blankets and enjoyed the setting sun and the view of the “vale of Onondaga.” Only in Syracuse!

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Changes II

Dear Orange Friends:

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you some changes and new initiatives, and said I was working on additional changes in other areas.

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Beyond the Classroom

Dear Orange Friends:

Our women’s lacrosse team played their hearts out Sunday night against a talented Maryland squad in the national championship game. Maryland won in a close contest played in Maryland. My heart broke seeing the anguish on the faces of some of our players at the end. Thousands of Syracuse fans showed up and stayed throughout the game and the ceremonies that followed, cheering for our students throughout.

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Are You a “Deer” or a “Bear” Part II

Dear Orange Friends:

About 3,000 of you have now emailed me (and texted, called, and talked with me) about the correct pronunciation of “Syracuse.” The messages have come from all over the United States and 15 foreign countries. You are almost evenly divided between “deers” (the first syllable rhymes with “deer”) and bears (the first syllable rhymes with “bear”).

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Changes

Dear Orange Friends:

I want to once again congratulate all of our newest alumni who celebrated their graduation from Syracuse University this past weekend. I also want to thank all of their family and friends who traveled from near and very far to be with them and with us. Yesterday was the happiest and most festive day Ruth and I have experienced at Syracuse, and we look forward to many such days in the future.

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Happiest Day of the Year

Dear Orange Friends:

Not so many years ago, commencement was dying at many American colleges. The ceremonies got longer and longer and had less and less to do with the people graduating. Faculty and graduates stopped going. Many schools got rid of robes and other traditions.

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Late Night

Dear Orange Friends:

One night last week I toured campus and off-campus from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. with our very dedicated Department of Public Safety officers. I was able to see campus life at night through their eyes, riding in their cars and watching them watch out for you. We are all blessed to have experienced professionals who truly care about our students, faculty, and staff.

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Are You a “Deer” or a “Bear”?

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.

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