Dear Orange Friends:

In June, Ruth and I spent two days on a quiet visit to Lockerbie, Scotland. Thanks to the good counsel of Judy O’Rourke and Professor Larry Mason, we were able to learn about and pay respect to the people affected by the terror attack on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

We benefited from great kindness of folks in Lockerbie, including the family of Fergus Barrie ’15, a former Lockerbie Scholar who is now a graduate student in Falk College, and the headmaster of Lockerbie Academy, Brian Asher, who is deeply committed to continuing the tradition of sending Lockerbie Scholars to Syracuse University. Lockerbie is a place and a people of remarkable decency and grace.

On a rainy day, we visited with people in the town and saw the places where so many from the plane and the town died, including 35 Syracuse University students returning from study abroad. We also visited Dryfesdale Cemetery and Tundergarth Church, where hundreds from our Syracuse family have visited and signed a remembrance book in a beautiful small visitor’s room erected there. Our guide all day was Colin Dorrance, who was a brand new police constable on duty in Lockerbie that fateful night. Colin’s son will start at Syracuse University next month as a Lockerbie Scholar.

I think Ruth and I now understand much better what happened in 1988 and why what has happened since, between Lockerbie and Syracuse, is so special. We look forward to engaging with Remembrance Scholars and Lockerbie Scholars—and with our friends across Lockerbie—in the years ahead, as our whole University recommits to collectively looking back and acting forward in the positive memory of those who were lost.


Kent Syverud

Chancellor Kent Syverud