Philanthropy Week Celebration Starts Monday

March 20, 2015

Philanthropy Week photo
On Monday, March 23, Syracuse University begins its annual Philanthropy Week celebration, a series of events to raise awareness about the critical role philanthropy plays at the University—and in society as a whole. This year is particularly special, since National Orange Day—the anniversary of Syracuse’s founding—is March 24 and will be an integral part of the festivities. Alumni clubs in cities across the country are planning community service projects to share their Orange pride and giving spirit.

“This is the perfect week to celebrate, because this campus wouldn’t be such an amazing place if not for the generosity of all those who support SU,” says Ashlee Newman ’15, a political science and policy studies major and member of Syracuse’s Student Philanthropy Council. “Philanthropy Week is about thanking these wonderful donors and encouraging students to consider leaving their own legacy. Our council wants all students to know that, together, we can make a lasting impact for the next generation of SU students.”

Members of the Student Philanthropy Council, an organization created in 2010, serve as hosts for the week. These student ambassadors represent various academic majors and class years, all sharing a commitment of giving back to SU and helping to build a culture of philanthropy on campus.

The tuition and fees that students pay cover only about 80 percent of the cost of running the University. Philanthropy Week is held annually—approximately 80 percent of the way through the school year—to symbolize the time when tuition “runs out.” Philanthropy and other income cover SU’s operating expenses for the remainder of the academic year.

“Philanthropy Week showcases the giving spirit Syracuse has always had and brings it into the spotlight—from thanking all our generous donors to Class Act Day, which promotes our senior class giving campaign,” says Hailey Temple, a senior majoring in public relations and information management and technology, and a representative of the Class of 2015 Giving Committee. “We’re showing students that there are countless ways to give back, and gifts of all types and sizes can make a difference.”

Much of the credit for Philanthropy Week is due to Howie Phanstiel ’70, G’71 and his wife, Louise, who established the Phanstiel Scholars program in 2010. The program provides scholarships for middle-class students to attend SU and fosters a spirit of philanthropy among recipients. The class of 2015 represents the first graduating class of Phanstiel Scholars—all required to pay forward their time, money and talent to make the world a better place. In addition to excelling academically, Phanstiel Scholars constantly promote philanthropy and altruism on campus.

Howie Phanstiel, a graduate of The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and Louise Phanstiel gave $20 million to create the Phanstiel Scholars program. In addition, they’ve given $5 million to the Maxwell School to create the Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership, which serves their vision for promoting outstanding leadership in the public sector. The Phanstiels also made a gift of $1.2 million to help finance the building of the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center.

Todd Rubin ’04

Todd Rubin ’04

Another component of the Phanstiel Scholars program is the Phanstiel Lecture. This year’s lecture will be given by Todd Rubin ’04, the man who, through his generosity and a gift from the Rubin Family Foundation, established the Rubin Global Design Studio in the School of Architecture. Rubin will talk about how the program—which combines classroom learning with a week-long immersion trip abroad—has impacted its students, and why he believes giving is so important.

The annual Orange Circle Awards will be presented immediately following the lecture to recognize altruistic members of the Syracuse University community who have done extraordinary things in service to others. This year’s Orange Circle recipients are Ruth Schlesinger Sherman ’73, chair of the Friends of Leadership and Public Service High School, and the founders of Style Lottery, Timi Komonibo G’15 with Nieves Alvarez G’14 and Alexis Morris G’15.

Philanthropy Week Campus Schedule

Monday, March 23

Thank-A Donor Day. Thank SU donors for their generosity by tweeting #suthanks or adding your good wishes online at the Thank-A-Donor Day page, Handwritten thank yous are also encouraged; stop by our Thank-a-Donor table in the Schine Student Center between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to craft a personal note.

Tuesday, March 24

National Orange Day. Celebrate SU’s founding in 1870 with the entire Syracuse family! Show your Orange pride by participating in a host of community service projects, on campus and in cities across the country. Or get inspired with some fresh ideas from students, when the winners of the second Fast Forward Student Competition present their projects live at Bird Library, from 2-3:30 p.m.

This year marks another milestone—the 25th birthday of our lovable mascot, Otto! Tweet your birthday wishes using #celebratesu, and come to the Schine atrium between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a piece of cake.

Class Act Cord

The Class Act Cord

Wednesday, March 25

Class Act Day. If you’re a senior at SU, this is your chance to leave your legacy. Look for our tables around campus between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and support the part of SU you love most by making your gift to the Class of 2015 Giving campaign. Then stop by the Schine atrium and add your name to our giving tree.

New! The Class Act Cord. For the first time, seniors who support senior class giving will be recognized for their generosity at Commencement! Class Act donors who give $20.15 will receive a special orange, white and silver cord to wear with their caps and gowns.

Won’t be around on March 25? Make your gift online!

Thursday, March 26

Phanstiel Lecture and Orange Circle Awards, 4 p.m., Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. A reception will follow at 5:30 p.m. R.S.V.P. to

The Orange Circle Awards will be presented immediately after Rubin’s lecture.

For more information on Philanthropy Week and the full event schedule, visit