Alumni Speak Out

In Their Own Words

Here, in video and in the written word, some of our alumni share their thoughts about SU and why they choose to support Syracuse University.

“SU helped send me on my way in life. Now that I have the means, I want to help so others can also find their way.”

— Richard Stein ’65

“SU has been an important part of my life. I met my wife at SU and two of our children attended and graduated from SU. I am the founder and president of our company (Fore Kicks Inc.) thanks in part to the education I received at SU.”

— Tom Teager ’73

“SU shaped me into a well-rounded leader who is able to leverage his passions in his career. If it had not been for all the great opportunities my experience at SU provided me, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

— Brian Spendley ’09

“Syracuse University Boston made a compelling argument on the need for expanding resources in response to growth at SU.”

— Edmund Harvey ’97

“I value the education I got, and use what I learned from my SU experience every day!”

— Tracy Baumgardner ’87

“SU has the ability—given the increasing selectivity of incoming classes, the strength of the University’s administration, and its strong alumni base—to continue to advance more of its programs into the very top tier of all national universities. We hope our contributions can help continue these trends.”

— Ken Finkelstein ’84

“Syracuse University provided a solid foundation for my professional development. In the School of Architecture, I developed my understanding of design, and through leadership roles at SU, I gained skills in management, team dynamics, and negotiation.”

— Oswaldo Ortega ’05

“I believe in giving to Syracuse because they gave so much to me.”

— Miguel Sapp ’82, L’88, G’89

“I am 81 years old…my beginning was at Syracuse with a full four-year scholarship in the arts. I would not have ever had the means to go to college were it not for Syracuse’s scholarship.”

— Aldo Tambellini ’54

“Syracuse University provided me with the foundation, confidence, and springboard for a successful career and lifelong friendships, most particularly, with my wife.”

— Mark Ryan ’75

“I had a wonderful experience at Syracuse University and I want to provide support to SU so others are able to have the same great experience.”

— Lindsey Gil ’07

“Syracuse University offered me many work and tuition opportunities so I could earn my master’s degree.”

— Rita Campanella ’67

“I owe my professional accomplishments to the education I received at Syracuse. I had a wonderful four years there.”

— Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon ’74

“It’s a great school.”

— C. True-Frost G’01, L’01

“I am very thankful for the wonderful education I received at SU, and for the common bond I share with others. My time on the Hill shaped who I am today and I am tremendously proud to be an SU alum.”

— Lawrence Merrill ’87

“I had four great years at SU and made lifelong friends. I want to help students experience what I did.”

— Howard Sholkin ’72

“My time at Syracuse is the cornerstone of who I am today. The educational experience has helped me build a successful, rewarding career, while the friendships I made have stood the test of time. Most important, I met my husband at SU and together we have introduced our children to a place that has great meaning to us. We continue to visit campus annually and are impressed by how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same.”

— Kelly Comfort Sheridan ’92

“I would not have my current career success without the experience I gained at Newhouse.”

— Len Mead ’96

“Through my SU experience, I learned about being part of an active community and about pride. I learned to try new things, meet new people, and pursue many different opportunities to find my place, whether it was the Newhouse School, the residence halls, WAER, working in the cafeteria, or being part of the Sour Sitrus Society. Speaking from personal experience, there is no better place than SU to learn about yourself, learn about life, grow up, and pursue academic excellence. Whether you call it giving back or investing in the future, we owe to it to future students to provide those opportunities.”

— Gerri Slater ’78

“Our son has received a quality education at Syracuse University, along with generous financial aid.”

— Eric Andrew ’87

“Attending SU is the most important thing I have done. It put me on the path that I am on today. Without my SU experience, I know there is no chance I would be the person I am today or achieved what I have in my career.”

— Joe Bator ’93

“We might be 300 miles from SU, but it is part of our growing up and part of our genome. Together, we can demonstrate that Boston loves Syracuse, and be a material force in The Campaign for Syracuse University.”

— Mike Thonis ’72

“I came to LA three weeks after graduation. I was armed with the name of a Newhouse alum who helped me find a job on a feature film, and I have been working ever since. I have been here 26 years and am now a VP in legal affairs at Warner Bros. Television. Thank you, SU.”

— Nannette Diacovo ’85

“Without Syracuse’s education (and its alumni), I wouldn’t be where I currently am in my career. I also wouldn’t have had the best four years of my life!”

— Audrey Chen ’09

“I believe it’s important for everyone to support their colleges and universities. This is particularly true today, when the private sector needs to provide an ever-increasing share of higher-education costs. I like the idea of giving back so others can have the same opportunities I was provided.”

— Doug Frye L’74

“Other alums should join the effort so that we can keep the good name of Syracuse alive. Our diplomas are only as valuable as the school that is giving them out. I want to see VPA keep churning out great talent–and to help do so I think we all can give a little.”

— Jason Mesches ’08