CBT Celebrity Classic Basketball Game: September 14

Photo: Basketball going through hoopWe are excited to announce the all-new CBT Celebrity Classic Basketball Game. This new Coming Back Together event will feature Orange greats Derrick Coleman ’90, Lazarus Sims ’96, Lawrence Moten ’95, and more. Open to students, alumni, and the Syracuse community, proceeds from the game will benefit the Undergraduate Black-Hispanic Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“When planning CBT 2017 we were exploring ideas for new events that would be fun and unique to our weekend while also raising money for our important scholarship funds,” says Rachel Vassel ’91, assistant vice president, Office of Program Development. “It is our hope that the CBT Celebrity Classic, which fits the bill perfectly, will appeal to people on the Hill and off. We want to see families coming out, cheering on the players, and just having a great time with their friends and neighbors.”

Henninger High School is hosting the CBT Celebrity Classic, which starts at 8 p.m. and runs until 10:30 p.m. The University will provide shuttle service and parking will be available at the school, located at 600 Robinson Street. The minimum donation is $10 and all the money raised goes to student scholarships. You can purchase tickets online and at the door.

Syracuse Parks and Recreation, the Syracuse City School District, and Coming Back Together at Syracuse University sponsor the CBT Celebrity Classic.

University awarded $4M for minority retention in STEM

Photo: STEM grant investigators Tamara Hamilton, Dawn Johnson, Andria Staniec, Michele Wheatly, and Julie White, The National Science Foundation grant will support recruitment, academic success, and persistence of traditionally underrepresented minority students in STEM majors; strengthen the pipeline from community college to four-year study; and develop best practices for better supporting and retaining underrepresented students in STEM fields of study. Read more.

Welcome Adrian Prieto!

Photo: Adrian PrietoAs the director of development, Prieto will work to secure major gifts from black and Latino alumni and increase overall giving among diverse alumni.

The Office of Program Development has appointed Adrian Prieto as its director of development. The appointment, which took effect Monday, June 26, establishes a dedicated gift officer within the office to cultivate and increase giving among the University’s diverse alumni community. Read more.


Bring your flag for the Latino Heritage Parade

Photo: Students marking in the Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month Parade

Bring your family’s national flag and march in the Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month parade during CBT 2017 and stand with our diverse students of color.

In a first for Coming Back Together (CBT), the Office of Program Development (OPD) is proudly partnering with Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, which is set to host Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month (LHHM) from September 15 to October 15. The 12th annual program will feature musical performances, traditional cuisine samplings, dance parties, and compelling speakers. This program provides the campus and local community with a great opportunity to reflect on, learn more about, and experience the richness of Latino American cultures in our society.

The LHHM Committee invites alumni to attend the opening ceremony on September 15, and the OPD team calls on alumni and students celebrating CBT to participate; all are encouraged to bring the flag of their country. The LHHM program starts with a parade on the Einhorn Family Walk at 11 a.m., followed by a celebration gathering in the Schine Student Center’s Panasci Lounge at 11:30 a.m. This event will include the reading of the LHHM Proclamation, details about the month’s history, and a schedule of upcoming programs and student performances, followed by lunch at noon in 304 Schine Student Center.

“As a co-chair of this month-long celebration, along with Marissa Willingham in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, I am thrilled that CBT 2017 falls at the beginning of Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month,” says Angela Morales Patterson, assistant director. “The timing of this could not have been better. This is a great chance for our diverse alumni returning to campus for reunion to see the spirit of our Latino and Hispanic students and to share a common experience with them that we hope lasts well past this one weekend.”

The celebratory month honors Spanish, Latino American, and Afro-Latino cultures in the United States. September 15 commemorates the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively.

LHHM is one of four celebratory months coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Upcoming heritage months include Native Heritage Month (November), Black History Month (February), and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (April).

A printed calendar of events will be available in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 105 Schine Student Center, in September. For more information, visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs website, or contact Willingham at 315.443.9676 or mlwill07@syr.edu.

Generation Orange pre-CBT reception

Photo: Generation Orange alumni at a pre-CBT receptionYoung alumni celebrated with a pre-CBT happy hour in NYC on June 15.

Millennial and Gen Z alumni make up Generation Orange, alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years. The purpose of the reception was to introduce alumni to CBT to generate excitement for the event.

Alumni ambassadors Tony Martinez ’89, Max Patino ’98, Oladotun Idowu ’14, and Ingrid Martinez ’15 volunteered to plan the event. “Working on the planning team was an incredible experience for me, especially because these were my classmates,” says Idowu. “The event gave us a taste of what CBT will be like, and it will be even more fun spending CBT weekend together. As SU alumni, we have a special connection and I knew I had to register right away.”

Two hundred guests gathered at Mosafer, a travel store on West 57th Street. Hennesey sponsored the event and a crowd packed the floor to dance to the sound of DJs Shy Guy and Strikah.

“Watching young alumni connect reminded me of my days at SU in the late 80s,” says Martinez. “I was glad to be able to open the store for an event that will encourage CBT attendance among Generation Orange. We need young alumni to be there to keep the legacy going.”

View the photo album and be sure to register for CBT today!

SU Track and Field star Justyn Knight ’18 sets 2017 5K record

Photo: Justyn Knight ’18Justyn Knight ’18 ran the world’s fastest 5K of 2017 at the Payton Jordan Invitational on May 5.

In a meet filled with professionals and some of the world’s best distance runners, it was Syracuse junior Justyn Knight who stole the show, posting the world’s best time of 2017 in the 5,000 meters and coming away with the win at the Payton Jordan Invitational.

Then in June, Knight picked up his third top-three finish at an NCAA championship event this season. Read more.

Barry L. Wells honored by Vera House

Photo: Barry L. WellsBarry L. Wells was honored by Vera House for his commitment to domestic and sexual violence prevention and advocacy.

Barry L. Wells, special assistant to Chancellor Kent Syverud, was presented the 2017 Sister Mary Vera Award at Vera House’s annual summer luncheon. The award recognizes an individual who enriches the lives of all people, makes significant contributions to those affected by domestic and sexual violence, and performs this work with the humility, gentleness, and humanitarian spirit reflected by Sister Mary Vera. Read more.

Omega Fund established by Derrick Hostler ’85, Michael Blackshear ’91

Photo: Alumni at the Omega Psi Phi monument on the Orange GroveThe Omega Psi Phi fraternity launches campaign to create Our Time Has Come scholarship fund.

We are pleased to announce the Kappa Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in support of the Office of Program Development’s Our Time Has Come (OTHC) scholarship fund. Dedicated to providing financial support for African American and Latino students pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees, 50 OTHC scholarships were awarded in the 2016-17 academic year.

Omega brothers Derrick Hostler ’85 and Michael Blackshear ’91 are spearheading the effort for the fraternity, which was the first black organization to set up on the Syracuse University campus. Hostler, who has made personal contributions to OTHC over the years, says the second cardinal principle of Omega Psi Phi is scholarship, so it should not come as a surprise that members have decided to support students of color at SU.

Photo: Derrick Hostler ’85
Derrick Hostler ’85
Photo: Michael Blackshear ’91
Michael Blackshear ’91

“Since the last CBT the brothers of Omega Psi Phi have been discussing a group effort,” says Hostler. “I was fortunate enough to have a family that supported my efforts, have access to student loans, and the contacts to secure paid internships that helped to bridge any gap in funds I faced from year to year. It is clear to me that everyone will not be as fortunate, and I am committed to doing my small part to help those who have the drive to succeed, but perhaps need a little financial support along the way.”

The addition of the scholarship by Omega Psi Phi would bring the total to 28 scholarships supporting black and Latino students. Rachel Vassel ’91, assistant vice president of the Office of Program Development, has been helping Hostler and Blackshear navigate the process of establishing the fund.

“I was so excited to help Derrick and Michael when they approached me with the idea to establish the scholarship fund,” says Vassel. “Both of these Omega brothers are successful, engaged, and passionate about paying it forward by giving back to our African American and Latino alumni.”

Vassel points out that OTHC scholarships have created opportunities for Syracuse University’s African American and Latino students since 1987. “The need for financial support continues to grow, however,” she says. “We will be able to support even more students when this new fund is established.”

While Hostler hopes the fund will continue to grow and that more students’ lives can be positively impacted over the coming years, he has a bit more in mind. “I also hope the fund opens a bridge from those students to the alumni who contribute to the fund, so there can be a dialogue between those who are going through the SU educational experience and those who’ve completed the journey.”

To help Omega Psi Phi reach its goal, visit the Program Development giving page and look for the “Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Calling all recruiters!

Photo: a handshakeWe are seeking recruiters for the CBT 2017 job fair on September 14!

The average job search in 2017 takes longer than in years past. In an effort to make the search a bit less stressful for our black and Latino students and alumni, our office is launching the first CBT job fair.

“We have added this event to our CBT 2017 programming schedule because we have heard from both alumni and current students that they need and welcome support in their job hunt,” says Office of Program Development Assistant Vice President Rachel Vassel ’91. “We are bringing recruiters to campus who bring job opportunities with them that both students and alumni can apply for.”

Visit the event page for more details and register today.

If you or your company have any further questions, please contact Jenna Turman at jlturman@syr.edu.