Syracuse University

Syracuse University (Syracuse, 'Cuse, or SU[8]) is a private research university in Syracuse, New York. The institution's roots can be traced to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded in 1831 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lima, New York. After several years of debate over relocating the college to Syracuse, the university was established in 1870, independent of the college. Since 1920, the university has identified itself as nonsectarian,[9][10][11][12] although it maintains a relationship with The United Methodist Church.[13][14][15][16][17]

Syracuse University
MottoSuos Cultores Scientia Coronat (Latin)
Motto in English
Knowledge crowns those who seek her
TypePrivate research university
Academic affiliations
Endowment$1.33 Billion[2]
Budget$1.5 Billion (2019)[3]
ChancellorKent Syverud
ProvostMichele G. Wheatly
Academic staff
Students22,850 (2019)[5]
Undergraduates15,275 (2019)[5]
Postgraduates7,575 (2019)[5]
Location, ,
United States

43.0376°N 76.1340°W / 43.0376; -76.1340
CampusUrban, 683 acres (276.4 ha)[6]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I
MascotOtto the Orange

The campus is in the University Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, east and southeast of downtown, on one of the larger hills. Its large campus features an eclectic mix of buildings, ranging from nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival structures to contemporary buildings. SU is organized into 13 schools and colleges, with nationally recognized programs in information studies and library science, architecture, communications, business administration, inclusive education and wellness, sport management, public administration, engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Syracuse University athletic teams, known as the Orange, participate in 20 intercollegiate sports. SU is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, or ACC for all NCAA Division I athletics,[18] except for the men's rowing and women's ice hockey teams.[19][20] SU is also a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference.[21]



The Genesee Wesleyan Seminary was founded in 1831 by the Genesee Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Lima, New York, south of Rochester.[22] In 1850, it was resolved to enlarge the institution from a seminary into a college, or to connect a college with the seminary, becoming Genesee College. However, the location was soon thought by many to be insufficiently central. Its difficulties were compounded by the next set of technological changes: the railroad that displaced the Erie Canal as the region's economic engine bypassed Lima completely. The trustees of the struggling college then decided to seek a locale whose economic and transportation advantages could provide a better base of support.

The college began looking for a new home at the same time Syracuse, ninety miles to the east, was engaged in a search to bring a university to the city, having failed to convince Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White to locate Cornell University there rather than in Ithaca.[27][28] Syracuse resident White pressed that the new university should locate on the hill in Syracuse (the current location of Syracuse University) due to the city's attractive transportation hub, which would ease the recruitment of faculty, students, and other persons of note. However, as a young carpenter working in Syracuse, Cornell had been twice robbed of his wages,[29][30] and thereafter considered Syracuse a Sodom and Gomorrah, insisting the university be in Ithaca on his large farm on East Hill, overlooking the town and Cayuga Lake.

Meanwhile, there were several years of dispute between the Methodist ministers, Lima, and contending cities across the state, over proposals to move Genesee College to Syracuse. At the time, the ministers wanted a share of the funds from the Morrill Land Grant Act for Genesee College. They agreed to a quid pro quo donation of $25,000 from Senator Cornell in exchange for their (Methodist) support for his bill. Cornell insisted the bargain be written into the bill and Cornell became New York State's Land Grant University in 1865. In 1869, Genesee College obtained New York State approval to move to Syracuse, but Lima got a court injunction to block the move, and Genesee stayed in Lima until it was dissolved in 1875.[31] By that time, however, the court injunction had been made moot by the founding of a new university on March 24, 1870. On that date the State of New York granted the new Syracuse University its own charter, independent of Genesee College.[31] The City of Syracuse had offered $100,000 to establish the school.[31] Bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck had donated $25,000 to the proposed school[32] and was elected the first president of the Board of Trustees.[28]

Rev. Daniel Steele, a former Genesee College president, served as the first administrative leader of Syracuse until its chancellor was appointed.[33] The university opened in September 1871 in rented space downtown.[31] George F. Comstock, a member of the new university's board of trustees, had offered the school 50 acres (200,000 m2) of farmland on a hillside to the southeast of the city center. Comstock intended Syracuse University and the hill to develop as an integrated whole; a contemporary account described the latter as "a beautiful town ... springing up on the hillside and a community of refined and cultivated membership ... established near the spot which will soon be the center of a great and beneficent educational institution."[34]

The university was founded as coeducational. President Peck stated at the opening ceremonies, "The conditions of admission shall be equal to all persons... there shall be no invidious discrimination here against woman.... brains and heart shall have a fair chance... "[35] Syracuse implemented this policy with a high proportion of women students. In the College of Liberal Arts, the ratio between male and female students during the 19th century was approximately even. The College of Fine Arts was predominantly female, and a low ratio of women enrolled in the College of Medicine and the College of Law.[35] Men and women were taught together in the same courses, and many extra-curricular activities were coeducational as well. Syracuse also developed "women-only" organizations and clubs.[35]


Coeducation at Syracuse traced its roots to the early days of Genesee College where educators and students like Frances Willard and Belva Lockwood were heavily influenced by the Women's movement in nearby Seneca Falls, NY. However, the progressive "co-ed" policies practiced at Genesee would soon find controversy at the new university in Syracuse.[28] Colleges and universities admitted few women students in the 1870s. Administrators and faculty argued women had inferior minds and could not master mathematics and the classics. Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, Syracuse University chancellor and former president of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University, maintained that women should receive the advantages of higher education. He enrolled his daughter, Frances, at Syracuse where she joined the other newly admitted female students in founding the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.[28] The inclusion of women in the early days of the university led to the proliferation of various women's clubs and societies. In fact, it was a Syracuse professor who coined the term "sorority" specifically for Gamma Phi Beta.

In the late 1880s the university engaged in a rapid building spree. Holden Observatory[36] (1887) was followed by two Romanesque Revival buildings – von Ranke Library (1889), now Tolley Humanities Building,[37] and Crouse College (1889).[38] Together with the Hall of Languages, these first buildings formed the basis for the "Old Row," a grouping which, along with its companion Lawn, established one of Syracuse's most enduring images.[34] The emphatically linear organization of these buildings along the brow of the hill follows a tradition of American campus planning which dates to the construction of the "Yale Row" in the 1790s. At Syracuse, "The Old Row" continued to provide the framework for growth well into the twentieth century.[34]

From its founding until through early 1920s, the university grew rapidly. It offered programs in the physical sciences and modern languages, and in 1873, Syracuse added one of the first architecture programs in the U.S.[39] In 1874, Syracuse created the nation's first bachelor of fine arts degree,[40] and in 1876, the school offered its first post-graduate courses in the College of Arts and Sciences.[39] SU created its first doctoral program in 1911.[41] In 1919, Syracuse added its business school which contains multiple MBA programs.[42] SU's school of journalism, now the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, was established at Syracuse in 1934.[43]

The growth of Syracuse University from a small liberal arts college into a major comprehensive university were due to the efforts of two men, Chancellor James Day and John D. Archbold. James Roscoe Day was serving the Calvary Church in New York City where he befriended Archbold. Together, the two dynamic figures would oversee the first of two great periods of campus renewal in Syracuse's history.[28]

John Dustin Archbold was a capitalist, philanthropist, and President of the Board of Trustees at Syracuse University. He was known as John D. Rockefeller's right-hand man and successor at the Standard Oil Company. He was a close friend of Syracuse University Chancellor James R. Day, and gave almost $6 million to the university over his lifetime.[28] Said a journalist in 1917:

Mr. Archbold's ... is the president of the board of trustees of Syracuse University, an institution which has prospered so remarkably since his connection with it that its student roll has increased from hundreds to over 4,000, including 1,500 young women, placing it in the ranks of the foremost institutions of learning in the United States.[44]

In 1905 Rev. Dr. James D. Phelps secured a donation of $150,000 from Andrew Carnegie for a new university library provided the University raised an equal sum as an endowment for the library. The University raised the required endowment in little over a month with the largest share being contributed by John D. Archbold. On September 11, 1907 the transfer of the Von Ranke collection from the old library building marking the opening of the new Carnegie library with a collection of over 71,000 volumes.[25]

In addition to keeping the university financially solvent during its early years, John D. Archbold also contributed funds for eight buildings, including the full cost of Archbold Stadium (opened 1907, demolished 1978), Sims Hall[45] (men's dormitory, 1907), the Archbold Gymnasium (1909, nearly destroyed by fire in 1947, but still in use), and the oval athletic field.


After World War II, Syracuse University began to transform into a major research institution. Enrollment increased in the four years after the war due to the G.I. Bill, which paid tuition, room, board, and a small allowance for veterans returning from World War II. In 1946, SU admitted 9,464 freshmen, nearly four times greater than the previous incoming class.[43] Branch campuses were established in Endicott, New York, and Utica, New York, which became Binghamton University and Utica College respectfully.

The velocity with which the university sped through its change into a major research institution was astounding. By the end of the 1950s, Syracuse ranked twelfth nationally in terms of the amount of its sponsored research, and it had over four hundred professors and graduate students engaging in that investigation.[39]

From the early 1950s through the 1960s, Syracuse University added programs and staff that continued the transformation of the school into a research university. In 1954, Arthur Phillips was recruited from MIT and started the first pathogen-free animal research laboratory. The lab focused on studying medical problems using animal models. The School of Social Work, which eventually merged into the College of Human Ecology, was founded in 1956.[46] Syracuse's College of Engineering also founded the nation's second oldest computer engineering and bioengineering programs. In 1962, Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr. donated $15 million to begin construction of a school of communications, eventually known as the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications. In 1966, Syracuse University was admitted to the Association of American Universities, an organization of leading research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education.[47]

Schools and colleges of Syracuse University (date of founding)
Undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences
University College
College of Visual and Performing Arts
School of Architecture
School of Information Studies
College of Engineering and Computer Science
School of Education
Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamic
Martin J. Whitman School of Management
S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Graduate College of Law
Graduate School
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

1988 crash of Pan Am Flight 103

On December 21, 1988, 35 Syracuse University students were killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The students were returning from a study-abroad program in Europe. That evening, Syracuse University went on with a basketball game just hours after the attack, for which the university was severely criticized and the university's chancellor subsequently apologized.[48][49] The bombing of Flight 103 was the deadliest terrorist attack against the United States prior to the attacks on September 11, 2001.[50][51]

In April 1990, Syracuse University dedicated a memorial wall to the students killed on Flight 103, constructed at the entrance to the main campus in front of the Hall of Languages. Every year the university holds "Remembrance Week" during the fall semester to commemorate the students. The university also maintains a link to the tragedy with the "Remembrance Scholars" program, when 35 senior students receive scholarships during their final year at the university. With the "Lockerbie Scholars" program, two graduating students from Lockerbie Academy study at Syracuse for one year.[52]


Facilitated communication controversy

As of 2018, the university had supported the discredited pseudoscientific practice of facilitated communication for nearly 30 years. The university's Institute on Communication and Inclusion (formerly called, the "Facilitated Communication Institute"), has offered workshops with the intent of "giving a voice and a means to communicate to people with disabilities".[53] However, in a 2016 article, the editorial board of the university newspaper The Daily Orange, condemned the university's support for this practice. "It is inexcusable and equal-parts embarrassing for Syracuse University as a research institution to stand behind facilitated communication (FC) despite it being a potentially life-destroying practice that has been empirically debunked."[54]

Other controversies

In 2018, the university's Theta Tau fraternity was expelled after a video showing an initiation ritual featuring racist, anti-Semitic, ableist, and homophobic language.[55][56]

In 2019, over ten instances of racist graffiti, swastikas, and other bigoted language were found around campus.[57] That same week, the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity was suspended after the university determined that four of its members yelled a racial epithet at a black student on campus.[58] Days later, a white supremacist manifesto was allegedly sent to several students studying in the library using Apple's AirDrop service and was also posted on a website about Greek Life at Syracuse University—the same manifesto that had been cited prior to the Christchurch mosque shootings.[59][60] The Syracuse Police Department or the university's Department of Public Safety could not verify these claims and to date have not been able to find devices that received such a manifesto.[61][62] In response, Syracuse University denied that there was any "credible threat", and the chancellor in his address to the senate said that the alleged circulation of the manifesto "was probably a hoax".[63] However, Syracuse University and chancellor Kent Syverud have faced criticism for their handling of the situation.[64]


The university is set on a campus that features an eclectic mix of buildings, ranging from nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival structures to contemporary buildings designed by renowned architects such as I.M. Pei. The center of campus, with its grass quadrangle, landscaped walkways, and outdoor sculptures, offers students the amenities of a traditional college experience. The university overlooks downtown Syracuse, a medium-sized city (140,600 residents in 2008).[66] The school also owns a Sheraton Hotel,[67] the Drumlins Country Club – a nearby, 36-hole golf course,[68] the Fisher Center and Joseph I. Lubin House in New York City,[69] the Paul Greenberg House in Washington, D.C.,[70] and the Minnowbrook Conference Center, a 28-acre (121,000 m2) retreat in the Adirondack mountains of Upstate New York.[71]

Main campus

Also called "North Campus," the Main Campus contains nearly all academic buildings and residence halls. Its centerpiece is The Kenneth A. Shaw Quadrangle, more affectionately known as "The Quad",[72] which is surrounded by academic and administrative buildings, including Hendricks Chapel.[73] The North Campus represents a large portion of the University Hill neighborhood. Buses run to South Campus, as well as downtown Syracuse and other locations in the city.[74] About 70 percent of students live in university housing. First- and second-year students are required to live on campus. All 22 residence halls are coeducational and each contain a lounge, laundry facility, and various social/study spaces. Residence halls are secured with a card access system. Residence halls are located on both Main Campus and South Campus, the latter of which is a five-minute ride via bus. Learning communities and interest housing options are also available. Food facilities include six residential dining centers, two food courts, and several cafes.

The Comstock Tract Buildings, a historic district of older buildings on the campus, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[75] Three buildings on campus—the Crouse Memorial College and the Hall of Languages, and the Pi Chapter House of Psi Upsilon Fraternity—are individually listed on the National Register.[76]

A few blocks walk from Main Campus on East Genesee St, the Syracuse Stage building includes two proscenium theatres. The Storch is used primarily by the Drama Department and the Archbold is used primarily by Syracuse Stage, a professional regional theatre.

South campus

After World War II, a large, undeveloped hill owned by the university was used to house returning veterans in military-style campus housing. During the 1970s, this housing was replaced by permanent two-level townhouses for two or three students each, or for graduate family housing. There are also three small residence halls which feature open doubles. South Campus is also home to the Institute for Sensory Research, Tennity Ice Pavilion, Goldstein Student Center, Skytop Office Building and 621 Skytop Road (for administration), and the InnComplete Pub, a graduate student bar. Just north is the headquarters of SU Athletics, Manley Field House, located in the Manley Athletics Complex. Approximately 2,500 students live on the South Campus, which is connected to the main campus by frequent bus service.


In December 2004, the university announced that it had purchased or leased twelve buildings in downtown Syracuse. Five design programs—Communication, Advertising, Environmental and Interior Design, Industrial and Interactive Design, and Fashion—reside permanently in the newly renovated facilities, fittingly called The Warehouse, which was renovated by Gluckman Mayner Architects. Both programs were chosen to be located in the downtown area because of their history of working on projects directly with the community. The Warehouse also houses a contemporary art space that commissions, exhibits, and promotes the work of local and international artists in a variety of media. Hundreds of students and faculty have also been affected by the temporary move of the School of Architecture downtown for the $12 million renovation of its campus facility, Slocum Hall.

Since 2009, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, led by Syracuse University in partnership with Clarkson University and the College Environmental Science and Forestry, creates innovations in environmental and energy technologies that improve human health and productivity, security, and sustainability in urban and built environments.[77][78] The Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company and the Community Folk Art Center will also be located downtown. On March 31, 2006, the university and the city announced an initiative to connect the main campus of the university with the arts and culture areas of downtown Syracuse and The Warehouse.[79] Using natural gas, the Green Data Center generates its own electricity on site, providing cooling for servers and for a neighboring building.[80]

The Connective Corridor project, supported by of public and private funds, will be a strip of cultural development that will connect the main campus of the university to downtown Syracuse, NY. In 2008, an engineering firm is studying traffic patterns and lighting to commence the project. A design competition was held to determine the best design for the project.[81]

Metropolitan satellite locations

SU has established an admissions presence in Los Angeles, California, that will enhance the university's visibility on the West Coast and will join the university's West Coast offices of alumni relations, institutional advancement, and the LA semester program in the same location. Syracuse University has also established an admissions presence in New York City, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts.[82]

Art on campus and permanent collections

Syracuse is home to the SU Art Galleries,[83] whose mission is to enhance the cultural environment of its community and surrounding area. The main gallery space is located in the Shaffer Art Building on the main campus.

The Warehouse Gallery[84] is a new contemporary art space exhibiting that is operated under the umbrella of the SU Art Galleries. Housed in a former furniture warehouse off campus, the Warehouse Gallery features works from international artists in a variety of media. Its mission is to engage the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our times.

Also on campus is the Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery.[85] Located on the second floor of the Lubin House, the Palitz gallery has a rotation of exhibitions, including two annual public shows, local and regional artists, featured items from the university's art collection, and professional artists.

There are many other venues for student work at Syracuse University. In the Shaffer Art Building is the Lowe Art Gallery,[86] which features student work. Gallery spaces are also available for reservation on the fourth floor of the Bird Library.[87]

Within the Schine Student Center is home to three gallery spaces.[88] The Robert B Menschel Photography Gallery features work from professional photographers as well as students and local artists. On the third floor is the Panasci Lounge Art Hanging space for two dimensional spaces. This space can be reserved by students. The White Cube Gallery, also on the third floor is a student gallery that showcases work for the student body outside of the school of art and design.

Students can also research primary sources through the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)[89] which is composed of rare books, manuscripts, works of architecture and design, and popular culture (cartoons, science fiction, and pulp literature), photography, the history of recorded sound, and more.

SU has a permanent art collection of over 45,000 objects from artists including Picasso, Rembrandt, Hopper, Tiffany and Wyeth. More than 100 important paintings, sculptures, and murals are displayed in public places around campus. Notable sculptures on campus include Sol LeWitt's Six Curved Walls, Anna Hyatt Huntington's Diana, Jean-Antoine Houdon's George Washington, Antoine Bourdelle's Herakles, James Earle Fraser's Lincoln, Malvina Hoffman's The Struggle of Elemental Man, and Ivan Meštrović's Moses, Job and Supplicant Persephone.


Syracuse is governed by a 70-member Board of Trustees, with 64 trustees elected by the board to four-year terms, and six elected by the alumni to four-year terms. Of the 64 Board elected Trustees, three must represent specified conferences of the United Methodist Church. In addition, the chancellor and the President of the Syracuse Alumni Association serve as ex officio voting Trustees. Two students and one faculty member serve as non-voting representatives to the Board of Trustees.[90] The Board of Trustees selects, and sets the salary of, the chancellor. The Syracuse University Bylaws also establish a University Senate with "general supervision over all educational matters concerning the University as a whole". The Senate consists of administrators, faculty, students and staff.[90]


For the Class of 2018, there were approximately 34,614 applicants for 3,350 seats in the Freshman class.[91] The student-faculty ratio at Syracuse University is 15:1, and the school has 58.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. In addition, Syracuse University had a total acceptance rate of 47%.


The most popular majors at Syracuse University include: Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Social Sciences; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Visual and Performing Arts; and Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 91 percent.


SU offers undergraduate degrees in over 200 majors in the 9 undergraduate schools and colleges.[92] Bachelor's degrees are offered through the Syracuse University School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Information Studies, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Also offered are Master's and doctoral degrees online[93] and in person from the Graduate School and from specialized programs in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, College of Law, among others. Additionally, SU offers 24 Certificates of Advanced Study Programs for specialized programs for education, counseling, and other academic areas.[94]

The university has offered multiple international study programs since 1911. SU Abroad, formerly known as the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA), currently offers joint programs with universities in over 40 countries.[95] The university operates eight international centers, called SU Abroad Centers, that offer structured programs in a variety of academic disciplines. The centers are located at Beijing, Istanbul, Florence, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Strasbourg, and Santiago.[95][96]

Rankings and recognition

In its 2019 ranking of U.S. colleges, U.S. News & World Report ranked Syracuse tied for 53rd among undergraduate national universities.[109] In 2019, Syracuse University was ranked 22nd in New York State by average professor salaries.[110][111] Some of SU's programs have been nationally recognized for excellence. A 2019 survey in the Academic Ranking of World Universities places Syracuse University in the top 100 world universities in social sciences.[112][113] In the 2015 'Design Intelligence' national rankings, the Environmental and Interior Design program is ranked 9th. The School of Architecture's Bachelor of Architecture program was ranked 2nd nationally in 2010 by the journal DesignIntelligence in its annual edition of "America's Best Architecture & Design Schools." Syracuse was ranked 1st in The Princeton Review's 2015 and 2019 list of top party schools.[114][115]

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is one of the top ranked in the country and has produced alumni in many fields of broadcasting.[116] The school is exceptionally respected and well recognized worldwide for various offered programs.

The School of Information Studies offers information management and technology courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Syracuse University. Within the School of Information Studies, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the graduate program as the 3rd best Library and Information Studies graduate school in the United States. It also has the top-ranked graduate Information Systems program, the 2nd ranked graduate program in Digital Librarianship, and the 4th ranked graduate program in School Library Media.[117]

The School of Management was renamed the Martin J. Whitman School of Management in 2003, in honor of SU alumnus and benefactor Martin J. Whitman. The school is home to about 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The undergraduate program was ranked No. 43 among business schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report in 2019[118] while the graduate school was ranked No. 70.[119] The entrepreneurship program was ranked No. 9 by the U.S. News & World Report in 2018, and No. 13 by both Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review in 2007. The supply chain management program was ranked No. 10 in the nation by Supply Chain Management Review. Also, the Joseph I. Lubin School of Accounting was named No. 10 in the nation by The Chronicle of Higher Education.[120]

The College of Law is ranked 88th nationally by U.S. News & World Report. It is an emerging leader in the relatively novel field of National Security Law.[121] In 2007 the law school started the Cold Case Justice Initiative, investigating cold cases from the civil rights era in the South. Its professors and students have identified 196 cases, of which more than 100 are in Georgia, and will give information to the US Department of Justice in order to have cases prosecuted.[122] The FBI has identified 122 cold cases that it is trying to resolve.

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs combines social sciences with public administration and international relations. It is ranked as the top and one of the most prestigious graduate school for public affairs in the US.[123]

Army Times ranks Syracuse University 2nd Private School for Vets and 6th Overall in the Best for Vets.[124] Syracuse University is ranked 26th in Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.[125] In June 2011, the school launched the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) to bring together several pre-existing veterans related institutes at the University.[126] The IVMF is higher education's first interdisciplinary academic institute, singularly focused on advancing the lives of the nation's military veterans and their families.[127] In an ongoing effort to position Syracuse University as the center of veteran life on the school's campus, in the local community, across Central New York; and the nation's hub of research and programming connected to the veteran and military sectors, the school made an unprecedented commitment to build the $63 million state-of-the-art National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC). The NVRC will be the first-of-its kind facility in the United States – and a class-leading exemplar of academic, government, and community collaboration – dedicated to advancing academic research, actionable programs, and community-connected innovation in service to the nation's veterans and military-connected families.[128] In 2020 the NVRC is expected to house the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Syracuse University Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA), Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), Syracuse University & Regional Student Veterans Resource Center, S. Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Vet-Success on Campus’, Center of Excellence for Veteran Entrepreneurship, Veteran Business Outreach Center & Accelerator, flexible office and classroom spaces for local, county and state government veteran representatives and community-based veterans organizations, along with a conference center and auditorium suitable to host community activities, lectures, and national convening events and conferences.[129][130]

The graduate program of the College of Visual and Performing Art is considered one of the top 50 programs in the US.[131] VPA ranked No. 14 in multimedia/visual communications, a specialty that includes disciplines found in the college's Department of Transmedia, which offers M.F.A. programs in art photography, art video, computer art and film. VPA also ranked No. 16 in ceramics, No. 19 in printmaking and No. 20 in sculpture, which are M.F.A. programs based in the Department of Art. Project Advance (or SUPA) is a nationally recognized concurrent enrollment program honored by the American Association for Higher Education, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the National Commission on Excellence in Education, and the National Institute of Education.[132]


Syracuse University has 1013 full-time instructional faculty, 96 part-time faculty, and 454 adjunct faculty. Approximately 86% of the full-time faculty have earned PhDs or professional degrees.[4] The current faculty includes scholars such as United States National Academy of Sciences member Jozef J. Zwislocki, Professor of Psychology, who developed mathematical models on the mechanics of the inner and middle ear; MacArthur Fellow Don Mitchell, Professor of Geography, who has developed studies in cultural geography; Bruce Kingma, Associate Provost and Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship, a pioneer in the field of information economics and online learning; Catherine Bertini, Professor of Practice in Public Administration, who has worked on the role of women in food distribution; Frederick C. Beiser, Professor of Philosophy, one of leading scholars of German idealism; Mary Karr, the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature, who has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry; John Caputo, the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Humanities, who founded weak theology; Sean O'Keefe, former chairman of Airbus Group, Inc.and former Secretary of the Navy; and political theorist Elizabeth F. Cohen.

Syracuse University Press

Syracuse University Press is a university press that is part of Syracuse University.[133] The areas of focus for the Press include Middle East studies, Native American studies, peace and conflict resolution, Irish studies and Jewish studies, New York State, television and popular culture, sports and entertainment. The Press was founded on August 2, 1943, by Chancellor William Pearson Tolley and benefactor Thomas J. Watson. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses.[134]

University lectures

Every year as a tradition, the university invites speakers from around the world, leading thinkers and practitioners in sustainability, advertising, redevelopment, human rights, journalism, and the environment. The lecturers are selected for their academic and public service excellence. The university lectures are supported by the university trustees, alumni, and friends.[135] Previous university lecturers have included Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; 45th vice president of the United States Al Gore; economist and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus; author and columnist William Safire; environmental justice advocate Majora Carter; and environmental law attorney Robert Kennedy Jr.[136]


Syracuse University's main library is the Ernest S. Bird Library, which opened in 1972. Its seven levels contain 2.3 million books, 11,500 periodicals, 45,000 feet (14,000 m) of manuscripts and rare books, 3.6 million microforms, and a café. There are also several departmental libraries on campus. Many of the landmarks in the history of recorded communication between people are in the university's Special Collections Research Center, from cuneiform tablets and papyri to several codices dating from the 11th century, to the invention of printing. The collection also includes works by Galileo, Luther, John Calvin, Voltaire, Sir Isaac Newton, Descartes, Sir Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Hobbes, Goethe, and others. In addition, the collection includes the personal library of Leopold Von Ranke.

Making sensational headlines at the time, the university outbid the Prussian government for all 19 tons of Von Ranke's prized personal library.[137][138] Other collections of note include Rudyard Kipling first editions and an original second leaf of the Gutenberg Bible.

Bird Library is also home to the largest collection of national archives of Kenya and Tanzania. In July 2008, Syracuse University became the owner of the second largest collection of 78 rpm records in the United States after the Library of Congress after a donation of more than 200,000 records. The donation is valued at $1 million and more than doubles the university's collection of 78 rpm records to about 400,000.[139] It also has a special Harriet Tubman Research Collection and an Environmental Justice and Gender collection housed in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The MLK library holds over 15,000 acquisitions in African, African-American, Afro-Latino, and Caribbean studies.

The university is also home to the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, whose holdings total approximately 540,000 recordings in all formats, primarily cylinders, discs, and magnetic tapes. Some of the voices to be found include Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, and Oscar Wilde.


According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Syracuse University is a research university with "highest level of research activity."[141] Through the university's Office of Research, which promotes research, technology transfer, and scholarship, and its Office of Sponsored Programs, which assists faculty in seeking and obtaining external research support, SU supports research in the fields of management and business, sciences, engineering, education, information studies, energy, environment, communications, computer science, public and international affairs, and other specialized areas.[142] Syracuse became a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) in 1966, an organization of leading research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of research and education.[143] In 2011, however, the university's board of trustees voted to pull out of the research consortium due to dispute over the counting of non-Federal research dollars.[144]

SU has established 29 research centers and institutes that focuses research, often across disciplines, in a variety of areas.[145] The Burton Blatt Institute advances research in economic and social issues for individuals with disabilities, and it has international projects in the field.[146] The Martin J Whitman School of Management supports the largest number of research centers, including The Ballentine Investment Institute, the George E. Bennett Center for Accounting and Tax Research, the Robert H. Brethen Operations Management Institute, Michael J. Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship, The H. H. Franklin Center for Supply Chain Management, Olivia and Walter Kiebach Center for International Business Studies, and the Earl V. Snyder Innovation Management Program. In 2010, the university launched SURFACE, an online, open-access institutional repository for research, which is ran by the Syracuse University Library System.[147]

Other research programs include The Syracuse Biomaterials Institute,[148] the Alan K. Campbell Public Affairs Institute through the Maxwell School, and the Center for the Study of Popular Television through the Newhouse School of Public Communications.[145]

Syracuse University also has collaborations with CERN and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, among other institutes. Syracuse also has a comparatively large number of collaborators on the LIGO Scientific project and is actively involved with the search for gravitational waves using data from the gravitational-wave detectors.[149][150][151]

Student life

Syracuse University has a diverse student population, representing all 50 US states and over 115 countries. Approximately 10 percent of students are from outside of the US, and are supported by an international services department within the university's Division of Student Affairs.[152] Approximately 37% of students in the fall 2010 undergraduate full-time class are from New York State. Approximately 56% of that class are women.[153] In 2014, 8.8% of the students were black or African-American.[154] In 2015, black students made up 14.7% of all US college students.[155]


CitrusTV (formerly UUTV, HillTV and Synapse) is the university's entirely student-run television studio, and one of the largest student-run TV studios in the country with over 300 active members.[156] There are also multiple student-run magazines and other print publications, including: The Onondagan Yearbook, the Daily Orange, Student Voice, Perception, Jerk Magazine, What the Health, 360, Baked Magazine, The Out Crowd, and Equal Time.[157]

Student government

Founded in 1957, the Student Association (SA) represents the undergraduate students of both SU and ESF. SA, elects a President and Vice President (on a unified ticket) each academic year. They also each year elect a Comptroller, who, with the assembly, oversees the allocation and designation of the Student Activity Fee that was first collected in the 1968–69 school year. The goals of SA are to participate through a unified student voice in the formulation of Syracuse University rules and regulations. The SA-SGA Alumni Organization maintains the history and an organizational timeline on its website.[158]

The graduate students at Syracuse University are represented by the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) while the law students at Syracuse University are represented by the Law Student Senate. Each of the three organizations elects students to serve in the Syracuse University Senate, which also includes faculty, staff, and administrators.[159]

Fraternities and sororities

The Syracuse University fraternity and sorority system offers organizations that are members of the Panhellenic Council (NPC), the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations, the National Multicultural Greek Council, the Professional Fraternity Council (PFC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). In addition to SU students, ESF students are permitted to join the university's fraternity and sorority system.

The oldest fraternity at SU is Delta Kappa Epsilon, which established a chapter in 1871 soon after the founding of the university, followed by Psi Upsilon in 1875 and Phi Kappa Psi in 1884.[160] Sororities were also a part of the early history of SU. Alpha Phi was founded at SU in 1872, followed by Gamma Phi Beta in 1874 and Alpha Gamma Delta in 1904. Alpha Phi Alpha established a chapter at SU in 1910, and was reorganized in 1949 and 1973. The first NPHC fraternity,[161] Omega Psi Phi, was established at SU in 1922, and the first NPHC sorority, Delta Sigma Theta in 1973.[160] Alpha Phi Delta, the only historically Italian-American heritage fraternity, was founded at SU in 1914. University policy prohibits fraternities and sororities from discriminating "on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era."[162]

Syracuse University Ambulance

Syracuse University Ambulance,[163] commonly referred to as SUA, is a SU Health Services-based student organization that responds to over 1,500 medical emergencies each year. Providing intermediate life support (ILS), rapid cardiac defibrillation, emergency and nonemergency transportation, and special event standby services, SUA operates two full-time transporting ambulances, a supervisor's fly car, and a MCI trailer for mass-casualty incidents. Additionally, SUA operates four transport vans for non-emergency transports. Advanced life support (ALS) mutual aid is provided by the City of Syracuse's private EMS provider, American Medical Response (AMR). SUA was formed in 1973 by a group of students out of a need for emergency medical services on campus. Starting with only a few members and meager equipment, the Syracuse University Medical Crisis Unit was formed. The organization has evolved greatly over time but, with 70+ volunteer students, remains a student-run organization to this day. SUA provides emergency and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the academic school year and is funded by a portion of the student health fee.

Religious life

Hendricks Chapel[164] is an interfaith chapel located on the Quad, and serves as the spiritual center of Syracuse University. The Chapel is home to ten chaplaincies, including Baptist, Buddhist, Evangelical Christian, Historically Black Churches, Islamic, Jewish, Lutheran, Pagan, Methodist, and Roman Catholic.[165] In addition, there are a number of student religious groups, including groups associated with the chaplaincies as well as Adventist, Christian Science, Hindu, Mormon, Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Pentecostal, and more.[166]

Additional buildings located on campus support specific religious groups, including the Alibrandi Catholic Center[167] and the Winnick Hillel Center for Jewish Life.[168] Off campus, the Chabad House[169] and Islamic Society of CNY also support student religious life.


Syracuse University's sports teams have had "the Orange" nickname since 2004, although the former names of Orangemen and Orangewomen are still used. The school's mascot is Otto the Orange. SU fields intercollegiate teams in eight men's sports and 12 women's sports. The men's and women's basketball teams, the football team, and both the men's and women's lacrosse teams play in the Carrier Dome. Other sports are located at the nearby Manley Field House, except ice hockey which takes place in the Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion. Most of Syracuse University's intercollegiate teams participate in NCAA Division I in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2013. The Syracuse Orange women's ice hockey team participates in College Hockey America.

Syracuse University rowing crew is a full member of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA). The IRA governs intercollegiate rowing between varsity rowing programs across the United States. It is the direct successor to the Rowing Association of American Colleges, the first collegiate athletic organization in the United States, which operated from 1870 to 1894. The IRA was founded by Cornell, Columbia, and Penn in 1894 and its first annual regatta was hosted on June 24, 1895. Today Navy and Syracuse are also part of the association. Each year these five schools choose whom to invite to the IRA National Championship Regatta and are responsible for its organization. Syracuse crew also participates in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges.

SU has reached 31 team national championships, including 14 men's lacrosse, six men's crew, two cross country running, and one each in boxing, football, women's lacrosse, and women's field hockey.[170] Under long-time the Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim, men's basketball team won seven Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 NCAA championship. The men's basketball team holds the largest on campus attendance record of 35,446 attendees. The record was set in the Carrier Dome playing Duke on Saturday February 1, 2014.

In 1959, Syracuse earned its first National Championship following an undefeated football season and a Cotton Bowl victory over Texas. The team featured sophomore running back Ernie Davis who, in 1961, became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis was slated to play for the Cleveland Browns in the same backfield as Jim Brown, but died of leukemia before being able to play professionally.[171]

Syracuse played its first intercollegiate lacrosse game in 1916, and captured its first USILA championship in 1920.[172] It won USILA championships in 1922, 1924, and 1925. In the modern NCAA era, Syracuse is the first school to capture 11 National Championships, the most of any team in college lacrosse history. Most recently, Syracuse reached the men's Division I championship game in 2013 after winning two championships in 2008 & 2009 seasons and reaching the quarterfinals in 2011.[173] The women's lacrosse team reached the NCAA Division I National Championship game for the first time in school history in 2012, which they lost to Northwestern.

Toward the end of the 1970s, Syracuse University was under pressure to improve its football facilities in order to remain a NCAA Division I football school. Its small concrete stadium, Archbold Stadium, was seventy years old and not up to the standards of other schools. The stadium could not be expanded; it had been reduced from 40,000 seats to 26,000 due to the fire codes. Syracuse University decided to build a new stadium. In 1978, Archbold Stadium was demolished to make way for the Carrier Dome, which was to have a domed Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof. It would also serve as the home for the men's basketball team, as a replacement for Manley Field House. The Carrier Dome was constructed between April 1979 and September 1980.

In May 2018, Syracuse University made an announcement of $120 million investment to renovate the Carrier Dome. A new fixed roof, a vertically hung scoreboard, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, improved accessibility, upgraded concessions, air conditioning and added Wi-Fi capabilities are just a handful of features visitors, students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans of Syracuse University will experience beginning in fall 2020.[174]

Syracuse University hosted the 2019 United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association national championship tournament.[175]


Syracuse University has over 250,000 alumni representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 170 countries and territories.[176] Among the individuals who have attended or graduated from Syracuse University include writers George Saunders, Stephen Crane, Joyce Carol Oates, John D. MacDonald, Cheryl Strayed, Shirley Jackson, and Alice Sebold; William Safire, Pulitzer Prize winning commentator; Pierre Ramond, string theorist; Cambridge University historian Sir Moses I. Finley; Sir John Stanley, British Member of Parliament; Arthur Rock, legendary venture capitalist and cofounder of Intel; Vishal Sikka, Former CEO and MD of Infosys; Donna Shalala, CEO of the Clinton Foundation; Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States; Robert Jarvik, inventor of the first artificial heart implanted into human beings; Eileen Collins, first female commander of a Space Shuttle; Prince Sultan bin Salman, first Arab, first Muslim and the youngest person to travel to space; Robert Menschel, partner/director at Goldman Sachs; Marilyn Loden, who coined the phrase "glass ceiling"; Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr., owner of Conde Nast publications; Lowell Paxson, founder of Home Shopping Network; musician Lou Reed; Betsey Johnson fashion designer; David P. Weber, lawyer and Certified Fraud Examiner, who reported misconduct in the Bernard L. Madoff and R. Allen Stanford frauds; Abramoff scandal lawyer Kevin Ring, and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent investor and member of the Saudi royal family. Emily C. Gorman, former director of the United States Women's Army Corps, completed her graduate studies at Syracuse.

Alumni in journalism and broadcasting include Ted Koppel, Megyn Kelly, Michael Barkann, Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Len Berman, Marc S. Ellenbogen, Marty Glickman, Dorothy Thompson, Beth Mowins, Dave Pasch, Sean McDonough, Ian Eagle, Dave O'Brien, Dick Stockton, Arun Shourie, Mike Tirico, Brian Higgins, Adam Zucker, Lakshmi Singh, Larry Hryb (an employee at Microsoft, former radio broadcaster for Clear Channel Communications), Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Payne and Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio, Vietnam war historian and correspondent Bernard Fall, national political columnist Roscoe Drummond, Jeff Glor, CBS News anchor, Vijay Kumar Pandey, Nepalese Columnist and TV personality.

Notable SU alumni in the performing arts and art include Dick Clark, Taye Diggs, Rob Edwards, Peter Falk, Vera Farmiga, Peter Guber, Peter Hyams, Frank Langella, Jessie Mueller, Lou Reed, Tom Everett Scott, Aaron Sorkin, Jerry Stiller, Lexington Steele, Bill Viola, Vanessa Williams, Pete Yorn, and artist Susan Sensemann.

Prominent athletes include Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, Jim Brown, actor and NFL Hall of Famer with the Cleveland Browns, arguably the greatest running back of all time;[177] Ernie Davis, the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner immortalized in the motion picture The Express: The Ernie Davis Story; Donovan McNabb, former NFL quarterback; former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison; Dwight Freeney, defensive end for the San Diego Chargers; Larry Csonka, former Miami Dolphins running back, Pro Football Hall of Famer and television host, Carmelo Anthony, forward for Syracuse's NCAA men's baskethall championship squad and NBA veteran; 7-time NBA All Star, pro basketball Hall of Famer and former Mayor of Detroit Dave Bing; Tim Green, former Atlanta Falcons player, author, lawyer, and National Public Radio commentator; Darryl Johnston, three-time Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s; Mikey Powell, who formerly played lacrosse for the Boston Cannons; Floyd Little, who played for the Denver Broncos; Kyle Johnson, who played the majority of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos; John Mackey a member of the NFL Hall of Fame played for the legendary Baltimore Colts (1963–71); and Tom Coughlin, former New York Giants head coach and executive VP of football operation at Jacksonville Jaguars.


Affiliated institutions

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has a long affiliation with Syracuse University, shares many campus resources, and operates its main academic campus immediately adjacent to Syracuse University. ESF was founded in 1911 as the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, under the leadership of Syracuse University Trustee Louis Marshall, with the active support of Syracuse University Chancellor Day. Its founding followed the Governor's veto of annual appropriations to a separate New York State College of Forestry at Cornell.[178]

ESF is an autonomous institution, administratively separate from SU, while resources, facilities, and some infrastructure are shared. The two schools share a common Schedule of Classes; students at both institutions may take courses at the other, and degrees from ESF bear the Syracuse University seal along with the State University of New York. A number of concurrent degree programs and certificates are offered between the schools, as well. The college receives an annual appropriation as part of the SUNY budget and the state builds and maintains all of the college's educational facilities. The state has similar relationships with five statutory colleges that are at Alfred University and Cornell University.

ESF faculty, students, and students' families join those from SU to take part in a joint convocation ceremony at the beginning of the academic year in August, and joint commencement exercises in May. ESF and SU students share access to libraries, recreational facilities, student clubs, and other activities at both institutions, except for the schools' intercollegiate sports teams, affiliated with the NCAA and USCAA, respectively. First-year ESF students live in Centennial Hall on ESF's campus.[179]

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

The medical school was formerly a college within SU, known as the Syracuse University Medical School. In 1950, SU sold the medical school to the State University of New York system. A joint Master of Public Health degree program[180] and a joint PhD Program in Biomedical Engineering are offered by the two institutions. The campuses of the two universities are adjacent to each other on University Hill in Syracuse.

Formerly affiliated institutions

State University of New York at Binghamton

Binghamton University was established in 1946 as Triple Cities College, to serve the needs of local veterans of the Binghamton, New York area, who were returning from World War II. Established in Endicott, New York, the college was a branch of Syracuse University. Triple Cities College offered local students the first two years of their education, while the following two were spent at Syracuse University. In 1946, students could earn their degrees entirely at the Binghamton campus. In 1950, it was absorbed by the State University of New York and renamed Harpur College.[181]

Utica College

Utica College, an independent private university located in Utica, New York, was founded by Syracuse University in 1946. Utica College became independent from SU in 1995, but still offers its students the option to receive a specialized bachelor's degree from Syracuse University through a mutual relationship between the two schools.[182]

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