Extraordinary Gift Ensures Dick Clark’s Legacy Lives on in Expansion of Los Angeles Program

One of Syracuse University’s most famous graduates, Dick Clark ’51 started his broadcast career in Central New York and grew to prominence in Philadelphia as host of “American Bandstand.” But it was Los Angeles that offered the greatest opportunity for the visionary who would become legendary for building an entertainment empire that launched countless careers.

Photo of Dick Clark
Dick Clark

“LA remains the center of the broadcast industry, and Dick always wanted to support young people hoping for a career in entertainment,” says his wife Kari, explaining the reasoning behind the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation’s Forever Orange Campaign gift to significantly expand the University’s presence and impact in the entertainment field. Soon to be named the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program, the expansion of the SULA Semester includes new space for offices, classrooms, studios, additional academic programs, faculty and internships. The expansion aligns with one of the strategic priorities of “Leading with Distinction,” the University’s new academic strategic plan which seeks to make study away and study abroad opportunities more accessible to all undergraduate students.

“When Dad moved his company to LA, it flourished,” says Clark’s daughter Cindy, who graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1986 and built her own successful career in television and film production in LA. “The expansion of the SULA program is a continuation of my father’s commitment to fostering new talent in the entertainment business. Seeing how the sausage really gets made—it’s just an invaluable experience.”

“Dad was always of the mind that nothing beats a practical hands-on experience in this business,” says Clark’s son RAC, who has produced thousands of hours of live event and entertainment programming and created Lion’s Heart Entertainment in LA. “You get to be in the belly of the beast.”

Fund Named After Larry Barron ’87 Aims to Carry on Late Alumnus’ Legacy of Helping Students Make Connections in Media and Entertainment Business 

A new fund named after the late alumnus Larry Barron ’87 aims to carry on the TV executive’s legacy of connecting students aspiring to work in the media and entertainment business with key industry professionals for mentorship, networking and internship opportunities. 

Larry Barron headshot
Larry Barron

Two students will be chosen each year as part of the Larry Barron Fund for Mentorship (LBFM) program, which will include a four-day trip to Los Angeles for meetings, meet-and-greets, tours and other activities to connect recipients with established media and entertainment executives.  

Applications for the inaugural LBFM recipients are due 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 30. Those selected will be notified by Dec. 15, 2023, and the trip to Los Angeles will take place March 11-14, 2024, during spring break.  

Barron died in 2020. The fund was organized by his longtime friends Carl Weinstein and Scott Bergstein, both 1988 graduates of Newhouse. 

“We are very grateful to Larry’s friends, colleagues and Syracuse University for all their efforts to make LBFM a reality to honor our son,” said Barron’s parents, Roberta and Hal Barron. 

Barron’s prolific career included producing or consulting on hit shows including CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” “Paradise Hotel,” which aired on Fox, and “America’s Next Top Model,” which aired on multiple networks. He was co-creator and executive producer of Fox’s “Couples” and VH1′s “What Chilli Wants.”  

Barron also served as senior vice president at Fremantle Media before launching his own production company, Larry Barron Entertainment, in 2013.

He graduated with a dual degree in television, radio and film from Newhouse, and management and marketing from the Whitman School of Management. While in school, he was a disc jockey, station manager and general manager at student-run Z89 (WJPZ-FM).  

Barron helped to lead the station on its transition to FM radio, a critical period in WJPZ history. In 2012, he was named part of the first class of inductees into the WJPZ Hall of Fame.  

Weinstein and Bergstein fondly recalled Barron’s enthusiastic outlook, infectious personality and a capacity to make “everyone feel truly special.” 

“His ability to inspire, connect and mentor young people was superhuman. The entertainment industry is full of people who were touched by Larry,” Weinstein and Bergstein said in a joint statement.  

Many worked with Barron, some worked for him and others got their first break because of him. 

“Larry instinctively knew that getting a start in the competitive business of media and entertainment would require not just smarts and hard work, but a little help from established professionals in the business,” Weinstein and Bergstein said. “It is fitting that Larry’s legacy of mentoring will live on through this program.” 

Barron started his professional career at CNN before moving to Los Angeles to pursue his passion of becoming a television producer and focusing on content formats including pop culture, reality TV and game shows. 

But Barron took his love for Syracuse University wherever he went, his family and friends said. He stayed deeply involved with the University through his life, especially through Syracuse University Los Angeles (SULA) and the Newhouse LA program.  

“Larry Barron’s steadfast commitment to Syracuse stretched from his days as a student and leading WJPZ to mentoring the next generation of leaders in media and entertainment,” Newhouse School Dean Mark J. Lodato said. 

“We are thankful for the partnership with his friends and family that has resulted in this tremendous opportunity for Newhouse students,” he added. “What an appropriate tribute to Larry’s dedication to the University.”

Alumnus Grant Palmer, Head of Palmer Family Foundation, Establishes Endowed Fund to Help Bandier Students’ International Travel

A new endowed fund established by Grant E. Palmer ’13 will help Newhouse School students in the prestigious Bandier Program for Recording and Entertainment Industries pay for costs related to an annual immersion trip to study the music industry in emerging markets across the globe.  

Grant E. Palmer ’13

The Palmer Family International Benchmark Fund will help cover the cost of airfare, hotels and other travel-related expenses. This year’s Bandier immersion trip across two weeks in May took students to southeast Asia, where they had about 40 meetings with industry leaders and professionals. 

“Recognizing traveling abroad holds immense importance for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, this endowment offers students an invaluable opportunity to transcend the limitations of their circumstances and partake in the Bandier program’s international benchmark trip, a fully immersive global educational experience,” Palmer said. 

The Bandier immersion trip started in 2019 with travel to Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong, but was put on hold during the COVID pandemic. It returned in 2023 with a journey to study the music business in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore.  

students stand in a glowing tunnel at the Spotify offices in Singapore
In Singapore, the students learned from top music executives at SE Asia Spotify, in particular how the business model of the music industry of the East differs from the West.

The trip provides an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the culture and business of the world’s most pivotal emerging music markets. For instance, they met this year with leaders from international companies with offices in southeast Asia, including YouTube, Spotify, Live Nation, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. 

“Every path to a financially and creatively robust music industry leads through emerging markets,” Bandier program director Bill Werde said. “Each trip focuses on the governing dynamics of the music business in each market, as well as import and export opportunities for these markets and the West, always through the lens of ethical collaboration.” 

students sit around a table in a meeting at Sun Eater music company in Indonesia.
Students learned in real-time how the multifaceted music company Sun Eater tackles the challenges and successes in Indonesia.

They also spend time exploring local cultures. Students on this year’s trip caught a Blackpink concert in Bangkok, toured the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and visited an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand. 

A multi-talented music professional from Maplewood, New Jersey, Palmer works as both a royalties analyst at SiriusXM and as a topline melody writer for Sony Music Publishing. He is best known for his work on projects including the movie “The First Purge” and TV series including “Pen15,” “Grown-Ish” and “All-American,” along with ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”   

Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree from the Bandier program, which combines the study of the business of music, media, marketing and entrepreneurship with hands-on experiences to prepare students for successful careers in the music industry.   

students dip their hands in water at the Pattaya Ethical Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand
Students make paper at the Pattaya Ethical Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand.

Palmer said his appreciation for diverse musical cultures and genres has its origins in his Jamaican and German heritage, and that appreciation blossomed while studying at Syracuse.  

Trips abroad allowed him to collaborate with producers in Tokyo, London and Paris, significantly influencing his artistry and sharpening his international music industry expertise.  

“As a student, traveling abroad was a transformative experience for me, offering unique perspectives and opportunities for personal and collective growth far beyond the diaspora of campus,” Palmer said. “When the opportunity arose to pay it forward perpetually, it was a no-brainer.” 

students stand in the lobby of Pops, a leading online video entertainment platform, in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the students met with the founder/CEO and other top executives at Pops, the leading online video entertainment platform.

The Bandier program is committed to the idea that all qualified students should have access to the many unique opportunities that the program provides, regardless of that student’s financial standing.   

“We are grateful for Grant’s support of our hands-on, immersive vision for the Bandier program,” Werde said. “He has set an example not only through his generosity, but as a role model for current and future Bandier students about the impact the program can have on those who aspire to work in the music and entertainment fields.”  

In addition to his commitment to the Bandier program, Palmer serves on Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Advancement Advisory Council and has created the Our Time Has Come Palmer Family Study Abroad Fund.

Palmer’s father, Deryck Palmer ’78, is a lifetime member of Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees. Grant Palmer said the International Benchmark Fund embodies his family’s commitment to providing financial support and resources in areas that will have an immediate impact.  

“My vision is for the Palmer Family International Benchmark Fund to act as a catalyst for social mobility, empowering recipients to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential,” he said. 

About Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University 

Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by more than 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit foreverorange.syr.edu to learn more. 

Mowers Endow Newhouse Professorship of Persuasive Communications

Eric Mower ’66, G’68 can still name individual professors he had more than 60 years ago as a student at Syracuse University. “I have indelible memories of professors who thrilled me,” says Mower. Interestingly, the most memorable ones for him taught subject areas across disciplines—religion in literature, American political theory in constitutional law, philosophy through European history. “It’s not necessarily just what they taught, but also how they taught. I even remember the questions they posed!”

Fellow graduate and wife Judith C. “Judy” Mower ’66, G’73, G’80, G’84 shares his conviction that a great professor can make a profound difference in a student’s approach to learning. That belief drives their latest gift to the University.

“At the very heart of its academic value, Syracuse University continues to build upon the excellence of its faculty—excellence that is found, nurtured, developed and celebrated,” says Judy Mower. “As the University increasingly heightens its already impressive reputation in academia as a special place, there are no boundaries to what we can achieve as a learning community.”

In support of nurturing and growing faculty excellence, the Mowers have made a gift to establish the Mower Endowed Professorship of Persuasive Communications in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Their $1.3 million gift to create the professorship is enhanced by a $666,000 commitment by the University through the Forever Orange Faculty Excellence Program.

Howard Woolley ’80 supports the student experience in Washington, D.C.

A gift from Newhouse School alumnus and Syracuse University Trustee Howard Woolley ’80 will support students studying in Washington, D.C.  

Howard Woolley

Woolley, who is based in Washington, is president and CEO of the Howard Woolley Group, a strategic business and public policy advisory firm for the telecommunications and technology industries. He is a member of the Newhouse Advisory Board and sits on the DEI subcommittee.

The gift will support students with demonstrated financial need who are studying in the school’s Newhouse DC program, based at the new Syracuse University Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship. Preference will be given to students who advance the University’s interest in promoting the educational benefits of a diverse student body. Students may begin benefiting from the fund as early as this spring.

“The academic work and  professional internships will be invaluable to the students’ careers,” says Woolley. “Their participation in the Institute for Democracy, Journalism, and Citizenship will be invaluable  to society.”

Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato says support from Woolley and other alumni will play a key role in the success of the school’s D.C.-based initiatives. “We are grateful for alumni like Howard, who share our vision for an expanded presence in Washington and who understand the myriad ways our students will benefit from educational and hands-on experiences in the nation’s capital.”

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private research university that advances knowledge across disciplines to drive breakthrough discoveries and breakout leadership. Our collection of 13 schools and colleges with over 200 customizable majors closes the gap between education and action, so students can take on the world. In and beyond the classroom, we connect people, perspectives and practices to solve interconnected challenges with interdisciplinary approaches. Together, we’re a powerful community that moves ideas, individuals and impact beyond what’s possible.

About Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University

Orange isn’t just our color. It’s our promise to leave the world better than we found it. Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University is poised to do just that. Fueled by more than 150 years of fearless firsts, together we can enhance academic excellence, transform the student experience and expand unique opportunities for learning and growth. Forever Orange endeavors to raise $1.5 billion in philanthropic support, inspire 125,000 individual donors to participate in the campaign, and actively engage one in five alumni in the life of the University. Now is the time to show the world what Orange can do. Visit foreverorange.syr.edu to learn more.

A Gift to Create Agents of Change in Visual Storytelling

When Xin Liu was awarded an Alexia grant more than 30 years ago, it accelerated her career in ways she could not have imagined as a child growing up in China. Today, with her extraordinary $2 million gift to the Forever Orange Campaign, Liu is ensuring that the spirit of The Alexia endures in perpetuity to inspire “agents of change” throughout the world.

 Xin Liu
Xin Liu

As co-founder and president of The Enlight Foundation, Liu has focused her philanthropy on projects and people who share a desire to create equal educational opportunities around the globe and nurture social entrepreneurs and change-makers.

That same desire drives the parents of Alexia Tsairis, for whom The Alexia is named. Alexia was 20 years old—a photography major in the Newhouse School—in 1988 when she was killed in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, as she was returning home from a semester abroad in London.

“All through our almost 34 years since that fateful night in 1988, we have had hopes and dreams,” says Alexia’s mother Aphrodite Tsairis. “We have been dedicated to visual journalism by supporting the important socially relevant work of professionals and by providing a platform for educating emerging photojournalists.”

Aphrodite and her husband, Peter, founded the Alexia Foundation in partnership with Newhouse in 1991 and, since then, it has awarded $1.7 million in grants to 170 students like Liu and professional photographers through annual competitions, encouraging them to heighten the impact of their work. In 2021, the program transitioned to the Newhouse School and became The Alexia.

“Our overriding interest is in the stories they produce,” says Aphrodite Tsairis. “We care about current issues that plague our crisis-ridden planet and, most importantly, how to solve them. We elevate the visual journalist to the role of change-maker, not just reporter.”

That philosophy resonates deeply with Liu. “Visual storytelling can connect people in powerful ways,” she says. “Those connections can inspire social change around the globe. Journalists, photojournalists and videographers play a vital role as change agents in our world and when we support the profession, we help amplify its impact.”

Through the Forever Orange Faculty Excellence Program, Syracuse University is providing an additional $1 million to enhance the impact of the Enlight Foundation’s $2 million gift. The funding creates The Alexia Endowed Chair and provides continuous support for the grants, and for teaching, research, fellowships, programmatic and educational opportunities to inspire more impactful storytelling.

“I am so thankful to Xin for having the vision to expand The Alexia,” says Bruce Strong, associate professor in visual communications and The Alexia Endowed Chair in the Newhouse School. “In addition to offering the grants, our plan is to provide fellowship opportunities for top-tier professionals so they can pull away from their hectic careers and take time to reflect, develop additional skill sets and research relevant topics before going back into the industry. This will also provide an additional opportunity for our Newhouse faculty and students to engage with accomplished visual communicators.”

Liu believes the Alexia grant helped her rise to the “top of her game.” Born and raised in China, she attended Renmin University of China with the intention of becoming a journalist. The university had just launched a new major in photojournalism, and she was immediately attracted to the idea: “I had never even touched a camera before,” she says. “But I figured that if I could do both writing and photography, I could go on assignment and do all parts of the story.”

She worked at the China Youth Daily for almost three years. While there, she was contacted by a former professor and advisor, as she had been selected as a graduate student upon graduation, and informed about The Alexia grant opportunity for students. She seized the opportunity. After a three-month internship at The Baltimore Sun, Liu arrived in Central New York in the winter of 1994 (just before a season of nonstop snow that she says destroyed two pair of her military-style boots!).

“Everything I learned in Syracuse was so very different from what I had learned in China,” she says. She developed storytelling skills in photo essays and still remembers the story she crafted about a Syracuse high school student who was struggling as a single mother (in fact, Liu includes these photos in an upcoming book collection that will capture pivotal moments in her life). When Liu interned at The Baltimore Sun, she “met all these amazing photojournalists, including many women, which truly encouraged me. In China, most of them were men.”

Ultimately, she was offered a full scholarship to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she earned a master’s degree in visual communications. She worked for the Miami Herald, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Palm Beach Post.

Liu founded Enlight Foundation in 2004 to provide opportunities for Chinese students to study abroad. She describes how Enlight evolved to focus its philanthropy on rural education, youth leadership training and programs that would foster the growth of social entrepreneurs and changemakers. Funding for journalists became a priority more recently as the profession became more vulnerable to political attacks.

“Journalism is the fourth pillar of our society and a critical pillar of democracy,” says Liu. “International bureaus are closing. Local newspapers are dying.” Her support of The Alexia is based on her belief that journalists are witnesses to history and can influence its course. She notes that photojournalists often capture “a decisive moment” in history—an iconic image that “captures the soul of a historical era.”

Newhouse School Dean Mark Lodato says the power of great journalism and communications can be wielded to strengthen society. “The gift from Enlight, along with Xin’s vision for the future, will enable Newhouse to further broaden its reach around the globe and heighten the impact of deep thinkers and trailblazers who understand the power of storytelling to transform lives.”

Strong stresses that The Alexia grants go beyond simply recognizing great work. “The grants are essentially incubators for important projects,” he says. “We find people who desire to make a difference in the world and heighten their influence. The Alexia was created to help people understand different cultures, something we need now more than ever. Visual communication is a language that cuts across all cultures, all backgrounds, all languages. You don’t have to speak the language of the photographer to understand what they are saying in their story.”

Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis still think about what stories their daughter might have told through her photojournalism had she had a chance. “With the support of the Newhouse School, which gave us a home, we were able to channel our loss in a way that made us whole again,” says Aphrodite. “We felt closer to her as we met students and professionals who showed us what her life would or could have been had she lived. It was healing.”

Now, the promise of a young life cut short lives on in a legacy gift made by the woman who still treasures the grant that carries Alexia’s name. “This is about capacity building,” says Liu. “The capacity of storytellers around the globe to bridge cultural divides, to foster understanding, address social issues, and bring about lasting change.”

Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund strives to connect students to industry expertise

A new endowed fund established in honor of a Newhouse faculty member’s late mother will support student access to industry expertise and celebrate storytelling.

The Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund was established by associate professor Seth Gitner, his father, Gerald Gitner, and his brother, Daniel Gitner.

The legacy gift will promote critical understanding of the interconnected practices of storytelling in public communications by providing resources for Newhouse students to learn from experts in the field. Invited guests will come to campus to share their knowledge, thoughts and industry experience with students in the form of a lecture or seminar. The first guest is expected in Fall 2022.

Gerald and Deanne Gitner
Gerry and Deanne Gitner were married for 53 years. Gerry, along with sons Seth and Dan, established the Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund in honor of their wife and mother, who passed away in 2021.

“We are proud to support the nation’s top communications school, the Newhouse School, with this endowed gift in Deanne’s name,” Gerald Gitner says. “Deanne was a vigorous supporter of higher education and her alma mater, Cornell University, and an even more vigorous advocate for her family. Our son, Seth, followed in his mother’s footsteps and became a journalist, and is now an associate professor at Newhouse. Son Dan was a journalist in high school and college, and is now an attorney.  Both utilize the art of ‘storytelling’ every day. We are honored that this annual presentation will enable Newhouse to invite highly regarded experts in the field to Syracuse University.”

Deanne Gebell Gitner dedicated her life to family, education, philanthropy, travel, journalism and storytelling. Among the positions she held during the course of her career was that of writer and editor for the Millburn-Short Hills Independent Press in New Providence, New Jersey. She also taught middle school and high school English, and was the communications coordinator for the Millburn Public School System in Millburn, New Jersey.

“We are grateful to the Gitner family for their support of the Newhouse School as they pay tribute to their wife and mother,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “Her love of storytelling clearly sparked something in her children, both of whom at times had bylines alongside hers in the same paper. And at Newhouse, Professor Seth Gitner carries her legacy forward as he shares his own passion for storytelling with our journalism students.”  

The gift is the latest in support of the $1.5 billion goal established by Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University

Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedicated at the Newhouse School

Newhouse School alumnus Jim Weiss ’87, chairman, founder and CEO of global health innovation company Real Chemistry, and his wife, Audra Weiss ’89, visited campus Oct. 15 to dedicate the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab (EIL) at the Newhouse School.

Jim Weiss, Audra Weiss and Mark Lodato dedicate the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab at the Newhouse School
Audra and Jim Weiss cut the ribbon and dedicated the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab at the Newhouse School Oct. 15. They were joined by Newhouse dean Mark Lodato at right. (Sydney Richter)

Established by a gift from Real Chemistry, EIL is a state-of-the-art social media command center that serves as a central hub for the interfacing of digital media monitored and studied by students and faculty. As part of an active classroom, a bank of several large interactive monitors track the convergence of paid, earned, shared and owned media in one place, enabling users to assess in real time the impact of media on specific brands or campaigns. Associate dean Regina Luttrell is director.

At the dedication ceremony, Luttrell noted that the EIL is used by students in nearly every program at Newhouse. “The breadth and depth and reach is so impactful,” she said.

An additional gift from Jim and Audra Weiss established the Weiss Center for Social Commerce at the Newhouse School in 2012. The center supports a wide range of educational programs and activities with a focus on acclimating graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and working professionals to today’s up-to-the-minute digital reality. It was established to ensure that students and faculty are trained in social commerce, social media, technology and analytics, and the influence each plays in society and industry, providing them with cutting-edge skills and expertise that will enable them to compete and lead in new and evolving communications industries.

Audra and Jim Weiss, Regina Luttrell, Beth Egan and Mark Lodato at the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedication at the Newhouse School Oct. 15
Left to right: Audra and Jim Weiss, Regina Luttrell, Beth Egan and Mark Lodato at the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedication at the Newhouse School Oct. 15. (Sydney Richter)

“We thank Jim and Audra for their ongoing commitment to and support of the Newhouse School,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “Their generosity has allowed us to create incredible opportunities for students and faculty, which help us to stay on the cutting-edge of the industry.”

Also during his visit, Weiss met with students to share his career story and offer advice. The event, part of the center’s annual Social Commerce Days, was moderated by center co-director and associate professor of advertising Beth Egan.

Weiss is an alumnus of the public relations program. He founded Real Chemistry in 2001.

Scholarship, established in memory of alumna, aims to support diverse perspectives

A new scholarship has been established at the Newhouse School in memory of a 2016 alumna.

The Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship will provide financial assistance to Newhouse undergraduate students, with preference given to those studying broadcast and digital journalism whose backgrounds and experiences allow them to bring diverse perspectives to the school.

Nina Kapur
Nina Kapur

“We are honored to be able to further Nina’s legacy through this new scholarship,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “She was a compassionate, skilled broadcast journalist and this gift will help others achieve similar success.”

The $100,000 Endowed Fund Gift was established by a leadership gift from CBS Broadcasting Inc. and additional gifts from News 12 Connecticut, Newhouse alumni and Kapur’s friends and family. The first awards will be made for the Fall 2022 semester. Selection of the recipients will be made by the Office of Financial Aid.

Kapur was a graduate of the broadcast and digital journalism program and worked as a reporter with CBS New York. Her parents, Anup and Monica Kapur, and her brother, Ajay, had this to say about their daughter and sister:

In this world, there are visionaries and there are dreamers. Our daughter Nina wore both these lenses from a young age. Emerging as early as middle school, Nina developed a passion for news and journalism. By high school, it was evident that the best choice for her to further her studies would be the Newhouse School, and here she flourished, graduating magna cum laude. Within a week of graduation, she was on television. In a small town in Hagerstown, Maryland, she honed her skills and learned from her rookie mistakes, while still prioritizing her commitment to family.

Nina accepted a position a year and a half later as a mass media journalist with News 12 Connecticut. This is where Nina found her stature, her self-confidence and her voice. Soon after this, she accepted a position delivering news with CBS New York; in one of the largest markets in the world, she had “made it.” And yet, she still recognized that her true professional goals wouldn’t be achieved until she “brought the news back to the news.” For this her closest friends began to call her “News Nina.” It was this vision and commitment that inspired many, including her sorority sisters, friends, colleagues, CBS, News 12 Connecticut, to support her cause.

Nina was special in a way that everyone she met felt uniquely important during those interactions. Her smile was known to light a room. These qualities, coupled with her natural charm and humor, innately fueled her successes professionally. She was grounded in family and love, worked with strong ethics and strove to bring joy and fun to those around her. In the words of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, she was “filled with life, energy and compassion. Nina was truly a shining star, on and off the camera.”

This endowment is one way that Nina will live on and continue her mission. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work and overall integrity and commitment to journalism inspired others and challenged the industry. Unquestionably, Nina left this world too soon. Had she stayed with us, she would have moved mountains. However, with the help of thousands that have contributed to this effort in her honor, and because of the powerful impact she made in her young years, her vision and her dream will continue to be shared and will provide for others to carry on this work.

To make a gift to the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship, contact Carol Satchwell, assistant dean for advancement, at cmsatchw@syr.edu or 315.443.5281. You may also give online; be sure to specify the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship when you make your gift.

Scholarship honors late veteran and alumnus Fred L. Peterson ’72, G’73

A new scholarship has been established at the Newhouse School in memory of alumnus Fred L. Peterson ’72, G’73.

Fred Peterson
Fred Peterson

The scholarship is funded by a gift from Peterson’s partner, Carol O’Brien, with support from his children, Patric Peterson, Vical Peterson, Katie O’Brien Cancila and Megan O’Brien Cancila.

The fund will support undergraduate students at the Newhouse School, with consideration given to students who advance the University’s interest in promoting the educational benefits of a diverse student body.

A native of Chicago, Peterson served as a military journalist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public relations. “He was tremendously proud to be a graduate of the Newhouse School,” O’Brien says.

After graduating with honors, Peterson had a successful career in public relations. He worked for International Harvester, becoming the first African American to serve as spokesperson for the company. He later held PR positions at Bethany Hospital in Chicago and the American Dental Association.

A staunch fan of the Orange, Peterson had hoped to visit campus again during basketball season. But he became ill with the coronavirus in November and passed away Dec. 22, before he could return.

“It is the hope of his family and loved ones that the scholarship for Newhouse students in Fred’s name will continue to honor his memory by helping other Newhouse students achieve their dreams,” O’Brien says.   

Gifts to support the scholarship fund may be made online. For more information, contact Ed Gorham at 315.443.4926 or ejgorham@syr.edu.