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Updates / Announcing the 2017 Orange Circle Award Winners

Announcing the 2017 Orange Circle Award Winners

March 2, 2017

Syracuse University will celebrate philanthropy and honor some of the most altruistic members of the SU community at the Phanstiel Lecture and Orange Circle Awards—the signature events of Philanthropy Week 2017.

Orange Circle Award

The celebration will take place Thursday, March 23, at 4 p.m. in Room 304 A, B, C of the Schine Student Center. The lecture will be immediately followed by the Orange Circle Award ceremony and reception. Members of the Syracuse University community who are interested in attending can R.S.V.P. online.

The sixth annual Phanstiel Lecture features Carrie Lazarus ’80, award-winning journalist at WSYR-TV in Syracuse. Lazarus has shown a deep personal commitment to serving her community. In her lecture, she will discuss the unexpected benefits of philanthropy to those who give back and will share the story of the young dancer who inspired her to establish her own foundation.

The Orange Circle Award honors Syracuse individuals—including students, faculty, staff and alumni—who go above and beyond in their daily lives and who possess a deep responsibility for extraordinary philanthropic acts. These are not limited to financial support, but also include volunteerism—those acts that better society through contributions of time and talent.

This year’s award recipients include Lazarus, being honored for her community leadership; Ariel Ash-Shakoor G’17, creator of a STEM program for local elementary school students; and Camp Kesem, an SU student-run summer camp for children whose parents are battling cancer.

More on the recipients:

Ariel Ash-Shakoor G’17 creates shape-changing materials and studies cell behavior as a Ph.D. candidate in bioengineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Her passion for engineering and tutoring inspired her to create a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program at the Syracuse Northeast Community Center.

Volunteers from Syracuse University help local students with their homework, play educational games with them, and engage them in STEM activities. Ash-Shakoor is also a graduate student advisor for the Women of Color in STEM group, a research mentor and a professional development workshop leader for several campus organizations.

Camp Kesem at Syracuse University supports children through and beyond their parents’ cancer. The organization is operated by 30 student volunteers and serves more than 40 campers ages 6 to 16 annually. Founded in 2012, the organization underwent a complete personnel turnover in 2015, when a team of 12 first-year students, including two former Camp Kesem campers, revived the chapter.

The team, led by Abigail Hamilton ’19 and Anna Olson ’19, recruited 20 additional students to raise $40,000 and successfully host a free week of camp for 20 Syracuse-area children in August 2016. They work with more than 50 students throughout the school year to host the campers.

Carrie Lazarus ’80, a graduate of the Newhouse School, anchored the number one-rated newscast on WSYR-TV for more than 30 years. Her Family Healthcast was one of the first daily local health and fitness reports in the nation, and the first in Central New York, bringing viewers the latest in health, fitness and family news since 1986. An award-winning journalist and host of “The Conversation” on WSYR-TV, Lazarus was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Her newest passion is the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent, a foundation that helps student performers in Central New York afford music lessons, instruments and other opportunities. The fund enables young musicians, singers dancers, and other artists to pursue their passions and realize their potential.

The Philanthropy Week celebration runs March 20-24 with events happening each day. For more information, visit