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Updates / Philanthropy Week 2017 Events Celebrate Spirit of Giving at Syracuse University

Philanthropy Week 2017 Events Celebrate Spirit of Giving at Syracuse University

March 21, 2017

Syracuse University has begun its annual Philanthropy Week celebration, a series of events to raise awareness about the critical role philanthropy plays at the University—and in society as a whole.

“To me, Philanthropy Week is all about celebrating the things that make Syracuse University a great institution,” says Malcolm-Ali Davis ’18, a student in the School of Information Studies and member of the Student Philanthropy Council. “It’s about giving back, and celebrating those who have left a legacy for students, and starting to leave your own legacy, too.”

Philanthropy Week features a week of activities that includes the celebration of the University’s 147th birthday on National Orange Day, which is March 24. Members of the Student Philanthropy Council, an organization created in 2010, serve as hosts for the week. These student ambassadors represent various academic majors and class years, all sharing a commitment to give back to SU and help to build a culture of philanthropy on campus.

Watch this video as students talk about what it means to be Orange and to make the “Orange difference.”

Philanthropy Week occurs in March—about 80 percent of the way through the academic year—to symbolize the fact that tuition and fees paid by students cover about 80 percent of the cost of running the University each year. The remainder—nearly $150 million—comes from gifts, grants and other sources.

“Many of the resources we have on campus, including scholarships, are available thanks to the generous donations that have come before us,” says Davis. “I’m planning to do my part to help future students, and during this particular week we also want to take time to say a big ‘thank you’ to the generations of alumni and friends who have graciously given to make our experience here richer and more rewarding.”

Support from Howie Phanstiel ’70, G’71 and his wife, Louise, played a large role in the creation of Philanthropy Week. The Phansiels also established the Phanstiel Scholars program in 2010, which provides scholarships for middle-class students to attend SU and fosters a spirit of philanthropy among the scholarship recipients. In addition to excelling academically, Phanstiel Scholars are required to pay forward their time, treasure and talent to make the world a better place and promote philanthropy and altruism on campus.

Another component of the Phanstiel Scholars program is the Phanstiel Lecture. This year’s lecture will be given by Carrie Lazarus ’80. Lazarus is an award-winning journalist from Central New York with more than 30 years of broadcast experience. Lazarus will share the inspiring story behind her newest passion, the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent.

The annual Orange Circle Awards will be presented immediately following the lecture to recognize altruistic members of the Syracuse University community who have done extraordinary things in service to others. In addition to Lazarus, this year’s Orange Circle recipients are Ariel Ash-Shakoor G’17, Ph.D. candidate in bioengineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and creator of STEM programming for young people at the Syracuse Northeast Community Center, and the students who lead Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem supports children through and beyond their parents’ cancer. The organization is operated by dozens of student volunteers and serves campers ages 6 to 16 annually. The Camp Kesem team is led by Abigail Hamilton ’19 and Anna Olson ’19.

Highlights from Philanthropy Week:

Tuesday, March 21

Thank-A Donor Day: Thank SU donors for their generosity by tweeting #CelebrateSU. Handwritten thank-yous are also encouraged; stop by the Thank-a-Donor table in the Schine Student Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Milton Atrium in the Life Sciences Complex between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Ernie Davis Hall between 5 and 7 p.m. to craft a personal note.

Wednesday, March 22

Class Act Day: If you’re a senior at SU, this is your chance to leave your legacy at Look for the tables around campus, including in the Schine Atrium between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and support the part of SU you love most by making your gift to the Class of 2017 giving campaign. Then add your name to the giving tree at Schine and explore the Bookstore’s Grad Fair.

Thursday, March 23

Phanstiel Lecture and Orange Circle Awards: 4 p.m., 304ABC, Schine Student Center. The Orange Circle Awards will be presented immediately after the lecture by Carrie Lazarus ’80. A reception will follow.

Friday, March 23

National Orange Day: Celebrate SU’s founding on March 24, 1870, with the entire Syracuse family! Show your Orange pride by joining the group photo on the steps of the Hall of Languages at 11:45 a.m., then stop by the Schine Student Center between noon and 2 p.m. for birthday cupcakes and a high five from Otto. Share the ways you #CelebrateSU by visiting

For more information on Philanthropy Week and the full event schedule, visit