Orange Family Legacy: Gordon Cott ’64

Legacy_collage CottI am one of four generations in my family to attend Syracuse University. My mom, Selma Miller Cott (pictured top right), was a member of the class of 1937 and a cheerleader at SU. She often spoke of the long train rides from New York City to Syracuse. I wasn’t quite sure after a while if she meant rail or wagon train.

As I remember, it took five hours for my parents to drive me up to Syracuse at the start of my freshman year. The most memorable part of the trip was my mom crying the entire time and my dad telling her that my years at Syracuse could possibly be my best, yet. They were! In retrospect, I still wonder if my mom was crying because she was going to miss me or if they were happy tears to be getting rid of me.

I have so many great memories of my time at Syracuse. A few that come readily to mind are the freshman beanies, sitting in ice cold Archibold Stadium holding up placards and graduation day.

Next up was my daughter, Deborah Cott Messulam ’89. This was a young woman who couldn’t make up her mind as to which college she should attend. We must have visited every college east of the Mississippi. She found something wrong with each one. I mentioned Syracuse University. She said, “No Dad, too cold.” I gave up.

One beautiful fall weekend, I decided to go to a Syracuse football game and asked her if she would like to join me. What do you know? She did! She caught the Orange fever quickly. I had some great memories with her—most notably were “Happy Pappy Weekend” (pictured left) at her sorority and, of course, basketball games at the Dome. They were like rock concerts.

Last but not least is my grandson, Max Messulam ’19 (pictured bottom right). How strange to write “19,” as that’s close to 100 years since my mom was a freshman. Max was inoculated Orange at inception, I think. We would talk Orange basketball, watch Orange basketball and dress in Orange basketball clothing. By high school, all the clothes he owned shown SU. His bedroom was filled with fat heads of SU basketball players. Now, he is a freshman and I can’t wait to visit him.

It’s not over, yet, as I still have three grandchildren! Just think…this all started with a train ride to Syracuse some 82 years ago.

Gordon Cott
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