Dear Whitman Alumni: October Message from Cindie Adams

CindieAdams_185x240It was so nice to see many of you during Orange Central 2016. For those of you who could not make it back to campus, you were missed.

We were pleased to honor four exemplary alumni during Whitman’s Annual Awards Ceremony & Reception and to host the second annual Orange Tank business pitch competition.

Orange Tank is one of my favorite events because it brings students, alumni, faculty and staff together to support entrepreneurship. We awarded three winners in both the student entrepreneur and alumni entrepreneur categories. And, thanks to generous gifts from Mark ’83 and Judi ’84 (VPA) Morris and Andrew Greenberg ’85 (VPA), we were able to significantly increase this year’s prize money. The fact that two of our student winners were freshmen reflects the high caliber of Whitman’s incoming undergraduate students. It was wonderful to see the growth of two particular presenting teams who competed last year and came back this year to win prize money in the alumni category.

We had a wonderful panel of accomplished judges (each a Syracuse alum) who provided encouragement and guidance to the presenters. Having a few judges ask me if they could come back again next year was so gratifying. Knowing these busy and successful alumni are willing—and happily so—to give of their time and experienced perspective speaks volumes about the continued commitment of alumni to Syracuse University and Whitman.

The Orange Tank competition came just on the heels of a ranking released by College Factual, which placed Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) at Whitman as the #2 entrepreneurship program in the United States. College Factual is a USA Today-affiliated website that helps students find the best colleges and universities for their unique needs. Whitman’s EEE program took the top spot for entrepreneurship programs for veterans.

There are a myriad of people and programs that contributed to Whitman’s ranking atop many other distinguished programs—from renowned faculty performing leading-edge research to comprehensive programming and resources for students and start-ups beyond the walls of Whitman through on-campus and community-based partnerships. Beyond these rankings, there is much to celebrate in the area of entrepreneurship at Whitman.

This month, our WISE Women’s Center is celebrating 10 years of providing programming, resources and services to female entrepreneurs. To date, more than 8,086 clients have received counseling through the Center. Learn more about WISE’s upcoming 10-year celebrations in our “Upcoming Events.”

The 2016-2017 academic year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. Since its inception, EBV has graduated 1,3000 veterans with 68 percent founding their own business ventures. The program was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the ten best entrepreneurship programs in the U.S.

More examples of Whitman’s efforts to support aspiring entrepreneurs and a summary of the great work of our EEE Department can be found in the 2016 EEE Annual Report.

I encourage those of you have recently started or are thinking of starting a business to consider attending a one-day Entrepreneurship Bootcamp instructed by Whitman faculty in New York City on November 5. Whitman’s Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship is also a resource for our alumni who are ready to make a transition to a new career in entrepreneurship or those who need support in taking their business to the next level.

We feature alumni entrepreneurs in each issue of our newsletter and on our social media channels. To be sure you are reading about the business ventures of your fellow alums as well as where other featured alumni and Syracuse family legacy stories, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And, as always, we welcome and appreciate your suggestions for future newsletters.


Cindie Adams




Cindie Adams