Madison Square Garden, February 11, 2007, my first Syracuse basketball game. This night would change my life forever. My first Syracuse basketball game was everything I could have imagined. The spirit of the students and alumni, the enthusiasm not only for the team but also for the school was exhilarating; from that day on my love has grown for Syracuse.
Growing up, Syracuse was always a big part of my life. My mother, as well as both grandmothers attended Syracuse University. One grandmother, my Nana, spent three years at Syracuse where she created friendships that she still has to this day, and my other grandmother spent a year at the university. Each of their experiences was different, but the one thing they had in common was the expression on their faces when they talked about the school. My Nana has continuously told me stories about her experiences that stick out in my memory. My most cherished includes her telling me about her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, which was the last house on campus, and how she and her sisters would trek through the snow up and down the East Adams hill. Little did I know, I would end up in the same sorority, and live on the top of the East Adams hill myself.
My mother Caryl, graduated in 1982, shortly after the Carrier Dome was built. My mom often talks about the last game at Archbold stadium and her guy friends helping tear down the goal posts and the constant noise from the construction of the Carrier Dome across from her dorm room in Sadler Hall. One of my mom’s oldest friends, Ira, also went to Syracuse. They both often tell me stories of freshmen year move-in day, when they coincidently ended up on the same floor and helped each other move in. They also discuss the infamous last basketball game in Manley Fieldhouse against Georgetown, as well as sleeping outside the Dome for season tickets and Cosmo’s Toasted Honey Buns (or THBs). Whenever we went to Syracuse (when Cosmo’s was open), we would buy a dozen THBs and put them in the freezer for the year. Everyone was heartbroken when they closed.
Syracuse had been my brother Ben’s dream school for as long as I can remember. When Syracuse lost to UVM in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, he sulked for days. In 2009, Ben ’14 joined the SU club with an early decision acceptance to the David B. Falk School of Sport and Human Dynamics. From that moment on, my love for the school would only continue to grow. With multiple visits a year, as well as going to any games at the Garden, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to go to Syracuse. While I would have only applied to Syracuse, my parents forced me to apply to a few other schools. In December of 2012, I was accepted early decision to the Whitman School of Management. It was now my turn to start my Syracuse experience.
Throughout my time at Syracuse, I have truly made it my own. I am involved in Whitman as a Whitman Ambassador as well as in two clubs. I really consider Whitman my home. Outside of Whitman, I’ve become involved in my sorority as the Standards Chair as well as Administrative Vice President of the Panhellenic Council. I have created friendships and memories that will last a lifetime and share a bond with friends and family before me.
My Syracuse experience wouldn’t be complete without my father, Len, who, of course, enabled me to go to this amazing school. While my father attended Boston University, and begged my brother and I to at least apply to the school, he quickly realized how amazing Syracuse is. As time progressed, he became completely hooked, and is a true supporter of the school. He is on the Whitman Advisory Board as well as an avid game-watcher. My dad often turns to me and says, “It’s _ o’clock and Georgetown still sucks!” In addition, he proudly wears his “I Married Into This” Syracuse shirt that my mom got for him.
Syracuse has become an extremely important part of my family. Whether it’s wearing apparel skiing, watching games together or just being on campus, it’s a bond we all share. I am truly proud to call myself a Syracuse student, as well as part of a Syracuse family.
- Orange Family Legacy: The Shapiros’ Syracuse Connection - January 3, 2017