My mom, Lena Ackerman ’48, was always very proud of her educational accomplishments and of her Syracuse University connection. She remained close to her classmates and, while her health permitted, she attended all her class reunions and homecoming events. She instilled in me the “pride of the Orange” and bought me my first orange and blue stripped rugby-style shirt. Today, they might call it “vintage,” but it was downright trendy back in the day.
As a student, I recall sitting in the old Archbold Stadium on concrete seats watching the Orange compete. I also recall very vividly how cold those seats were in November, and I faithfully watched many games in cold, rainy and snowy weather. My senior year, all home football games were played in New York City but, when the Carrier Dome opened in 1980, I was there and had season tickets until my job moved me to Virginia. I still try to get back every year or two to catch a game.
As a father of four, I remember jesting with my kids that “one of you is going to go to Syracuse.” They knew they could choose anywhere they wanted to go to achieve their education, but I did harbor hope that one of them (okay, all of them) would choose SU to continue on the family legacy. My son, Greg ’08 ’09 M.S. had a true passion for the Orange from an early age and achieved his dream of being an SU alumnus.
Greg found his Syracuse experience as enjoyable as I did, so he stayed to get his masters. During his time at SU, Greg earned first place in both the Capstone Business Plan Competition and the New World Ventures Business Plan Competition. Most importantly, he found the love of his life, Daisy Busfield ’11.
On each trip back home to Syracuse, there is a small list of “must dos:”
- Visit the SU campus
- Walk down Marshall Street to pick up the latest in game-day gear
- Grab a slice from the Varsity
- And grab a coney and birch beer from Heid’s (yum!)—unless, of course, we get to the Carrier Dome for a true “Dome dog” and “Dome foam.”
Though I now live in Virginia, my heart has a special place for the ‘Cuse, and I’m instilling in my grandkids the love of the Orange. I hope the legacy continues. My grandson even has naturally orange hair![photo left to right: Brian Ackerman, Greg Ackerman, Beth Ackerman, Amy Ackerman and Milt Ackerman]
- Orange Family Legacy: Three Generations of Ackermans - October 30, 2015