Whitman Accounting Majors Honored to be Selected as 2021-22 Remembrance Scholars
Jack Ramza ’22
Though he is about to enter his senior year at the Whitman School at Syracuse University, Jack Ramza’s connection to the Remembrance Scholar program began when he was a first-year student. Attending a presentation by Orange Seeds, a University program that encourages first-year students to become more engaged on campus and in the local community, Ramza ’22 heard about the opportunity to participate in Remembrance Week events, which pay tribute to the 35 University students who perished in the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
“I remember going to the rose laying ceremony and seeing how emotionally impactful it was for both everyone involved and those observing,” Ramza says. “That’s essentially why I chose to apply to be a Remembrance Scholar, and, to me, it means representing someone with humility and respect despite never meeting them.”
The Remembrance Scholarship is one of the highest awards a Syracuse University student can receive and is given to rising seniors for service to the community, leadership and distinguished scholarship. Those selected through a rigorous process help plan the coming year’s Remembrance events in memory of those lost. The $5,000 scholarships are made possible through significant support from Jean Thompson ’66 (A&S) and Syracuse University Life Trustee Richard L. Thompson G’67 in memory of Jean Taylor Phelan Terry ’43 and John F. Phelan, Jean Thompson’s parents; by the board of trustees Chairman Emeritus Steve Barnes ’82 (Whitman) and Deborah Barnes; and the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.
Ramza is a dual major in accounting at the Whitman School and in advertising at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, something that helped him when applying for the award. “Both actually prepared me very well for the application process,” he says, noting he was required to creatively talk about ways he might use his background and passions to contribute to the Remembrance program. “Originally, I had a difficult time coming up with something unique. However, my education, working in groups and presenting, actually led me to my answer. I ultimately wrote about my passion for data and numbers and being able to take seemingly simple numbers and create meaning from them by telling a story.”
In the end, Ramza was one of the 35 University students named a Remembrance Scholar–one of only two from the Whitman School. He is honored to be chosen and looks forward to creating meaningful connections with the other Remembrance Scholars, as well as working hard to uphold the values of the program.
Caroline Whinney ’22
Applying to be a Remembrance Scholar was a very unique experience for an accounting, finance and real estate major Caroline Whinney ‘22, then a junior from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In 1988, when 35 Syracuse Univesity students were lost in the Pan Am 103 crash over Lockerbie, Scotland, Whinney’s father was also a junior at Syracuse University.
“I would have applied to this program regardless because I admire its mission and dedication to continuing these students' legacies and acting forward, but the connection to my dad makes being a Remembrance Scholar that much more special,” Whinney says.
For her, being part of this program means more than taking part in Remembrance events or receiving a scholarship – it means honoring her father’s colleagues, peers and friends. “He lost many friends and peers on that flight, and the ability to represent them and do anything I can to make sure no one else has to experience this kind of tragedy means the world to me,” she explains.
Whinney’s connection to the Remembrance Scholars program was a significant part of her motivation to apply and she incorporated that into her application. She explains, “While the application process was certainly rigorous, I think having a personal connection helped me to embrace the process rather than become overwhelmed by it.” Whinney even involved her father, talking to him about his experience being a student during the time of the tragedy. This not only helped her with her application but brought her closer to her father. “This experience allowed me to learn a lot about him that I didn't know before,” she says.
Another connection was a musical piece that held a special significance within her family. “As part of my application, I learned the piano piece that my dad composed for the one-year memorial at Hendricks Chapel, which was really special to me because of how important music is to our family,” Whinney explains.
Three essential aspects of the Remembrance Scholar program are leadership, scholarship, and service. All three have been a part of Whinney’s time at Syracuse University. She has been a resident advisor for the Whitman Leadership Scholar LLC and has also been involved in OttoTHON, an annual dance marathon that raises funds for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
When it comes to the future and her time as a Remembrance Scholar, Whinney says she is looking forward to the in-person, community aspect of the program. “I'm looking forward to the community being back together in person for many of the events that the Remembrance Scholar program hosts throughout the year,” she says. “Being able to host these events will make it easier to create connections and engage the community and Syracuse students.”
Read more about the Remembrance Scholars Program.