From Maxwell Perspective...

90th Anniversary Observances

Look Who's 90 | Lectures, Panels, Symposia | 90th Anniversary Party | Gathering in Washington | Carrying Forward the Spirit of the Senator

90th Anniversary Party

Students, faculty and administrators celebrating the anniversary of the Maxwell School
The events of October 9 (from top): A temporary photo station allowed party guests to add to the #ToMeCitizenship “thought bubble” campaign; shown filling out his bubble is Sean O’Keefe ’78 MPA and being photographed is W. Lynn Tanner ’75 PhD (PA). Pointing the camera is MPA student Amanda Vitullo, a part-time professional photographer.
Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud visited the 1920s-themed party in the Strasser Commons, leading the assembly in “Happy Birthday” and cutting the Art Deco-styled cake.
The Orange Central scheduling allowed for a broad mix of visitors, including Maxwell faculty veterans John Yinger, Stuart Bretschneider, and Larry Schroeder (l-r); Executive Education administrator Denise Breen, taking a selfie with EMPA students Rose Ndong and Erika Osae (l-r); and alumni such as Richard Wilhelm ’68 BA (RusSt), chatting with current students.  

One of the highlights of Maxwell’s 90th anniversary celebrations this year was a School-wide party on October 9, scheduled to coincide with Syracuse University’s Orange Central reunion weekend. That scheduling allowed not only faculty, staff, and students to participate, but also many visiting alumni and dignitaries.

Students learning about the history of the Maxwell School  
Throughout the afternoon, visitors took part in Passport to Our Past. They carried mock passports — filled with history of the departments, centers, and institutes — to informative stations at each of those units. (They also had their passports stamped to qualify for prizes.) Shown are the Political Science station, two happy “travelers” with their stamped passports, and the Moynihan Institute’s display.

While most of the observances throughout the year have tended toward the serious and substantive, the main event on October 9 was a large birthday party, held in the Strasser Commons. It featured 1920s-themed decorations and food, to reflect the School’s founding year, 1924. Faux champagne and other non-alcoholic bubbly lent the event a Jazz Age ambience, as did period music and a striking Art Deco cake. Chiefly, this was a moment to mark a chronological milestone — a fact punctuated by Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud, who led all assembled in singing the “Happy Birthday” song.

But it was also a day to take stock. The Passport to Our Past activity invited people to carry a small, informative mock passport to stations at departments, centers, and institutes around the School, thus reminding those “travelers” of all the individual enterprises that make up Maxwell.

And at a makeshift photo booth just off the Strasser Commons, party-goers were encouraged to contribute their notions to the #ToMeCitizenship social media “thought bubble” campaign. For more on that, see " What Do You Think?"


This article appeared in the winter 2015 print edition of Maxwell Perspective; © 2015 Maxwell School of Syracuse University. To request a copy, e-mail