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From the Dean: Winter 2022

January 2, 2022

David M. Van Slyke

David M. Van Slyke


One of the joys of being the dean is sharing the myriad ways the Maxwell community is making a difference. In this edition you will read about graduates who broadened human rights in Afghanistan over the last 20 years, faculty research that is shaping national health care policy and students who are active in their communities here in Syracuse and around the world.

Also included in this edition are stories about gifts from generous alumni like Kenneth ’80 and Mindy (Meyer) Sosne ’81 who recently established a scholarship to reduce the burden on first-generation students. The couple served in the public sector for a combined 38 years. They were motivated by Mindy’s experiences as an undergraduate: At times, she wondered how she would get her next meal.

In sharing these stories, we celebrate our supporters and hope to inspire current students and alumni by showing the positive impact of giving. Gifts to Maxwell have a ripple effect: They are investments in our work to prepare students to make the world a better place for future generations.

Over the years, however, I’ve often wondered if sharing stories about alumni support has had the unintended consequence of making giving seem out of reach to those who don’t currently have the means to provide six-, five- or even four-figure gifts. Make no mistake, all gifts are important and impactful.

More than a dollar amount, philanthropy is about a commitment to bettering the lives of others and investing in a cause that is aligned with one’s interests and values. It strengthens one’s sense of belonging to a community, foundational to what we here at Maxwell refer to as active citizenship.

One of our goals in the coming year is to grow our community of 2,000 alumni and friends who give to Maxwell annually. Among them are alumni like my former student, Burnell Holland ’11 M.P.A., who you will read about on the back cover. His motivation is to provide opportunities to current and future students while honoring a family legacy. He told us he is also compelled by a deep sense of pride in being one of our 35,000 alumni. “The bonds that I built with classmates, faculty and staff ensured that Maxwell and Syracuse University will for-ever stay close to my heart,” he said. “I will do whatever I can to make sure that others have access to the same top-quality education and opportunity.”

Almost daily I hear stories of alumni like Burnell supporting one another or current students because of this shared sense of community and optimism for a better future. The students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends who are highlighted in this edition illustrate that Maxwell is an investment with tangible returns. As you read about their accomplishments, I hope you feel a sense of pride in the community we’ve built together.

Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season,

David M. Van Slyke
Dean, Maxwell School
Louis A. Bantle Chair in Business and Government Policy

Published in the Winter 2022 issue of the Maxwell Perspective


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