Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund strives to connect students to industry expertise

A new endowed fund established in honor of a Newhouse faculty member’s late mother will support student access to industry expertise and celebrate storytelling.

The Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund was established by associate professor Seth Gitner, his father, Gerald Gitner, and his brother, Daniel Gitner.

The legacy gift will promote critical understanding of the interconnected practices of storytelling in public communications by providing resources for Newhouse students to learn from experts in the field. Invited guests will come to campus to share their knowledge, thoughts and industry experience with students in the form of a lecture or seminar. The first guest is expected in Fall 2022.

Gerald and Deanne Gitner
Gerry and Deanne Gitner were married for 53 years. Gerry, along with sons Seth and Dan, established the Deanne Gebell Gitner Storytelling Fund in honor of their wife and mother, who passed away in 2021.

“We are proud to support the nation’s top communications school, the Newhouse School, with this endowed gift in Deanne’s name,” Gerald Gitner says. “Deanne was a vigorous supporter of higher education and her alma mater, Cornell University, and an even more vigorous advocate for her family. Our son, Seth, followed in his mother’s footsteps and became a journalist, and is now an associate professor at Newhouse. Son Dan was a journalist in high school and college, and is now an attorney.  Both utilize the art of ‘storytelling’ every day. We are honored that this annual presentation will enable Newhouse to invite highly regarded experts in the field to Syracuse University.”

Deanne Gebell Gitner dedicated her life to family, education, philanthropy, travel, journalism and storytelling. Among the positions she held during the course of her career was that of writer and editor for the Millburn-Short Hills Independent Press in New Providence, New Jersey. She also taught middle school and high school English, and was the communications coordinator for the Millburn Public School System in Millburn, New Jersey.

“We are grateful to the Gitner family for their support of the Newhouse School as they pay tribute to their wife and mother,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “Her love of storytelling clearly sparked something in her children, both of whom at times had bylines alongside hers in the same paper. And at Newhouse, Professor Seth Gitner carries her legacy forward as he shares his own passion for storytelling with our journalism students.”  

The gift is the latest in support of the $1.5 billion goal established by Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University

Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedicated at the Newhouse School

Newhouse School alumnus Jim Weiss ’87, chairman, founder and CEO of global health innovation company Real Chemistry, and his wife, Audra Weiss ’89, visited campus Oct. 15 to dedicate the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab (EIL) at the Newhouse School.

Jim Weiss, Audra Weiss and Mark Lodato dedicate the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab at the Newhouse School
Audra and Jim Weiss cut the ribbon and dedicated the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab at the Newhouse School Oct. 15. They were joined by Newhouse dean Mark Lodato at right. (Sydney Richter)

Established by a gift from Real Chemistry, EIL is a state-of-the-art social media command center that serves as a central hub for the interfacing of digital media monitored and studied by students and faculty. As part of an active classroom, a bank of several large interactive monitors track the convergence of paid, earned, shared and owned media in one place, enabling users to assess in real time the impact of media on specific brands or campaigns. Associate dean Regina Luttrell is director.

At the dedication ceremony, Luttrell noted that the EIL is used by students in nearly every program at Newhouse. “The breadth and depth and reach is so impactful,” she said.

An additional gift from Jim and Audra Weiss established the Weiss Center for Social Commerce at the Newhouse School in 2012. The center supports a wide range of educational programs and activities with a focus on acclimating graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and working professionals to today’s up-to-the-minute digital reality. It was established to ensure that students and faculty are trained in social commerce, social media, technology and analytics, and the influence each plays in society and industry, providing them with cutting-edge skills and expertise that will enable them to compete and lead in new and evolving communications industries.

Audra and Jim Weiss, Regina Luttrell, Beth Egan and Mark Lodato at the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedication at the Newhouse School Oct. 15
Left to right: Audra and Jim Weiss, Regina Luttrell, Beth Egan and Mark Lodato at the Real Chemistry Emerging Insights Lab dedication at the Newhouse School Oct. 15. (Sydney Richter)

“We thank Jim and Audra for their ongoing commitment to and support of the Newhouse School,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “Their generosity has allowed us to create incredible opportunities for students and faculty, which help us to stay on the cutting-edge of the industry.”

Also during his visit, Weiss met with students to share his career story and offer advice. The event, part of the center’s annual Social Commerce Days, was moderated by center co-director and associate professor of advertising Beth Egan.

Weiss is an alumnus of the public relations program. He founded Real Chemistry in 2001.

Scholarship, established in memory of alumna, aims to support diverse perspectives

A new scholarship has been established at the Newhouse School in memory of a 2016 alumna.

The Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship will provide financial assistance to Newhouse undergraduate students, with preference given to those studying broadcast and digital journalism whose backgrounds and experiences allow them to bring diverse perspectives to the school.

Nina Kapur
Nina Kapur

“We are honored to be able to further Nina’s legacy through this new scholarship,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “She was a compassionate, skilled broadcast journalist and this gift will help others achieve similar success.”

The $100,000 Endowed Fund Gift was established by a leadership gift from CBS Broadcasting Inc. and additional gifts from News 12 Connecticut, Newhouse alumni and Kapur’s friends and family. The first awards will be made for the Fall 2022 semester. Selection of the recipients will be made by the Office of Financial Aid.

Kapur was a graduate of the broadcast and digital journalism program and worked as a reporter with CBS New York. Her parents, Anup and Monica Kapur, and her brother, Ajay, had this to say about their daughter and sister:

In this world, there are visionaries and there are dreamers. Our daughter Nina wore both these lenses from a young age. Emerging as early as middle school, Nina developed a passion for news and journalism. By high school, it was evident that the best choice for her to further her studies would be the Newhouse School, and here she flourished, graduating magna cum laude. Within a week of graduation, she was on television. In a small town in Hagerstown, Maryland, she honed her skills and learned from her rookie mistakes, while still prioritizing her commitment to family.

Nina accepted a position a year and a half later as a mass media journalist with News 12 Connecticut. This is where Nina found her stature, her self-confidence and her voice. Soon after this, she accepted a position delivering news with CBS New York; in one of the largest markets in the world, she had “made it.” And yet, she still recognized that her true professional goals wouldn’t be achieved until she “brought the news back to the news.” For this her closest friends began to call her “News Nina.” It was this vision and commitment that inspired many, including her sorority sisters, friends, colleagues, CBS, News 12 Connecticut, to support her cause.

Nina was special in a way that everyone she met felt uniquely important during those interactions. Her smile was known to light a room. These qualities, coupled with her natural charm and humor, innately fueled her successes professionally. She was grounded in family and love, worked with strong ethics and strove to bring joy and fun to those around her. In the words of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, she was “filled with life, energy and compassion. Nina was truly a shining star, on and off the camera.”

This endowment is one way that Nina will live on and continue her mission. Her enthusiasm and passion for her work and overall integrity and commitment to journalism inspired others and challenged the industry. Unquestionably, Nina left this world too soon. Had she stayed with us, she would have moved mountains. However, with the help of thousands that have contributed to this effort in her honor, and because of the powerful impact she made in her young years, her vision and her dream will continue to be shared and will provide for others to carry on this work.


To make a gift to the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship, contact Carol Satchwell, assistant dean for advancement, at cmsatchw@syr.edu or 315.443.5281. You may also give online; be sure to specify the Nina Kapur Broadcast and Digital Journalism Scholarship when you make your gift.

Scholarship honors late veteran and alumnus Fred L. Peterson ’72, G’73

A new scholarship has been established at the Newhouse School in memory of alumnus Fred L. Peterson ’72, G’73.

Fred Peterson
Fred Peterson

The scholarship is funded by a gift from Peterson’s partner, Carol O’Brien, with support from his children, Patric Peterson, Vical Peterson, Katie O’Brien Cancila and Megan O’Brien Cancila.

The fund will support undergraduate students at the Newhouse School, with consideration given to students who advance the University’s interest in promoting the educational benefits of a diverse student body.

A native of Chicago, Peterson served as a military journalist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public relations. “He was tremendously proud to be a graduate of the Newhouse School,” O’Brien says.

After graduating with honors, Peterson had a successful career in public relations. He worked for International Harvester, becoming the first African American to serve as spokesperson for the company. He later held PR positions at Bethany Hospital in Chicago and the American Dental Association.

A staunch fan of the Orange, Peterson had hoped to visit campus again during basketball season. But he became ill with the coronavirus in November and passed away Dec. 22, before he could return.

“It is the hope of his family and loved ones that the scholarship for Newhouse students in Fred’s name will continue to honor his memory by helping other Newhouse students achieve their dreams,” O’Brien says.   

Gifts to support the scholarship fund may be made online. For more information, contact Ed Gorham at 315.443.4926 or ejgorham@syr.edu.

Diana King Memorial Scholarship established at the Newhouse School

A generous gift from the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation will establish a new endowed scholarship at the Newhouse School.

The scholarship will support undergraduate students who have financial need, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors studying film, television or other areas of media and communications.

“The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation has a long history of supporting students with an interest in visual communication,” says Mark J. Lodato, dean of the Newhouse School. “This new scholarship will help with the growing need to assist students facing unexpected financial challenges in completing their degrees.”  

The gift, the latest in support of Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University’s $1.5 billion goal, will create the Diana King Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of the foundation’s founder and longtime president and chair, who passed away last year. Diana King was an outstanding philanthropist, recognized for her commitment to educational opportunities in television, film and other media.

Since 1990, the King Family Foundation has granted scholarships to undergraduate students with a focus in film, television and related media and communications studies. To streamline operations, the foundation is providing gifts to schools, like Newhouse, from which the largest number of scholarship recipients have historically been found, according to foundation staff.

About Diana King

Diana King was the daughter of the late Lucille and Charles King, and grew up in the world of television. Her father founded King World Productions in 1964. It became the country’s leading distributor of television syndicated programming, including such iconic series as “The Little Rascals,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Inside Edition” and “Dr. Phil.” 

Diana King began working in the accounting department of the family business in 1972, and at the time of King World’s acquisition by the CBS Corporation in 2000, served as executive vice president, corporate secretary and director.

She established the foundation in 1988 to support individuals and organizations committed to educational excellence and professional development, particularly in film, television and other media. During her 30-year tenure as board chair and president, the foundation awarded hundreds of scholarships to students at colleges and universities around the country, in many instances to individuals who would have been financially unable to continue their studies without this assistance. In addition, the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation has acted as a longtime sponsor of programs at several leading cultural and educational institutions.


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Television, Radio and Film

Newhouse’s television, radio and film program gives students the skills to be part of the creative, management and production processes of the television, radio, film and online entertainment industries.

Martin Bandier ’62 to establish marquee scholarship program for students pursuing careers in the music industry

Legendary music publishing executive and Life Trustee Martin Bandier ’62 has made a substantial gift to establish the most prestigious scholarship program available to students aspiring to careers in the music industry.

Martin Bandier speaking at the Newhouse School
Martin Bandier

The gift, the latest in support of Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University’s $1.5 billion goal, will support the creation of The Martin Bandier Scholarship. The scholarship will provide critical financial support for students from underrepresented populations who are enrolled in the Bandier Program in Recording and Entertainment Industries in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Bandier founded the program in 2006.

“Martin Bandier’s generosity will ensure students have access to the preeminent music industry program in the nation,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “His commitment to removing barriers to higher education is exactly what we need in this challenging time.”

The Martin Bandier Scholarship will make it possible for diverse students with financial need to pursue careers in music business through a Newhouse education. The Bandier Program combines the study of the business of music, media, marketing and entrepreneurship with hands-on experiences that prepare students for successful careers in the music industry. It is consistently ranked by Billboard magazine as one of the top programs of its kind in the country.

Bandier’s gift will provide a half-tuition scholarship to an outstanding first-year student; the program will support five scholars over the first five years. At the same time, Bandier has established an endowed fund that will support the Bandier Scholarship program in perpetuity. The scholarship will be awarded to one student annually and follow that student over the course of his or her four years in the program. The Bandier Scholarship will be among the largest single scholarship grant offered by Syracuse University.

“The Bandier Program has long been committed to building a diverse and inclusive environment,” says Bill Werde, director of the program. “This generous gift will be an enormous boost to our recruiting and retention efforts and will continue to ensure that the absolute best and brightest minds have an opportunity to study in the program and ultimately enter the music business.”

Over the years, graduates of the Bandier Program have successfully pursued business and entrepreneurial careers and built a strong alumni network to support the aspirations of current and future students.

Bandier has remained involved with the program since its founding and takes a personal interest in the success of the students. Every year, he meets one-on-one with each member of the graduating class to discuss career goals and find ways to help them as they seek their first positions in the business.

Bandier is chairman and CEO of Bandier Ventures. Prior to this, he was the chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Widely considered one of the most influential music publishers in history, Bandier built every publishing company he ran—including The Entertainment Company, SBK, EMI and Sony/ATV—into a powerhouse. Throughout his career, Bandier fought tirelessly on behalf of songwriters to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their work both by streaming companies and other music services. With his thought leadership the industry made great progress, including when the President signed the Music Modernization Act into law in 2018. Bandier has received numerous awards including the BMI Icon Award in 2019, the Lifetime Service Award from the National Publishers’ Association in 2017 and two honors from the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1990 and 2019).

Jim ’87 and Audra ’89 Weiss, W2O Group announce dual gifts to the Newhouse School

Syracuse University alumnus Jim Weiss ’87, chairman, founder and CEO of W2O Group, and his wife, alumna Audra Weiss ’89, have announced two gifts to the Newhouse School in support of the W2O Center for Social Commerce and the W2O Emerging Insights Lab. 

“We are most grateful to Jim and Audra and the W2O Group for their continued investment in our students, faculty and programs,” says Amy Falkner, interim dean of the Newhouse School. “These relationships reflect the ultimate in academic-industry partnerships.” 

Jim and Audra Weiss
Jim and Audra Weiss at the Newhouse School’s 50th anniversary gala in New York City, Oct. 2015

The first gift, from Jim and Audra Weiss, continues support for the W2O Center for Social Commerce, an initiative they created in 2012 to support a wide range of educational programs and activities with a focus on acclimating graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and working professionals to today’s up-to-the-minute digital reality. This award-winning partnership between the W2O Group and the Newhouse School was established to ensure that students and faculty are trained in social commerce, social media, technology and analytics, and the influence each plays in society and industry, providing them with cutting-edge skills and expertise that will enable them to compete and lead in new and evolving communications industries.

Since its founding, the W2O Center for Social Commerce has hosted communications leaders from major U.S. corporations to share their insights with students; sponsored W2O staff experts for classroom presentations; trained students and faculty in hands-on analytics workshops; and offered paid summer internships in New York City, where students gain experience in client engagement and service, contributing to W2O’s mission of making the world a healthier place through marketing and communications.

The second gift, from W2O Group, underwrites the naming of the W2O Emerging Insights Lab (EIL). Run by assistant professor of public relations Regina Luttrell, EIL is a state-of-the-art social media command center that serves as a central hub for the interfacing of digital media monitored and studied by students throughout the Newhouse School. As part of an active classroom, a bank of several large interactive monitors track the convergence of paid, earned, shared and owned media in one place, enabling students and faculty to assess in real time the impact of media on specific brands or campaigns. W2O Group support has already funded initial renovations to the classroom space; this new gift will provide financial assistance for software and other academic program resources. 

“Jim, Audra and the W2O Group are providing the very best opportunities for students and faculty to adapt to a changing environment and maintain relevance,” says Maria P. Russell, professor of public relations, who oversees the W2O Center for Social Commerce. “Not just their investment of funds, but also their sincere interest in students, their mentoring of interns and young employees and their sharing of top-notch experts makes this an ideal academic-industry partnership.”

Jim Weiss is an alumnus of the public relations program. He founded W2O Group, a San Francisco-based, analytics-focused integrated marketing and communications firm, in 2001. W2O has offices in 18 locations globally and currently employs over 1,200 people. Weiss has nearly 30 years of experience in strategic media and marketing communications, focused primarily in the healthcare and technology sectors, and has been involved in nearly every aspect of corporate, product and organizational communications.

Weiss serves as a member of the Newhouse Advisory Board, and was one of 50 distinguished alumni recognized at the school’s 50th anniversary celebration, “50Forward.” He has been listed on Medical Marketing & Media’s “Health Influencer 50” list for the past three years, and named multiple times to PRWeek’s “Global Power Book” and “Powerlist.” He was recently named Innovator of the Year by the Holmes Report/PROvoke and was included on that publication’s inaugural list of “The Innovator 25.”


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Public Relations

The public relations industry is changing faster than ever. As one of the first and most prestigious public relations programs in the nation, we are, too.

W2O Center for Social Commerce

The Center for Social Commerce was formed in 2012 as a partnership between W2O Group, an integrated communications firm, and the Newhouse School.

Newhouse Foundation announces intention to pledge $75 million to Newhouse School

Kathleen Walters, Donald Newhouse, Kent Syverud, and Amy Falkner pose in the Newhoouse 1 lobby
Board of Trustees chair Kathleen Walters, Donald Newhouse, Syracuse University chancellor Kent Syverud and Newhouse School interim dean Amy Falkner stand in the lobby if Newhouse 1, which Newhouse’s father helped dedicate in 1964.

The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation has announced its intention to pledge $75 million to Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, which will be the largest gift in the University’s 150-year history. Donald E. Newhouse ’51 made the announcement on Monday at an event at the Newhouse School on the Syracuse University campus.

“The Newhouse School resulted from my father’s dream to establish the finest journalism school in the world,” Newhouse said. “That vision has come true, thanks to the unwavering support of Chancellor Kent Syverud, the extraordinary leadership of Deans David Rubin and Lorraine Branham, and the exceptional faculty and the diverse and successful student body they have attracted to the school.”

“The proud legacy of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is more important now than it has ever been,” said Syverud. “The generosity of the Newhouse family enables Syracuse University to educate journalists whose dedication to the First Amendment enriches our society. Their support ensures that Syracuse University graduates are both thoughtful communicators who understand the complexity of global audiences and bold innovators who are shaping the future of the field. The Newhouse family’s vision and tremendous philanthropy empowers Syracuse University’s faculty to address rapidly evolving media platforms and communication fields. Their innovation prepares our students to enter a competitive job market with experiences and skills that make an impact.”

The gift, which would be one of the largest ever to any communications school, will support multiple academic initiatives, under the leadership of the school’s next dean. It expands the visions of the school’s two most recent leaders: David Rubin, who retired in 2008 after 18 years as dean, and Lorraine Branham, who died of cancer last year after nearly 11 years as dean. A national search for the next dean is underway, with the goal of having a new leader in place by July 1, 2020, the start of the new fiscal year.

“I have great confidence that the search committee will find an outstanding successor to David and Lorraine,” Newhouse said. “In this era in which public communications is undergoing continual and radical change, my family and I expect to continue our long-term commitment to ensure that the school my Dad helped found almost 60 years ago remains the leading communications school in the world for another generation.

“We are so grateful to the Newhouse Foundation for this gift that sets the school on the path to achieve its most important priorities for many years to come,” said Interim Dean Amy Falkner. “The Newhouse School would not have become the preeminent school it is today without the commitment of the Newhouse family, which has been steadfast in its support for more than half a century. This gift ensures that the school will continue to be on the leading edge of communications education, research and practice.”

Donald Newhouse is an honorary trustee of Syracuse University. His son, Michael, is a voting trustee. The Newhouse School is named for Donald Newhouse’s late father, Samuel I. Newhouse, who founded Advance Publications in 1922. His initial gift of $15 million in 1962—the largest gift in University history at that time—supported the construction of the first of the school’s three buildings, Newhouse 1, which was dedicated in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The second building, Newhouse 2, was dedicated in 1974 by William S. Paley, chairman of the board of CBS. With support from the Newhouse Foundation, the third building, Newhouse 3, was dedicated in 2007 by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts. Donald Newhouse and his late brother, S.I. Newhouse Jr., were present at all three dedication ceremonies.

The Newhouse Foundation has also supported the school’s longstanding commitment to diversity in journalism through the Newhouse Minority Fellowship Program, established under Rubin in 1994. The program provides graduate students in journalism with full-tuition scholarships and on-the-job training at Advance Media New York. More than 100 students have completed the program.

Today’s Newhouse Foundation gift is the largest and most ambitious in Syracuse University history. It provides a surge for Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University, the largest fundraising campaign in the institution’s history, which was launched in November.

Late musician Gregg Allman will continue to touch the lives of Syracuse students looking to go into the music business

Newhouse Advisory Board member Michael Lehman, an attorney and artist manager, first started working with late musician Gregg Allman in 2004, helping to revitalize the Southern rock legend’s career. Their 13-year partnership brought regular tour dates, major concerts, four solo albums, creation of the Laid Back Festivals, the New York Times best-selling book “My Cross to Bear” and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Lehman and Gregg Allman
Michael Lehman (left) and Gregg Allman.

It also resulted in the establishment of the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University. The need-based scholarship is given annually to a student in the Bandier Program.

“When Michael told me about the Bandier Program, I knew that it was something I wanted to stand behind and support,” said Allman when the scholarship was announced in fall 2014. “Starting the Allman Brothers in the 1970s, I have seen the industry turned inside out and recognize that it takes sharp skills to navigate the media landscape in this digital, streaming and downloadable age. This new business model makes a program like the one at Syracuse University more important than ever.” Allman had met with Bandier students in 2008 in New York City.

Lehman had ties to the Bandier program through his two daughters: Carly ’12, a Newhouse School alumna who took courses in the program, and Lindsay ’15, a Bandier graduate. “I have had the chance to see, up close, just how rigorous and thorough [the program] can be,” he said when the scholarship was established. “Representing music artists, I know what it takes to not just survive but thrive in the business and the faculty in this program are at the top of their game. I want to support that.”

The Newhouse School welcomes your support of the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship. For more information or to discuss your giving options, contact Ed Gorham at (315) 443-4926 or ejgorham@syr.edu


Also of Interest

Bandier Program in Recording and Entertainment Industries

The Bandier Program in Recording and Entertainment Industries combines the study of the business of music, media, marketing and entrepreneurship with hands-on experiences to prepare students for successful careers in the music industry.

Donor Howard Woolley ’80 ‘a great believer’ in education, young people

As hard as it may be to remember, there was a time—and not that long ago—when telephones sat on tables and hung on walls and were not in people’s pockets. As phones got smaller and more portable, the mobile phone industry boomed, creating a fiercely competitive market that continues to grow and change. 

At the heart of that exploding industry was Howard Woolley, a 1980 Newhouse School graduate who spent two decades as a lobbyist for Verizon Wireless and its predecessors. Before retiring in 2013, Woolley was senior vice president of wireless policy and strategic alliances for Verizon Wireless, which means he was constantly bringing executives and politicians to the table.

And while strategy was important, Woolley says, his career success came down to just one word: communication.

And he learned it at Newhouse.

Howard Woolley
Howard Woolley is a 1980 graduate of the Newhouse School.

“What I like about government relations is that you meet all kinds of people across the country,” Woolley says. “When you meet people face-to-face, sometimes you can break through all of the political labels and develop some really lasting relationships.”

One of Woolley’s first jobs was as a lobbyist for the National Association of Broadcasters. During a trip to Capitol Hill for that job, Woolley heard a ringing endorsement of his alma mater.

“I actually overheard a television general manager say, ‘Well, Howard’s from Newhouse. He really understands this industry.’ “

Woolley found more than just his career at Newhouse—he found his wife of 34 years there as well.

“She was a year ahead of me. I met her in the second semester of my junior year and she was getting ready to graduate,” he says of Gail, who graduated from Newhouse in 1979. “We did everything together while we were both on campus.”

Gail Woolley died of sickle cell anemia at age 58 in March 2015. She had a successful career as a reporter for the Washington Star, the Baltimore Sun and The Washington Times before joining the public relations department at ExxonMobil. In her memory, Howard is leading philanthropic efforts to support sickle cell research and patient care.

“She had an excellent career of her own,” Woolley says. “She was a go-getter. A typical Newhouse student.”

The Woolleys returned to the Syracuse University campus many times after they graduated. Howard joined the Newhouse Advisory Board and the couple participated in many reunion weekends. They loved to travel and attended the Coming Back Together trip to South Africa in 2007.

“We were fortunate to have 34 great years together,” he says, noting that they traveled to six continents.

The couple’s success and good fortune are what prompted the Woolleys to decide to give back to Newhouse, establishing a minority scholarship for undergraduate Newhouse students. There is also a broadcast journalism computer lab named for them on the fourth floor of Newhouse 2.

“It makes me feel good because we were both great believers in education and in young people. It was an opportunity to give back,” Woolley says. “We did well as a result of our Newhouse education and it’s nice to give back.” 

Larry Martin, former vice president of program development at Syracuse University, says he wishes the university had more alumni like the Woolleys.

“They are generous, supportive, always positive and added to the great successes that we’ve had in the office.”

Martin, who retired in 2015, led the Coming Back Together alumni weekends, including the South Africa trip, which the Woolleys attended. He says the couple was always very generous with their time and support, including opening up their home outside Washington, D.C. for reunions there.

“I can’t say enough about both of them,” Martin says. “About their friendship, their support, and their ideas and suggestions. They are wonderful people.”