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Forever Orange

A New Campaign Focuses on the People who Propel the College Forward

In early November 2019, Syracuse University announced Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University.

The $1.5 billion Forever Orange campaign is a comprehensive fundraising initiative that calls on the University community to build off 150 years of firsts by elevating the “One University” strategy in terms of academic excellence, unsurpassed student experience, and unique learning opportunities expressing a bold vision for the future, in which Orange alumni and students lead the world forward.

For its part, the College of Law aims to raise $38 million to grow our endowment and provide current funds in support of:

  • Tuition and experiential learning scholarships to help recruit and retain high-achieving, academically ambitious students.
  • Faculty leadership and innovation to advance the interdisciplinary research and innovative programs that are a hallmark of the College.
  • The Law Annual Fund, to ensure that the College continues to benefit from financial stability and flexibility.

During our last campaign, alumni and friends helped to build our state-of-the-art home, Dineen Hall. Forever Orange will promote academic excellence and student success. In other words, your gifts to Forever Orange are an investment in the people who make the College of Law a beacon in legal education.

Learn more about the campaign at giving.syr.edu, or contact Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs Sophie Dagenais at sdagenai@law.syr.edu or 315.443.4536.

An Interview with Campaign Co-chairs Melanie Gray L’81 & Marnin Michaels L’96

Melanie Gray L'81
Melanie Gray L'81
To reflect on the timeliness and importance of Forever Orange, we sat down with the College of Law’s campaign co-chairs Melanie Gray L’81, Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP, and Marnin Michaels L’96, Senior Partner, Baker & McKenzie Zurich.

In your own words, how would you describe the College of Law Forever Orange campaign?

MG: Forever Orange is strategic, student- and faculty-focused, and a campaign that builds on the success of the College’s last campaign, which resulted in the magnificent Dineen Hall.

MM: Forever Orange is all about what we can do to take the College of Law to the next level.

Why should alumni make an investment in the College of Law at this time?

MG: The legal profession is at a critical inflection point. First, protecting our democracy and the rule of law has never been more important. To ensure that protection, we must have well-educated lawyers who are also steeped in the real world—a Syracuse legal education ensures both.

Second, the practice of law is evolving at warp speed, with AI and other disruptive technologies changing how lawyers practice. Syracuse has been at the forefront of innovation for decades, and we need to support its ability to continue to be a leader in this transformation.

Finally, and most importantly, Syracuse is committed to inclusively attracting the best students and supporting them with appropriate financial aid to allow them to make a legal education a reality. As an alum, I feel an obligation to help the College do just that.

MM: My classmates and I are 25 years out of law school, so Forever Orange is about securing the school’s reputation for the remainder of our careers and ensuring that the next generation has the resources it needs.

What outcomes are you expecting from the campaign?

MG: It’s not just about supporting the Forever Orange campaign—although I hope that all alumni meaningfully support it—the campaign is also about alumni engagement. As someone who graduated in 1981, today’s College is nothing like what many may remember it as. I hope everyone takes the time to familiarize themselves with—and then appreciate—how far the College has come and the quality of the legal education it provides.

MM: I hope that we raise sufficient scholarship funds to make the campaign transformative. We need the right students—and the right people—to make us a 21st-century law school. We need a faculty that meets the needs and expectations of students and employers, as well as a way to improve our ranking and reputation.

Marnin Michael L'96
Marnin Michaels L'96
What excites you most about Forever Orange?

MG: It’s the strategic balance among student scholarships, faculty support and innovation, and the ongoing annual fund. For the College to continue to excel, its strategic objectives and how they are weighted is critically important. I think the College has been disciplined in deciding its strategic objectives and resourceful in how philanthropy is allocated.

MM: The College of Law’s Forever Orange campaign is part of a University-wide campaign, and we want to show that the College of Law is a meaningful part of Syracuse University.

Can you speak to Dean Boise’s leadership as he helms this initiative?

MG: Dean Boise has been instrumental in advancing the College’s mission of providing a world-class legal education based not only in the classroom but in real life. He respects the tradition of a legal education, but he also embraces transformation. He is the leader who can further advance and distinguish Syracuse. If he weren’t, I wouldn’t have agreed to Co-Chair the campaign! Please join me.

MM: Dean Boise understands that our law school needs to be the best academic portal and a place where we create the best lawyers, not only academically but holistically. His leadership will help to focus the message that we need a transformation to enhance the long-term possibilities for our students. Dean Boise gets it.