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SU will mark National Orange Day with celebration, service to community

March 11, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-5381

Kelly Homan Rodoski

Syracuse University Orange spirit will be glowing brightly on Tuesday, March 24, as the University and alumni clubs around the country celebrate National Orange Day. This year's celebration marks the 139th anniversary of SU's founding on March 24, 1870.

The annual birthday celebration, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations, the Traditions Commission and the National Orange Day Planning Committee, will be held from noon-2 p.m. in the atrium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. The event will feature remarks by Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina; SU Alumni Association President Wally Bobkiewicz G'89; Student Association President Larry Seivert, a junior in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management; and Theresa Pagano, director of the West Side Learning Center. Otto the Orange will cut the traditional birthday cakes, and entertainment will be provided by WJPZ. Parking for this event will be available at the Booth Garage; disabled parking may be requested through Alumni Relations.

"National Orange Day is a great way to learn more about the University that we attend and shows the importance of keeping Syracuse traditions alive with activities that enhance our school's spirit," says Cortney Maslyn, a senior in The College of Arts and Sciences and president of the Traditions Commission.

As part of the celebration, the Central New York Alumni Club, the Office of Alumni Relations and the National Orange Day Planning Committee are partnering on a community service project to collect needed items for the West Side Learning Center, which offers English language classes for speakers of other languages, and the MANOS Family Literacy Program, a language and child care program for children, ages 18 months-4 years, whose parents are enrolled in the West Side Learning Center programs.

Items needed for the West Side Learning Center and MANOS program include English/foreign language dictionaries, magazine subscriptions, classic and contemporary literature written at a junior high level, board books, picture books and books with audio CDs. They also sponsor the Parents and Language Stories Project, in which the children illustrate stories based upon childhood stories told by their parents. Supplies needed for this project include crayons, markers and paper. A complete list of needed items and ways to make your donation are available at

Donated items may be brought to the National Orange Day celebration or brought to the Office of Alumni Relations, located in the Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center. The deadline for donations is Tuesday, March 31.

To support the National Orange Day community service project in Syracuse, a book fair will be held at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers store on Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse March 20-26 to benefit the West Side Learning Center. Vouchers are available on the National Orange Day site at

Also, the Syracuse University Bookstore will offer a 25 percent discount on books purchased for the West Side Learning Center from March 23-25. Vouchers for the discount will be available at the National Orange Day tables on these days in the Schine Center atrium.

On the evening of March 24, Orange Night Live and the Traditions Commission will host March Madness events at the Goldstein Student Center from 6-8 p.m. and at the Skybarn from 9-11 p.m. The events will include free food, games and giveaways.

That evening, world-renowned oceanographer and photographer Robert Ballard will present "Adventure in Deep Sea Exploration: Living the Dream," a University Lectures presentation, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The event, sponsored in cooperation with the Geoffrey O. Seltzer Lecture in The College of Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public. A sign language interpreter will be available, and reduced-rate parking will be available in the Irving Garage. For more information, visit

To mark National Orange Day, alumni clubs across the country will also be celebrating the day by coming together to make a difference in their respective communities.

Arizona: Club members will read to and with students at the Longview Elementary School. They will also help the school raise funds for a school-wide reading competition.

Army ROTC: Members will make a monetary donation to SU's First Book Program and will participate in the United Through Reading program at a later date.

Boston: Club members will host "Bowling Over Illiteracy," a charity bowling event to raise funds for ReadBoston, a Boston Redevelopment Authority program dedicated to having all Boston-area children reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

Capital District: Albany-area alumni will volunteer at the Regional Food Bank.

Chicago: The club will host "'Cuse Cares for Kids" and collect toys, games and books, and make cards for children at the Sinai Children's Hospital.

Indianapolis: Club members will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

New York City: The Big Apple Orange Club will accept book donations or monetary donations at its first anniversary event.

Oregon: Club members will help Portland's county library system prepare for its annual used book sale by marking and stocking inventory at Title Wave Used Bookstore.

Philadelphia: Club members sorted and packed food at Philabundance, the food bank of Greater Philadelphia.

Rochester: Club members will volunteer at Camp Good Days and Special Times.

Southern California: Alumni will spend a morning reading to kids at a Los Angeles elementary school as they partner with the literacy nonprofit "Reading To Kids." Volunteers will provide each child with a book as a reward for attending.

South Florida: The club will support SOS Children's Villages in Coconut Creek by hosting a "Mini Block Party" for 75 kids ranging in age from 2-18. The SOS Children's Villages provides a home and support for abused or abandoned children.

For more information regarding the alumni club National Orange Day programs, visit

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