Michael D. Veley Appointed Rhonda S. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management
Sport management founding director instrumental in program’s national reputation for academic rigor, experiential learning, social responsibility
Michael D. Veley was named the inaugural Rhonda S. Falk Endowed Professor of Sport Management at the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. His strategic vision has played an instrumental role in the development and growth of the Falk College’s undergraduate and graduate degrees in sport management, while elevating its Department of Sport Management to national prominence.
In 2011, Syracuse University alumni David B. and Rhonda S. Falk committed $15 million to SU—one of the largest-ever single gifts to the University. As part of their visionary and purposeful commitment to academics as a path to success, the Falks established a series of endowed professorships. These professorships allow the Falk College to support internationally recognized faculty to advance its mission rich in teaching, research, scholarship, practice and service.
“Michael has been the driving force behind the success of the sport management program at the David B. Falk College at Syracuse since its inception eight years ago. His dedication to the students, his vision for the future and his passion for the unique experiential learning process has created a truly special environment for both faculty and students,” say Rhonda and David Falk. “He is most deserving of recognition, and we are proud that the Falk family name and his performance will forever be linked together by this honor.”
The founding director of SU’s sport management program, Veley joined the Falk College in 2005 and was named department chair and professor of practice the following year. He has provided oversight and curriculum development for 19 new academically rigorous courses, including a new master of science degree in sport venue and event management launched in 2012. Veley has fostered experiential learning and social responsibility as signature aspects of the sport management program, which have contributed to its reputation for excellence and best practices in sport management education across the country.
Veley’s leadership and deep connections in the sports and event industries have created unique, ongoing experiential learning and faculty-student research partnerships with such organizations as the New York Yankees, AEG Worldwide, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Basketball Association Development League, among others. He has helped create an internationally regarded “Who’s Who in Sports” advisory board that consists of 26 members, including 14 company presidents, founders and CEOs.
To familiarize students with geographies of sport history and significance, Veley developed the Olympic Odyssey study abroad program. This opportunity, which will enter its sixth year in 2014, brings students annually to London, Paris, Lausanne and Athens to experience the history and culture of the Olympics. Working closely with members of the Sport Management Advisory Board and departmental faculty and staff, Veley launched the Los Angeles Immersion Experience in 2011 that brings students face-to-face with prominent leaders of premier sports and event organizations, as well as related professional opportunities, in southern California each year.
Veley created the Sport Management (SPM) Club at Syracuse University and currently serves as its co-advisor. Since its founding in 2005, the SPM Club has donated more than $200,000 to Central New York charities, raised through its Annual Charity Sport Auction and has consistently been recognized with Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement and Scholarship. Veley’s leadership was instrumental in establishing the first collegiate chapter in the country for Women in Sports and Events (WISE) at Syracuse University in 2009 to create networking, career management and professional development opportunities for female sport management students and industry practitioners in the area.
“We are pleased to honor Professor Michael Veley, the founding chair of the Department of Sport Management, with the Rhonda S. Falk endowed professorship,” says Falk College Dean Diane Lyden Murphy. “The success and international prominence of our sport management program is without a doubt directly linked to Michael’s vision and leadership. He embodies the Falk family’s deep commitment to academics, experiential opportunities and service to others. Consequently, Michael is the quintessential choice to receive this honor. I am incredibly proud of him and tremendously grateful for his many contributions to students, the Falk College and Syracuse University.”
In addition to his role in the Falk College, Veley was named Syracuse University’s “Voice of the Carrier Dome” in 2006 and is the public address announcer for SU football, men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse games. He is an active leader throughout the local and statewide sport communities, as well as the industry on an international level.
Veley has served on the Syracuse University Senate, and continues to serve on the Remembrance Scholar Selection Committee and the Remembrance Scholars 25th Anniversary Committee, as well as the SU Bookstore Advisory Council. In the past year, he was appointed to the board of directors for the Syracuse Sports Corp. and the Center for Sports Business and Research at Penn State University. In May, he was honored with the 2013 Falk College Faculty of the Year Award for excellence in professional service. In 2006, he received the Founder’s Award from Ithaca College for his contributions to fostering student opportunities in the field of sport management and media. The Michael D. Veley Endowed Scholarship was established in 2009 in recognition of Veley’s contributions as department chair, advisor and mentor in support of undergraduate sport management students. Throughout his career, Veley has taught, mentored and guided hundreds of college students interested in pursuing careers in the sports and event industries.
“David and Rhonda Falk epitomize the values of education, social responsibility and leadership in sports, entrepreneurship and civic engagement, all qualities that we emphasize in our department,” says Veley. “I’m extremely honored to represent the Falk namesake and will continue to do my utmost to build sport management at Syracuse University into the pre-eminent program in North America. Their generosity, commitment and devotion to the education and profession of sport management are unmatched, and working together, SU is attaining an elite status in higher education. What better way to honor them?”
Veley has taught marketing and public relations courses as an adjunct professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He spent nearly two decades working as a Division I athletic administrator at Cornell and Syracuse, including 10 years at Syracuse University. Many of his innovative marketing and promotional ideas have appeared on television and in published textbooks. He is a three-time National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) award winner. He received a bachelor’s degree with honors from SUNY Geneseo and earned a master’s of professional studies degree from Cornell University.