Alumni to Receive Eggers, Generation Orange Awards During Orange Central
A 60-year-strong reunion committee, a passionate supporter of Syracuse University and a young alumnus whose project provides care packages to active-duty military alumni will all be honored for their contributions during Orange Central homecoming weekend Sept. 15-18.
The Melvin A. Eggers Senior Alumni Award will be presented to the Class of 1956 Reunion Committee and David Coffman ’38 (posthumous).
The award will be presented at a special luncheon for senior alumni Friday, Sept. 16, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Persian Terrace, Marriott Syracuse Downtown—the newly restored former Hotel Syracuse. The cost is $25 per person.
The Generation Orange Award will be presented to Jason Yaley ’05, G’06 at the Generation Orange Celebration—for graduates between 2006 and 2016.
The event will be held Friday, Sept. 16, from 9-11 p.m. at the Flaum Grand Hall, Whitman School of Management. There will be food, drinks, photo opps with Otto and more. The cost is $5 per person.
Melvin Eggers Senior Alumni Award
Established in 1988 by Chancellor Emeritus William P. Tolley, the Melvin A. Eggers Senior Alumni Award is presented to those alumni who have graduated more than 50 years ago and have demonstrated loyalty and service to Syracuse University.
Class of 1956 Reunion Committee
The class’s 60th Reunion, being held during this year’s Orange Central celebration, marks the 12th time this committee has served together and provided its own musical entertainment during a reunion weekend.
Members of the committee are the following:
- Ted Krawitz is serving as reunion chair for the 12th time. As a student, he was president of the Traditions Commission and a proud member of Zeta Beta Tau. He was nominated by Chancellor William P. Tolley to become a member of Tau Theta Upsilon senior men’s honorary society. A graduate of what is now the Whitman School of Management, Krawitz pursued a career in the financial industry, serving as first vice president of investments at Wells Fargo Securities, retiring after 47 years. He is very proud that both of his daughters are Syracuse University alumnae.
- Judy Richardson Beers is a partner in a company that markets wood accessories for needlework and crafts. She earned a bachelor’s degree from what is now Falk College.
- Patricia Cain Beyle is a retired choral director who was a member of the Hendricks Chapel Choir and the Traditions Commission while studying for a bachelor’s degree from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. She was chair of Spring Weekend 1956.
- Ray Caldiero is chairman of Aerospace Technologies Group Inc. and The Sequoia Groups Inc. He was a member of the marching band and WAER staff, and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and dramatic arts.
- Bobby Browne Cramer is passionate about music and Syracuse University. She earned a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences. She is proud that two of her children are also Syracuse University alumni; her daughter Lauren Cramer L’94 is on the University’s Board of Trustees.
- Andra Tompkins Frank is a retired teacher of the gifted and talented. She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and dramatic arts, and was a member of the WAER staff during her time at Syracuse University.
- Polly Reed Hollis is a retired marketing manager who was editor-in-chief of The Daily Orange. She earned bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Newhouse School.
- Ken Halaby Sr.is past president of International Scientific Communications and most recently served as first selectman in the town of Trumbull, Connecticut. He was a member of the WAER staff while studying for a bachelor’s degree in speech and dramatic arts.
- Janet Rigdon Jackson is a retired music teacher who earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
- Haden Patten is a retired teacher who served in the U.S. Naval Academy Information Program for four decades. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree from the School of Education.
- Milton Shefter is president of Miljoy Enterprises, an award-winning international media asset preservation company. While earning a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the Maxwell School and the College of Arts and Sciences, he was class orator, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, and involved in WAER and The Daily Orange.
- Ken Sparks is president of Ken Sparks Associates LLC. He received the Arents Award in 2004 and the Eggers Award in 2011. His wife, Suzanne ’65, is a Syracuse University alumna.
David Coffman ’38 (posthumous)
David Coffman met Barbara Dudley ’38, the woman who would become his wife, during freshman orientation. “Everything that I have had in this world began at Syracuse University,” Coffman often told family members. Coffman earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Syracuse University and was a firm believer in the value of a liberal arts education.
A three-year member of the varsity baseball team, Coffman was elected manager of the freshman basketball team for the 1937-38 season. One of Syracuse University’s most passionate supporters and a lifetime member of the Varsity Club, he was honored as a Syracuse University LetterWinner of Distinction in 2005.
Coffman was in the Navy during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theater. In 1959, he formed his own business, the Pepsi-Cola franchise of northeastern Massachusetts, serving as president and treasurer for five decades. A respected member of his community, he held a variety of positions with the South Church, United Church of Christ in Andover, Massachusetts. In his later years, he was a loyal member of the Deerfield Community Church in Deerfield, New Hampshire. He passed away in June 2016.
Generation Orange Award
Introduced in fall 2013, the Generation Orange Award recognizes alumni who have made an impact on campus and in their communities through their volunteer work and philanthropy on behalf of Syracuse University.
Jason Yaley ’05, G’06
Jason Yaley is the special assistant to the Air Force chief of staff. As principal advisor to a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yaley leads the development, integration and implementation of key service programs and represents the senior leadership with international, interagency, legislative and corporate partners. He also oversees many of the service’s strategic partnership efforts, developing alliances and strategies for advocacy and engagement across an array of public, private and international stakeholders.
Yaley previously served as strategy and policy advisor to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he directed the strategic communication efforts of the vice chairman; as a speechwriter to the Air Force vice chief of staff; as a counselor to the commander of Air Combat Command and as a member of the air staff at the Pentagon. He is also a lecturer at military leadership forums across the country, sharing his expertise on generational leadership and effective measures for managing a millennial workforce.
In 2006, Yaley created the Orange Around the World service project at Syracuse University to send care packages to alumni who were active duty service members. His purpose was to remind people that Syracuse is proud of all alumni, including those in the military. In celebration of National Orange Day 2016, Yaley returned to campus to again lead the Orange Around the World effort. Using items donated by members of the University community, Yaley and a team of volunteers sent care packages to 325 alumni actively serving around the world.
Yaley holds a master’s degree in public administration and a certificate of advanced study in security studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and bachelor’s degrees in international relations and political science from the College of Arts and Sciences. He has completed additional studies in crisis leadership, information warfare and public affairs, and is a member of the Emerging Leaders Program at National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction.