Announcing the 2018 Orange Circle Award Winners
Syracuse University’s Forever Orange Week culminates with the Orange Circle Awards—honoring altruistic members of the SU community who have done extraordinary things in the service of others. The 2018 winners are alumnus Rob Long ’12, G’14 and the student groups Nanhi Kali, Uplifting Athletes and The Shaped Clay Society.
The Orange Circle Award honors Syracuse individuals—including students, faculty, staff, and alumni—who go above and beyond in their daily lives and who possess a deep responsibility for extraordinary acts that better society. These are not limited to financial support, but also include volunteerism.
The seventh annual Phanstiel Lecture, created through the support of Howie Phanstiel ’70, G’71 and his wife, Louise, is a vital part of the awards ceremony. This year, Orange Circle Award winner Rob Long will share his personal Syracuse story and why he chooses to stay involved and give back.
Rob Long ’12, G’14
Former Syracuse football punter Rob Long serves as the director of strategic development for Uplifting Athletes, a national nonprofit that uses college football as a platform to inspire hope in the rare disease community. At Uplifting Athletes, Long works on a team to raise money and awareness for rare disease research and patient-focused programs. Diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer during his senior year at SU, Long was the inspiration behind former Orange players starting a chapter of Uplifting Athletes at Syracuse.
Long remains active with the SU community as a member of the Syracuse Football Alumni Club and the Generation Orange Leadership Council.
A project of the Mahindra Foundation of India, Nanhi Kali supports education for underprivileged girls. The Hindi name, Nanhi Kali (NAHN-hee Kah-LEE), means “little flower bud.” A group of passionate students runs the Nanhi Kali Syracuse University chapter, recognizing that the education of women and girls is beneficial to all societies worldwide.
Nanhi Kali raises funds to sponsor uniforms, school supplies and tuition costs for girls in India who are unable to attend elementary or middle school on their own. Hosting fundraising events like “Diwali Night” and “Cuse Cup,” the group also encourages interaction among students and increases awareness of the cause. During the past two years, the SU student group has sponsored education for 51 girls each year, a number that has steadily grown since the group initially formed and sponsored its first three “Nanhi Kalis” in early 2010.
Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes
Founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes is a nonprofit organization working to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport and teamwork. With a network of university chapters run by current college football student-athletes, Uplifting Athletes has established 22 chapters with Division I football programs across the country, including the chapter at Syracuse University that was created in 2013.
This past summer, the SU chapter of Uplifting Athletes hosted its fifth annual “Lift for Life” event with friends, families and fans. The student-athletes showcased their competitive nature in an effort to raise research funds and awareness for those affected by rare diseases. The Orange raised more than $11,000 to benefit the rare disease community, while competing in events such as a wheelbarrow race, tire flips, figure-eight relays and a medicine ball toss.
The Shaped Clay Society
The Shaped Clay Society is a student-run organization affiliated with the ceramics department in the School of Art in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The club was established more than 50 years ago. Its mission is to develop projects that help students become professional artists.
One of the Shaped Clay Society’s main projects, the Empty Bowls fundraiser, benefits food pantries in Onondaga County and creates awareness about hunger in the community. The event has raised more than $250,000 since its inception, and all proceeds go to the Interreligious Food Consortium in Syracuse. Additionally, the club hosts two annual sales that support field trips, educational opportunities, visiting artists and lecturers, conference attendance, national and international residency opportunities, and alumni engagement.
ABOUT FOREVER ORANGE WEEK
Forever Orange Week celebrates the lifelong bond that forms as soon as a student arrives at Syracuse University. Activities throughout the week showcase that journey, highlighting ways students can be campus leaders, fostering Orange pride, underscoring the strength of SU’s alumni network, and emphasizing the importance of giving back.
Sponsored by the Forever Orange Student Alumni Council, the celebration runs March 24-29 with events happening each day. For more information, visit syr.edu/foreverorange.