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Five SU alumni to be honored with Arents Awards
Five SU alumni to be honored with Arents AwardsMay 25, 2005Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
In a highlight of Syracuse University’s Reunion Weekend, June 3-5, five outstanding alumni will be honored for their exceptional accomplishments with 2005 George Arents Pioneer Medals, the highest alumni honor the University bestows. Medals will be presented during the Arents Award Dinner, June 4, at 7 p.m. in the Oncenter.
Honorees receiving their awards during the Arents Dinner will be: Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. LAW’68, for excellence in public affairs; Nicholas M. Donofrio G’71, for excellence in technology innovation; Joyce Hergenhan ’63, for excellence in corporate communications; Ted Koppel ’60, H’82, for excellence in broadcast journalism; and Michael Tirico ’88, for excellence in sports broadcasting.
The award is named for George Arents, former chairman of the SU Board of Trustees. In 1939, Arents endowed a fund to provide for the medals to be awarded annually. Alumni of the University are eligible for the award based on excellence in their field of endeavor. Recipients of the award are selected by the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
For more information on the Arents Medals, the Arents Award Dinner and Reunion Weekend, call SU’s Alumni Relations Office at (315) 443-3516 or (800) SUALUMS (782-5867). Details are also available at http://alumni.syr.edu/Reunion05/Homepage.htm.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. LAW’68
For more than 30 years, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has represented the people of Delaware in the United States Senate. Throughout his career, Biden’s top priority has been making sure American families are safer in their communities and that our country remains strong in the world. As the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, he is widely recognized as a leading expert on national security. Biden called for stronger defenses against terrorism within U.S. borders long before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Sen. Richard Lugar, who currently chairs the committee, says “Senator Biden has a very strong commitment to a bipartisan foreign policy and serves as a good example for everyone in Congress. He has a very broad, comprehensive view of the world. He’s a good listener, but he’s also a strong and effective advocate of his position.”
As a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, Biden has been described by U.S. News & World Report as “the Democrats’ chief anti-crime specialist on Capitol Hill.” He wrote the 1994 Crime Bill that helped put 100,000 additional police officers on the streets and is widely credited with helping lower crime rates during the 1990s.
Biden is also the author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, the first federal law to address gender-based crimes in a comprehensive way. This bill strengthened federal penalties for abusers, stalkers and repeat sex offenders and provided nearly $4 billion to states to fund battered women’s shelters; train police, prosecutors and nurses; and establish a national domestic violence hotline.
He has championed initiatives to help prevent crime, including his “Kids 2000” legislation, which provides computer centers, instructors, Internet access and technical training to young people across the country, in particular, to low-income and at-risk youth.
Originally trained as a trial attorney, Biden practiced law in Delaware from 1968-72. He launched his political career in 1970, serving as councilman for New Castle County until his election to the Senate in 1972. He received a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Delaware in 1965, a law degree from SU’s College of Law in 1968 and several honorary degrees.
Since 1991, he has been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law. He was honored by the SU Law Alumni Association with a Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and received a SU Chancellor’s Medal in 1980, in recognition of his career accomplishments. In addition, he was the College of Law Commencement speaker in 1994 and 2002.
Nicholas M. Donofrio G’71
Nicholas M. Donofrio is the senior vice president for technology and manufacturing at IBM Corp.
“Nicholas Donofrio is highly respected for his technical excellence, his extraordinary vision and his superior leadership abilities,” says Eric F. Spina, the Douglas D. Danforth Dean of SU’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). “He has been a loyal friend to Syracuse University and to the College of Engineering and Computer Science and its students. Nick serves as an exemplar for SU students through his professional excellence, international leadership and his commitment to diversity. He is an excellent ambassador for Syracuse University and an example of the best that we can be.”
Donofrio’s career began in 1967, when he joined IBM as a designer of logic and memory chips. While working full time, he earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from ECS. He has held numerous technical management positions and executive positions in several of IBM’s product divisions. He has led many of IBM’s major development and manufacturing teams and was named senior vice president for technology and manufacturing in 1997.
As the company’s chief technology officer, Donofrio is the leader of IBM’s technology strategy and is a champion for innovation across IBM and its global ecosystem. He has received worldwide recognition for his technical innovations and his entrepreneurial approach in the information technology industry and within IBM.
Donofrio also leads the development and retention of IBM’s technical population and strives to enrich that community with a diversity of culture and thought. He has been a strong national advocate for education and leads a progressive, company-wide effort to develop and retain IBM’s diverse technical workforce.
From 1997-2002, Donofrio served as chair of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), and is now chairman emeritus. He has come to the SU campus several times in recent years to meet with students in ECS’ SummerStart, a six-week program designed to help students make a seamless transition from high school to college.
Donofrio is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the United Kingdom’s national academy of engineering; was selected the 2003 Technology Leader of the Year by Industry Week Magazine; was the 2003 recipient of the Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award from the Society of Women Engineers; and was selected as the Technical Executive of the Year in 2003 by the University of Arizona. In 2002, he was recognized by the Institution of Electrical Engineers in Europe with the Mensforth International Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to the advancement of manufacturing engineering.
He holds seven technology patents and is a member of numerous technical and science honor societies. He received a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1967, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering from Polytechnic University in 1999 and an honorary doctorate in sciences from the U.K.’s University of Warwick.
Joyce Hergenhan ’63
Joyce Hergenhan retired in 2004 from the General Electric Company after a 22-year career as vice president for corporate public relations and president of the GE Foundation.
For 16 years, Hergenhan was GE’s senior communications executive and served on the company’s corporate executive council. She worked closely with then-CEO Jack Welch as GE transformed itself from a traditional manufacturing company into the world’s most successful diversified technology and services company. During her tenure, both Fortune magazine and The Financial Times cited GE as the most admired and most respected company in the world. While president of the GE Foundation, Hergenhan was also a corporate vice president, responsible for GE’s extensive volunteer programs and other community improvement initiatives.
Esteemed by her peers and colleagues, Hergenhan has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Glamour magazine named her an “Outstanding Young Working Woman in America” in 1979. Business Week included her in its list of “Fifty Women to Watch” in 1987, and she was named Connecticut Alumnus of the Year by Columbia University in 1993. In 1999 she received the Matrix Award for career excellence in public relations from New York Women in Communications, Inc., and in 2000 she received the lifetime achievement award from Inside PR, the leading publication in the field.
Hergenhan has also served in leadership roles in several professional and volunteer organizations. She was the first female chair of the Public Relations Seminar, the nation’s leading association of senior public relations executives. She currently serves on the boards of the Civilian Public Affairs Council of the U.S. Military Academy, the Inner-City Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She is vice chair of the Connecticut Audubon Society. In 2004 Hergenhan was named to the board of the Cintas Corp.
Hergenhan remains actively involved with the University. She sat on the National Campaign Council for the Commitment to Learning Campaign, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Institutional Advancement Subcommittee and the Society of Fellows. Hergenhan is a member of the Advisory Council of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a past member of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management Advisory Council.
A native of Armonk, N.Y., Hergenhan earned a B.A. in political science from SU and an MBA from Columbia University. Before joining GE in 1982, she was senior vice president for public affairs at Consolidated Edison Company of New York. Prior to that, she was a journalist with Gannett Newspapers and press secretary and speechwriter for U.S. Rep. Ogden R. Reid.
While at SU, Hergenhan was an editor of the Daily Orange, a member of the Eta Pi Upsilon senior women’s honorary society and president of Pi Beta Phi sorority. As an alumna, she has actively supported both SU academics and SU athletics. She initiated and chaired the campaign to raise funds for the naming of the Jim Boeheim Basketball Court, and is supporting the Hergenhan Auditorium in the soon-to-be-built Newhouse III building. Additionally, Joyce Hergenhan Scholarships support several SU undergraduate students.
Ted Koppel ’60, H’82
Ted Koppel, a 42-year veteran of ABC News, has been well known for the news show “Nightline” since its introduction in 1980. Television’s first late-night network news program, the show provides in-depth reporting on one or more major stories, covering issues, topics and events that become other shows’ news the next morning. Koppel is the principal on-air reporter and interviewer, in addition to the program’s managing editor. Guests have included public figures such as Yasir Arafat, Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson.
In March 2003, Koppel was embedded with the Army’s Third Infantry Division for five weeks, reporting first from Kuwait, then moving with the Army across the border into Iraq and finally into Baghdad, chronicling the fall of the city. He received praise for the depth and insight of his reporting.
The New York Times says, “Mr. Koppel is like an unflappable commander whose very presence and unhurried cadences bring the troops to order, just the way he controls the personages who are honored by invitations to ‘Nightline.'” He has been cited by The Wall Street Journal as “the pre-eminent TV interviewer in America,” while The Los Angeles Times refers to him as “the undisputed reigning lion of tough TV interview journalism.”
Koppel started his career with ABC News in 1963, at the age of 23, as an anchorman’s apprentice. He covered presidential campaigns, served as foreign correspondent in Vietnam and as news bureau chief in Miami and Hong Kong. From 1971-80, as chief diplomatic and Washington correspondent, Koppel traveled with President Nixon on his visit to the People’s Republic of China, covered Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance and reported on national defense. His coverage of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 led to the establishment of “Nightline” the following year.
Koppel has won many major broadcasting awards, including 41 Emmys, 11 Peabodys, 12 duPont-Columbia Awards, 10 Overseas Press Club Awards, two George Polk Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, the highest honor for public service awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists. He received the first Goldsmith Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University; the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from Quinnipiac College; the Gabriel Personal Achievement Award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators; and the first Gold Baton in the history of the duPont-Columbia Awards for “Nightline’s” week-long series on South Africa. He won the Sol Taishoff Award from Broadcasting Magazine, was voted best interviewer on radio or TV by The Washington Journalism Review and was named Broadcaster of the Year by the International Television and Radio Society. In 2002, he was awarded the Fred Friendly Award for Excellence in Television Journalism from Amnesty International.
Koppel is also an inductee of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Republic of France and has received a number of honorary degrees from U.S. universities, including an honorary doctorate of law degree from SU in 1982.
Koppel is the author of three books: a diary, “Off Camera: Private Thoughts Made Public” (Knopf, 2000), “Nightline: History and the Making of Television” (co-authored with Kyle Gibson, Crown, 1996) and “In the National Interest” (co-authored with Marvin Kalb, Simon & Schuster, 1977).
He holds a bachelor’s degree in speech and dramatic arts from SU and a master’s degree in mass communications research and political science from Stanford University. At SU, he was a member of the WAER student radio staff, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Alpha Epsilon Rho (broadcasting) and Tau Theta Upsilon (senior men’s) honorary societies. He also lettered in soccer. In addition, he was SU’s Commencement speaker in 1982 and 2000.
Michael T. Tirico ’88
One of sports television’s most talented and versatile commentators, Michael T. Tirico has been the host of ABC Sports golf coverage since 1996. His work has earned him a 2001 Emmy nomination as top host/play-by-play.
In 2002-03, Tirico added the role of studio host for ABC’s National Basketball Association (NBA) broadcasts, which include the NBA Finals. He also calls NBA play-by-play for ESPN. In addition to his golf and NBA duties, Tirico is a play-by-play announcer for college football on ABC and ESPN. In the course of his career, Tirico has covered many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, college football national championship games, NBA finals, National Football League (NFL) draft and the Daytona 500.
Tirico is a contributor to ESPN Sportscenter, radio, magazine and Internet ventures. In 1993, he debuted and hosted ESPN’s “NFL Prime Monday,” a 90-minute program featuring news and discussion of issues in the NFL.
Prior to joining ESPN, Tirico was sports director at Syracuse television station WTVH-5, a CBS affiliate. He began as an intern at the station in 1986, while also serving as assistant sports director at WAER, SU’s student-run radio station. He joined WTVH-5 full time in April 1987, while still a student, as sports anchor/reporter.
One day during his senior year, Tirico says, he delivered a 6:50 a.m. sportscast by telephone for WKIX-FM, did a live sports broadcast at 7:50 a.m., followed by a session discussing weekend football with a local morning radio crew and taped an 8:50 a.m. sportscast. He then went to class, followed by a trip to WTVH-5 to fulfill his daily duties for the sports department.
Tirico was named top local sportscaster by the Syracuse Herald Journal in 1987 and has received an Associated Press New York Broadcasters award for his work on a feature of the SU football team. In 1996, SU awarded him the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Tirico received his bachelor of arts degree in political science and broadcast journalism from SU in 1988. He married the former Debbie Gibaratz ’89, who was a captain and letterwinner on the SU womens’ basketball team, at Hendricks Chapel in 1991. They live in Ann Arbor, Mich., with their two children.