Joyce Hergenhan’s professional career was filled with firsts. The young woman who graduated from Syracuse University in 1963 advanced quickly in her career, first in journalism and then corporate communications, often the first female in executive positions. She rose quickly…
He’s always there with a smile, a hug or a high five.
Otto the Orange has helped the University celebrate its most exciting events. Now, the University community is celebrating the lovable mascot on his 25th birthday.
Otto will be honored today as part National Orange Day (see a story here) and Philanthropy Week on campus. Well-wishers can stop by the Schine atrium between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a piece of cake. Celebrate further by giving Otto a shout-out on Twitter using #celebratesu.
Otto recently submitted answers to some questions from Syracuse University News, reflecting on his spirited work at the University.
Q: What’s the best part about being Syracuse University’s mascot?
A: Well, the best part is making so many friends! While I’ve been around here, I’ve met so many awesome students, faculty, staff, alumni, athletes, coaches, pets, mascots, plants and oranges and now I’ve got a great bunch of friends that go back 25 years. I’m so grateful every time they reach out and tag me in their posts, or give me a high five in the Dome, or invite me to their events. I love being a part of this amazing Orange Nation. I do my best to keep track of all my friends on my Facebook page and I love making new ones every single day!
Q: How do you like to get fans excited for a sports event in the Carrier Dome?
A: Hmm … Well, first I have to drink my orange juice … Don’t worry, it’s not weird at all. I need it to make sure I have TONS OF ENERGYYYYYYYY for the game! By being so energetic, fans want to be just as excited as I am. I go by the mantra of enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. So I make sure I’m the happiest, craziest, zestiest and most spirited orange Syracuse could ever have!
Q: What do you do in your free time away from the excitement?
A: Well, every so often I have to swing on down to Florida to see my momma and poppa Orange (they need that tropical weather to stay fresh), but mostly I visit all my friends all over our Orange alumni network! I like to go to weddings, carnivals, school assemblies and special events all around campus, Syracuse and sometimes across the country! I keep a very busy schedule and have events EVERY day, averaging around 40 events a month all year round. If there’s someone out there who wants to make sure I add his or her event to my busy calendar, they should send me an email and I’ll try my best to be there.
Q: What have you learned in your 25 seasons with Syracuse University?
A: I’ve learned a great many things in my 25 years here:
- They don’t sell a coat in the bookstore big enough to fit me, and the winters are cold here, so I’ve learned to wear lots of layers.
- Orange fans are the best fans.
- Sadler Dining Hall has awesome French fries.
- I have so many favorite days I look forward to every year: the first day of school, Orange Central Weekend, the first football game, the Orange Madness event that kicks off basketball season, National Orange Day, Commencement Weekend. We have great traditions at Syracuse.
- Sledding down the Crouse hill at the first snow fall is the best.
- Syracuse is the only home I could ever imagine having! I love how excited my friends are to see me around and I love bringing some orange into everyone’s lives. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years has in store for me!