Syracuse Law alumni help their alma mater in many ways, and in this feature, we offer a few vignettes about how they have offered their time and talent over the past year—from creating scholarships, guest lecturing, hosting externs, to hiring graduates, and more.
We not only ask what alums are doing but why they do it. Remember, every way you contribute makes a difference for our students, not least in the personal and professional bonds that are formed among generations of Orange lawyers.
CREATING A SCHOLARSHIP
Giving Students an Edge
The August 2021 Syracuse University obituary of alumnus W. Carroll “Nick” Coyne ’54, L’57 illustrates the twin passions of the late University Life Trustee, who was a labor relations attorney for more than 40 years at Hancock & Estabrook LLP.
A baseball and basketball letterman, who was honored with the 1977 Letter Winner of Distinction Award, Coyne loved sports and he loved the Orange. These passions helped spark a life-long friendship with fellow law school alum and athlete Art Lussi L’88.
Now, Lussi has memorialized their long friendship by creating an academic scholarship in Coyne’s name, for deserving students entering Orange Edge, Syracuse’s summer pre-law program.
Lussi, the President of Crowne Plaza Lake Placid, first got to know Coyne in the Adirondack resort town. Coyne’s daughter Christina ’94 played tennis with Lussi’s younger sister, and the Coynes would often stay in an area lodge. Lussi was an avid ski-racer “and Nick knew that my competitive spirit would serve me well if I gained admission to the law school.”
However, Lussi admits that his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College had taken a back seat to his skiing career, so to give him a jumpstart on law school, Coyne encouraged him to enroll in the Law Education Opportunity (LEO) Program, the predecessor to Orange Edge. “LEO was a six-week summer course then, and if you passed it, you were admitted into the 1L year,” recalls Lussi. “The course helped you to prove that you could hang with the regular admits, and it gave me the confidence that I could survive academically and do well as a law student.”
“Emil Rossi L’72 and the late Samuel Donnelly taught my course,” Lussi continues. “Both of them got you thinking like a lawyer. Donnelly in particular was instrumental because he knew many of the LEO students were intimidated. He was a brilliant person, and we became good friends.”
In addition to motivating Lussi to apply for law school, Coyne encouraged him in other ways. “I continued to ski-race while in law school, and Nick was a big supporter of staying athletically involved as well as academically involved.”
And when it came to Lussi’s career, Coyne inspired him to use his legal training to get deeply involved in his community. “He encouraged me to broaden my legal horizons, so I became an Adirondack Park Agency commissioner, and later I joined the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Nick was a big fan of Lake Placid’s Olympic facilities.”
Adds Lussi, “I miss Nick’s company at football, basketball, and lacrosse games, my perfect study breaks during law school. I hope the recipients of this Orange Edge scholarship continue the tradition of studying hard and cheering hard for the Orange.”