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, 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.
STEWARDING A SCHOLARSHIP
“Don’t Forget the Commitments”
When a student receives a scholarship, the bonds that are created can sometimes stretch far beyond the transactional.
That is not to say that students don’t express their heartfelt thanks for the financial assistance that helps make their career dreams a reality. In fact, many scholarship stewards receive warm letters from recipients, and those letters are received with equal gratitude. Sometimes they are so cherished, they lead to unique bonds between generations of Orange lawyers.
That certainly was the case with letters that Bill Burrows L’55 has received over the years from Class of 1955 Scholarship recipients, a fund that Burrows has stewarded for many years. When former recipient Lauren G. Blau L’17 agreed to take over that task from Burrows, as part of the hand-over, he sent her a folder full of thank-you notes—and hers was on top.
“My letter told him how much the scholarship meant to me and how it allowed me to stay in Syracuse while I studied for the bar,” says Blau, an associate specializing in matrimonial and family law at Chemtob Moss Forman & Beyda LLP in New York City. “Mr. Burrows wrote back telling me he was glad the scholarship went to me as he could see what a difference it made.”
The Class of 1955 Scholarship was an enormous benefit for Blau, especially when tragedy struck her family during her third year. “My mother was diagnosed with cancer, so the scholarship came at a time when I was dealing with that, as well as the stresses of my 3L year,” she explains. “It just took a burden off me.”
One criterion for the scholarship was a particularly good fit for Blau. The recipient, it asks, must demonstrate service to the College. In that respect, Blau has been giving back from day one. She was part of the Student Bar Association for three years, involved with two clinics at the College, was the Lead Articles Editor of the Journal of International Law and Commerce, an honorary member of the Moot Court Society (now the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society); and a Student Ambassador, among other activities.
“When Mr. Burrows was looking for someone from the next generation to be the steward of the Class of 1955 Scholarship, he was inspired that the scholarship had resonated with me,” says Blau.
Burrows agrees, “I think Lauren is perfect for this job. She was a great student, she has a good career ahead of her, and she’s dedicated to the alumni association. I wanted to have confidence about the 1955 fund, and now I can go to sleep at night!”
As Burrows mentions, Blau continues to serve the College as Chair of the SULAA Engagement Committee, encouraging fellow alums to get involved with their alma mater, through philanthropy and other means.
“I give back to the College not only through SULAA but also by donating to the Class of 1955 Scholarship that helped me,” Blau explains, adding that as part of her stewardship she wants to encourage other recipients to remember the fund that supported their law school career and support it in turn.
“I want to remind alums that someone helped them through law school, so please don’t forget the commitments that others have made in the past,” Blau adds. “The College needs alumni to remember those who gave to them and to give back, by donating to the College or by providing mentorship and career opportunities to students.”