A Family Legacy That Spans a Century

Syracuse University was a major part of Sarah Shepp L’19’s childhood in Allendale, NJ, situated close to the New York state border. She recalled family gatherings to watch Syracuse games as a child when she and her cousin would wear cheerleading outfits and root for the Orange.

“Syracuse was always an important place for our family,” Shepp says. She is keenly aware of following in the footsteps of her family members who have attended Syracuse for undergraduate study, and for a law degree from the College of Law.

Family Tradition
The family tradition began with Sarah’s great-grandfather Walter Rose, who attended Syracuse on an athletic scholarship. Rose lettered in cross country and graduated in 1919. Rose then graduated from the College of Law in 1922. He went on to take over his father’s furniture store, Joseph Rose & Sons, which was originally located in Manhattan and then relocated to Astoria, Queens.

Rose continued to support the Orange and attended homecoming games up until he was 99 years old. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 101, when Shepp was 4 years old.

Walter Rose was not Shepp’s only family member to attend Syracuse, however. On her maternal great-grandmother’s side, Shepp had two great uncles who graduated from Syracuse: Bill Gold who graduated from the College of Law in 1922, the same year as Walter, and Abe Gold, whose graduation date is unknown. Bill introduced Walter to his sister Rose Gold who later became Walter’s wife. Walter and Rose were married for over 60 years.

Loyalty & Service
Walter had two sons, Martin and Stanley Rose. Stanley studied business and graduated in 1952, and Martin studied communications and graduated in 1967. Bill and Abe Gold’s nephew Barton Stein graduated from Syracuse University in 1960. Shepp’s uncle Kenneth Reichner graduated in 1984, and Shepp’s cousin—and Walter Rose’s grandson—Gordon Rose graduated from the College of Law in 1993.

Walter, Stanley, Martin, and Kenneth were all active in the Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) fraternity at Syracuse, and there is a Sammy scholarship named after Walter. In 1990, Walter received the Eggers Senior Alumni Award, which honors alumni whose leadership and service to society has been joined with loyalty and service to the University.

For Shepp, Syracuse University has been a family tradition for four generations, and the tradition is set to continue. Shepp currently has a second cousin, Margaret Rose, who is a first-year student at Syracuse in the honors program majoring in public health. Margaret is the great-granddaughter of Walter Rose, the granddaughter of Stanley Rose, and the daughter of Gordon Rose. That makes à Syracuse University connections in her family.

“With this family history, it just seemed appropriate for me to go to Syracuse and continue the legacy.”

Sarah Shepp L’19

Continue the Legacy
Shepp says she pursued a legal education in order to advocate for individuals and to help people with complex issues in their time of need. The College of Law seemed the supportive, collaborative environment that Shepp was looking for, and she found that the professors wanted their students to succeed.

“To top all that off with this family history, it just seemed appropriate for me to go to Syracuse and continue the legacy,” she explains, praising the quality of the legal education she received at Syracuse.

Currently, Shepp works as a law clerk for the Hon. Alan G. Lesnewich, J.S.C., a civil division judge in Union County, NJ. She passed the New Jersey bar exam and works on a variety of civil cases, from contract disputes to personal injury litigation.

Shepp is interested in insurance defense, medical malpractice defense, and product liability, and she hopes to pursue that work in the future. She notes that her education at Syracuse prepared her for her current position thanks to opportunities such as the Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition, the Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition, and the Bond, Schoeneck & King Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition, as well as her service as the Associate Editor of the Journal of International Law and Commerce. Her article “Priceless Kidney: The Ineffectiveness of Organ Trafficking Legislation” was published in the Spring 2019 edition.

When reflecting on her family’s Orange history, Shepp says, “I hope I made Walter Rose proud. It’s really nice to be involved in a profession that so many of my relatives chose for themselves.” Before she arrived in Syracuse, she imagined being on the same campus they lived on decades before her and reading the same legal cases that they did. Reflecting on what it felt to be at the College, and reading those cases, she says, “It’s been a blessing and an incredible experience.”