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New SU chancellor is introduced to college community

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A Rochester-area native will become the 12th chancellor and president of Syracuse University in January. Incoming Chancellor Kent Syverud introduced himself to the university community at Hendricks Chapel on Thursday, after the Board of Trustees voted on his appointment.

Syverud said he is going to learn to bleed orange, and he has a good start.

"The first true university I ever saw was this one," Syverud said. "I can never forget the first time I saw Crouse College up on this hill, with the bells ringing and all kinds of people moving between these fantastic buildings."

He also discussed what the university meant to him as a child.

"You have no idea what a big idea Syracuse University was for me growing up and for my family," Syverud said. "It defined a lot of things, including education, sports and spirit."

Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO
Incoming SU Chancellor Kent Syverud says the college "is going to turn heads."

Syverud says for now, his plans are to learn everything he can about SU. Armed with that knowledge, he expects to help the university do great things.

"That we are going to turn heads," Syverud said. "That we are going to manage occasional hardships and disagreements with cheer and dignity. That we are eventually going to flatten the competition, including Duke. And along the way we will help the whole world see Syracuse as the best university, and central New York as the best place anyone would want to be."

Syverud comes to SU From the Washington University School of Law, where he is dean. He is a lawyer by trade, and highlights on his resume include a stint as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and academic leadership roles in other schools including Vanderbilt University. He'll replace Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who leaves in January to become chancellor of the Rutgers-Newark campus in New Jersey.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.