Notable Veteran Alumni: Major General Max Baratz

Max BaratzMajor General Max Baratz is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story – one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future. 

Max Baratz was born on 1934 and raised in Aurora, Illinois. His childhood hobby was stamp collecting. His father enlisted in the Army during World War I and served as a noncommissioned officer in the Signal Corps, and his mother was a recent immigrant, coming to the United States from Poland as a young child.

With the Class of 1956, Max Baratz graduated Syracuse University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and served as a cadet in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. After graduation, he was commissioned as a regular army officer in the infantry due to his recognition as a Distinguished Military Graduate, and later in his career, inducted into Syracuse University’s Army ROTC hall of fame. That summer, Max Baratz married Carole Bogage. They were blessed with two sons and one daughter.

In August 1956, Max Baratz graduated Infantry Officer Basic and received his first assignment as the Pioneer/Ammunition Platoon leader of 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division and later transferred to 3d Battalion, 18th Infantry. Six months later, he joined the Army Reserves where he continued his platoon leader, command and staff time. He graduated from the Engineer Officer Advance Course and was promoted to Command and General Staff College with the 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry at Fort Riley. In 1976, as a Colonel, Baratz was selected to be the 416th Engineer Command’s Chief of Staff and; in 1979, Baratz was selected as a Brigadier General in the Army Reserve. In 1983, after 11 years of service in the 416th Engineer Command, the Army selected him as commander, then nominated for Major General by President Reagan. 

Prior to returning to active duty, Baratz was a retail stockbroker for H. Hentz & Company, functioning as a block trader representing 20 major brokerage houses. After experiencing much success at H. Hentz, he became a member of the largest floor exchange-the Midwest Stock Exchange. Starting as a broker, Max Baratz quickly climbed the ranks to serve as the Executive Vice-President of Billings, Inc.

It wasn’t until 1991, during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, that Major General Baratz was called to active duty to serve as the Deputy Commanding General for Reserve Affairs, overseeing one of the largest mobilizations since WWII to support the Gulf war. Shortly after, Major General Baratz was again called to active duty to be Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Command, responsible for the training and readiness of almost all Army Reserve units in U.S. Three years later, he was selected to be the Chief of the Army Reserve in 1994. Under his direction, Army Reserve units were the first into and the last out of Haiti, in support of Operation Restore Democracy, with more Army Reservists mobilized in support of peace keeping efforts in Bosnia than were mobilized during the Vietnam conflict.

Max Baratz served his country for over four decades and under nine different presidents, when he decided to retire on May 24, 1998. General Baratz’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the  Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

Max Baratz is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Notable Veteran Alumni: David C. Knapp

David C. KnappDavid C. Knapp was an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story – one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

Born in 1927, David C. Knapp grew up in Syracuse, New York. With the Class of ’47, Knapp received a Bachelor’s of Art in political science from Syracuse University. A year later, he walked across the stage to receive his M.A. from the University of Chicago. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division in Ft. Hood, Texas to eventually serve in Korea and West Germany from 1950 to 1952.

Knapp certainly enjoyed the college lifestyle as he immediately returned to Chicago to complete his Ph.D. in political science after his military service. Knapp graduated in 1953 and was immediately offered the faculty position of assistant professor of government at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). From 1955 to 1961, he served as assistant to the president and associate professor. His able skills as an administrator and leadership abilities developed in the Army quickly gained recognition, as he was promoted to Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at UNH. During his tenure, Knapp was granted two highly competitive, merit-based fellowship grants: one international educational exchange as a Fulbright Scholar in Finland and another as a Bullard Fellow in forest research at Harvard University.

In 1963, Knapp left UNH to become associate director of the Study of American Colleges of Agriculture, financed by the Carnegie Corporation and based at the University of Maryland, College Park. While working on this study, Knapp also became director of the Institute of College & University Administrators of the American Council of Education. Five years later, he accepted the inaugural position of Dean of the New York State College of Human Ecology, a statutory college within Cornell University. His success as Dean gained the attention of Cornell University administrators, who later appointed him Provost in 1974, responsible for organizing the merger of the Human Ecology College with the Graduate School of Nutrition.

After leaving Cornell, Knapp became president of the University of Massachusetts (UMass), a position he held from 1978 to 1990. His main mission was to renew the social purpose and reputation of the university. Under his brilliant 10-year leadership, UMass established the Polymer Science Research Center and Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Institute to support the growth of technology industries, created the Corporation for Educational Telecommunications to make the university a pioneer in distance learning, expanded the UMass system from three to five campuses, and enhanced its international profile.

For Knapp’s efforts in strengthening international relations with Japan and Germany and establishing new ones with China and Russia, he was awarded several honors. In 1990, the Emperor of Japan awarded him with the Order of the Rising Sun, the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese Government for his distinguished achievements in international relations. In 1992, Knapp was also recognized for his efforts in promoting development and trade between Massachusetts and Baden-Württemberg, Germany with the Staufer Medal. After retirement from presidency at UMass in 1990, Knapp was named President Emeritus and served as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Professor for three more years. Knapp continued to serve on governing boards of several organizations and has several scholarships in his name. Knapp passed away in April 2010. 

David C. Knapp was an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Student Veteran Cynthia Kao-Johnson Creates “Resilient Documentary” at Syracuse University

Documentary Film and History (DFH) graduate student Cynthia Kao-Johnson entered the military with a creative mind and left with the added benefits of skills and discipline. Now she wants to make a difference by igniting conversations about sensitive topics through her skills in documentary filmmaking.

Kao-Johnson is a mother of three, an active-duty army wife, and a veteran who was in the Army Reserve from 2009 to 2013. According to her, being a reservist is living in both the civilian and the military world at the same time. She is used to having a civilian job while living in a military world. This gave her a unique advantage but it also created trouble. It was a surreal experience when she left that world. Not having to go to drills, or having people understand the acronyms that had become part of her vocabulary, took some getting used to. Feeling it was time to explore a different world, she enrolled in the DFH program at Syracuse University. Kao-Johnson came back to grad school searching for individual creativity, and to see how she could shape her storytelling in an artistic and provocative way.

“I was a broadcast journalist with the Air Force. I did a lot of camerawork. So I have a lot of creativity and a yearning for the freedom that documentary film-making affords.”

Throughout the year the program requires the students to put together a thesis film in order to complete the graduate program. Kao-Johnson’s film revolves around veterans’ experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is a complete feature-length film. It deals with understanding PTSD and what veterans go through paralleled with how the community and outside world perceive it. She brings to life different war eras and how PTSD was experienced in earlier times because the actual term did not exist until 1980. Older vets sometimes did not even know they struggled from the disorder.

This topic is very close to Kao-Johnson as she personally struggled with PTSD herself. This encouraged her to integrate her story into the film as she felt that the veterans she was working with were making an impact on her life as she hoped she was making an impact on theirs. So the film to her is not just surveying different troops and chalking out a story, it is something much closer to heart. The film showcased at the end of last month. She has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to market and distribute the movie further. The trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

The Master’s of Documentary Film & History (DFH), a joint degree program between the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, is the only program in the country designed for students seeking the skills and knowledge to produce documentary films on historical subject matter.


Meghavaty Suresh is a Graduate Assistant at IVMF currently pursuing a Master of Science in New Media Management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She holds a Master’s in Management and Bachelor’s in Commerce from Mumbai University.




Notable Veteran Alumni: John M. McHugh

John M. McHughJohn M. McHugh, the 21st Secretary of the Army, is an alumnus of Syracuse University. You should know his story because it’s a Syracuse University story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.


McHugh is a native Central New Yorker—born in Watertown in 1948 and a graduate of Watertown High School. After high school, McHugh attended Utica College, a satellite campus of Syracuse University at the time, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1970. He later attended the Nelson A. Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany, where he received a Master of Public Administration in 1977.


McHugh started out working in city government in Watertown, but quickly engaged himself in political service after graduate school as an aide to State Senator H. Douglas Barclay from 1977 to 1984. After Barclay stepped down from the New York State Senate in 1984, McHugh won Barclay’s seat and represented the 46th NYS Senate district. After eight successful years in the state senate, McHugh decided to run for New York’s 24th Congressional District in 1993, ultimately winning the predominately conservative district. McHugh served for nine terms as representative for the 24th (now 23rd) congressional district from 1993 to 2009.


As ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, McHugh fought vigorously to protect Fort Drum from budget cuts, support major acquisition projects, and attract new military-related jobs to the district. He served on the House Committee on International Relations and Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; he also chaired the Subcommittee on the Postal Service. In addition, McHugh co-chaired the House Army Caucus, a bipartisan organization that educates other Representatives and their staffs about Army-related issues and programs.


Viewed as a pragmatic, centrist Republican, a 2009 New York Times article stated, “Mr. McHugh … is part of a vanishing breed in the House: centrist Republicans from Northeastern states.” His ability to work across the aisle with Democrats and Republicans garnered great respect from top party members on both sides, including President Barack Obama. Most notably, President Obama nominated McHugh in 2009 to succeed Pete Geren as the Secretary of the Army. As Secretary, McHugh is responsible for the U.S. Army’s annual budget of over $200 billion, the health and welfare of more than 1.1 million active duty, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve soldiers, and nearly half a million civilian employees and contractors.


John M. McHugh is an alumnus of Syracuse University and the Secretary of the Army. You should know his story.


Notable Veteran Alumni: Steve Kroft

Steve KroftSteve Kroft is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.


Born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1945, Steve Kroft was destined to become a journalist. He attended Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communication, where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1967 and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Like many other young college graduates during the Vietnam War, Kroft was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division in Cu Chi, a district of Ho Chi Mihn City (formerly Saigon). Once in Vietnam, Kroft’s journalistic abilities were soon recognized by the Army and he became a reporter for the Armed Services Network, reporting on American progress in Vietnam, in addition to covering the 25th Infantry Division’s invasion of Cambodia. Kroft’s journalistic abilities led him much success in the Army, winning multiple Army journalism awards and a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in a combat zone.


After his honorable discharge from the Army in 1971, Kroft returned to Syracuse, working as a broadcast journalist for WSYR-TV for three years. He later left Syracuse and studied at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism, earning his master’s degree in 1975. Kroft then went to Florida, working for the Washington Post in Jacksonville and WPLG-TV in Miami, where his work was noticed by CBS News. While in Miami, Kroft was offered, and later accepted, a correspondent position in CBS News’ Northeast Bureau in 1980. He later joined the Dallas bureau for two years before returning to Miami to cover Latin and South America, during which he famously covered the US invasion of Grenada and the civil war in El Salvador.

CBS News transferred Kroft to their London office, having recognized his knack for telling the most pressing stories of the time. There, he produced one of his most famous segments for 60 Minutes on the assassination of Indira Gandhi, for which he received his first Emmy Award. He later served as the principal correspondent for a CBS News magazine show, West 57
th, until 1989, when he joined the award-winning 60 Minutes as a correspondent. Throughout his tenure on Sixty Minutes, Kroft has received significant critical praise, winning 11 Emmy Awards, five Peabody Awards, and two Columbia University DuPont Awards. His success has taken him from the contaminated fields of Chernobyl, Ukraine to Iraq during the Gulf War, to the violence in Northern Ireland, to the White House with his famous exclusive interview with Bill and Hillary Clinton in 1992, which many say was one of the defining moments of the 1992 presidential election.


Kroft’s success and incredible resume with CBS News has garnered him a great deal of success and recognition. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from Indiana University, Binghamton University, and Long Island University, in addition to having received the University of Albany’s Medallion of the University and Syracuse University’s prestigious George Arents Award, the highest honor Syracuse University bestows upon its alumni.


Kroft remains engaged with Syracuse University, from lectures and talks in the S.I Newhouse School of Communications to serving as a life trustee on the Syracuse University Board of Trustees. Syracuse University continues to hold Steve Kroft in the highest regard as one of its most successful alumni.


Steve Kroft is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Maxwell MSSc helped me continue a lifetime of service

Written by Chris Farlow

The Master of Social Science program was an ideal fit for me personally and professionally.  While I was serving on active duty, a traditional full residency graduate program was unmanageable due to frequent deployments and a hectic work schedule that involved unusual shifts and being on-call.  The MSSc program at Syracuse offered many of the benefits of a traditional graduate school experience blended with the flexibility of distance learning and, of course, I was able to take off an occasional semester due to a deployment.  After I attended the first residency, I established relationships with other students and faculty that I still maintain ten years later, and those interactions made the distance coursework much more rewarding.  

 As I transitioned from active duty into the reserves, the MSSc was an enormous help to me in being selected to become a U.S. diplomat.  Of the 22 people who competed on my interview day with the State Department in 2010, only two of us were selected, and coincidentally (or not?), both of us were military veterans who had attended the Maxwell School.  The program still continues to benefit my reserve career, and was a necessary part of being selected to the Foreign Area Officer program, which required an advanced degree in international or regional studies, and my MSSc degree was accredited.  I now serve as a reserve defense attaché, representing the U.S. military in U.S. Embassies in Africa and the Middle East.

One thing I would like to emphasize to veterans is the advantage of a blended program like the MSSc program.  If you’re simply pursuing your graduate degree purely by distance learning, you don’t often have the opportunity to socialize and trade ideas with high-caliber graduate students in professions far different than your own.  At Syracuse, I remember some of my fellow students were college admissions officers, regional managers of non-profit charities, political strategists, and high School history teachers.  They all had different perspectives on international affairs than I did, and I think that they gained perspective through academic exchange with a veteran.

Chris Farlow MSScChris Farlow is currently the Vice Consul of the United States in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and previously served as a diplomat in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Washington, D.C.  Prior to becoming a diplomat, he served eight years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He completed the MSSc program at Syracuse in 2009 and graduated from the University of South Florida in 2000.  He continues to serve in the Air Force Reserve, as does his wife, Anne.  He is originally from Bishopville, Maryland, and speaks English, French, and Russian.


Notable Veteran Alumni: Joseph “Beau” Biden III

Beau Biden 1Joseph “Beau” Biden III is an alumnus of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

Biden III, the eldest son of former Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden, was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Following his father’s footsteps, Beau attended his father’s high school alma mater, Archmere Academy, was a member of the same fraternity, Psi Upsilon, at the University of Pennsylvania, and continued to Syracuse University College of Law.

Biden began his career in public service shortly after graduation from law school. First, he served as a clerk for Judge Steven McAuliffe of the U.S. District Court in New Hampshire. A year later, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Policy Development as a counselor, where he worked on issues such as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Violence against Women Act. From 1997 until 2002, Beau served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia. He later turned to private practice as a partner in the Wilmington-based law firm of Bifferato, Gentilotti, Biden & Black.

Beau Biden 2While working in the private sector, Biden joined the Delaware Army National Guard in 2003 as a member of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps. Notably, he served as Interim Legal Advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice in post-war Kosovo, assisting in the development of a law enforcement and criminal justice system.

Elected in 2006 as Delaware’s Attorney General, Joseph Beau Biden III took office and served two consecutive terms. In his first term on October 2008, the 261st Signal Brigade was activated for a 12-month deployment supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, during which Beau delegated his Attorney General responsibilities to serve. In November 2011 Beau Biden was promoted to the rank of Major.

Protecting children was among Biden’s highest priorities as attorney general, evident through his creation of a Child Predator Task Force. Beau assisted in making Delaware a national leader in the fight to protect children from predators by successfully pushing for tougher, mandatory prison sentences for child predators and distributors of child pornography. In addition, Beau created the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, designed to protect homeowners from consumer fraud and help stop the rising tide of foreclosures. The Task Force’s work with the Consumer Protection Unit resulted in what is believed to be the largest mortgage rescue fraud indictment in Delaware’s history.

Beau Biden 2Notably, in 2011, Beau was honored with the Voice of Courage Award from Darkness to Light (D2L), a national nonprofit organization working to empower and teach adults to prevent child sexual abuse; and in 2013, Beau was awarded the LifeLock Ultimate Award for his efforts to fight identity theft, improve online safety and educate children about cybersecurity. Described by many, Beau Biden was a careful, cautious, and deliberate politician, who shunned the limelight to focus on the issues at hand.

Beau Biden passed away May 30th, 2015 and is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two children.

Joseph “Beau” Biden III is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Scholar Spotlight: Jesse Campion ’15

Written by Cindy Moritz for Syracuse University News

As an undergraduate at Temple University, Jesse Campion never thought he would end up in the military. But then 9/11 happened. “That kind of shifted the tide,” he says. After graduating in 2002, he started learning more about the benefits of the military, enlisted, and left for basic training in November 2003.

Q. How did your military service progress?

Jesse Campion
Jesse Campion 

A. I wanted to learn from the ground up and started out as a vehicle mechanic and paratrooper, stationed with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. I worked my way up to sergeant, and about halfway through my service I was recommended for Officer Candidate School. That began the second chapter of my military career. After OCS, I was commissioned and served as an infantry officer. It culminated with me going to U.S. Army Ranger School in 2007 and eventually leading a platoon into combat in 2008. With Ranger School, that was a special accomplish for me. My grandfather, who was an Army Ranger during World War II, served with 5th Ranger Battalion and was part of the invasion at D-Day. I grew up being proud of his sacrifices for our country. He was able to make the trip to Fort Benning, Ga., for the graduation and pin the Ranger tab on me. Overall, I honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in 2009. I served for a total of six years in the military with two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom—one being a year in Mosul, Iraq.

Q. What came next for you?

A. I decided to go to law school. It had been a dream of my mother’s, but she died of cancer in 2005. I always had a strong interest in going to law school. The GI Bill had been revamped in 2008 to allow for minimal to debt-free education for transitioning veterans. So about a two years after I got out of the service, I took the LSAT and started applying to law schools. Given the opportunities for veterans and national security study, I decided to come to Syracuse University College of Law, where I’m a third-year student. I’m also earning a master’s in public affairs from the Maxwell School and a certificate of advanced study in security studies from the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.

Q. How has it been coming back to school after all those years in the military?

A. It’s been a great experience, and has given me so many options. But there have been a lot of trials and tribulations along the way, and it’s certainly been a lot of hard work. I’ve currently done long distance from my wife for the past three years, which has been stressful at times. I’ve been very lucky in that I was selected for a couple of great internships and I’ve found supportive professors and colleagues who believe in me. My wife has been the biggest pillar of support for me during this uncertain journey. The summer after my first year, I worked as a legal intern with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the Chief Counsel. Last summer, I was a legislative fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

In addition, I was fortunate in the support that I got. The nonprofit veterans group Soldier Socks awarded me their 2014-15 academic scholarship. And just recently, I was named a 2015 Presidential Management Fellow. That is a two-year leadership development program that fast-tracks graduate students into leadership development roles in the federal government. Just seven percent of applicants were chosen at finalists this year out of close to 8,000 PMF applicants.

Q. What’s ahead for you after graduation?

A. I am now applying for different positions as a Presidential Management Fellow. I’d like to work in the national security or foreign policy field, and develop as a senior leader in federal government. Ultimately, I would like to learn as much as possible and work my way up into Senior Executive Service  and one day, a presidential appointee.

Via Syracuse University News


Notable Veteran Alumni: Alan Gerry

Alan GerryAlan Gerry is a longtime benefactor and steward of Syracuse University, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University story – one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

The son of Russian immigrants, Alan Gerry’s hometown was Liberty, NY. During WWII, Gerry dropped out of high school to join the United States Marine Corps and was placed in its electronics program.

After the war and with funding through the G.I. Bill, Mr. Gerry received vocational training that enabled him to start a tiny television repair business in 1951. Four years later in 1956, Gerry took $1,500 from his business and borrowed another $20,000 from seven local businessmen to create a cable TV company. He named the company Liberty Video initially, but after expansion into Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, he renamed it to Cablevision Industries grew it into a major enterprise.

Gerry’s company filled a clear market demand and became the country’s eighth-largest cable provider and largest privately owned cable company in the U.S., with 64 cable systems, 2,500 employees and 1.3 million subscribers in 18 states. In 1996, Alan Gerry sold Cablevision Industries to Time Warner Cable (TWC) for $2.7 billion, which landed him on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in America. Business Insider named him one of the 20 top billionaires to start literally from nothing.

Alan Gerry later founded Granite Associates, LP, an investment company focused on startup companies and emerging technologies in telephony and communications. He currently serves as chairman and CEO, assisting others hoping to make an impact in the communications industry as he had done.

Alan Gerry’s philanthropic and civic engagement goes on, as he created the Gerry Foundation, an organization dedicated to stimulating the economic revitalization of Sullivan County, NY. In addition, Gerry purchased and resurrected the original 1969 Woodstock festival site, renaming it the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; established the Paul Gerry Dialysis Center in Sayre, Pennsylvania; and, along with other medical donations, is involved in Boston University’s research program in finding a cure for amyloidosis, a rare disease of the kidneys and heart. Alan Gerry continues to be a major benefactor of schools, colleges, medical institutions, and investment companies.

Accolades in the communications industry include his Vanguard Award in 1995 and induction into the Cable Television Hall of Fame in 2000. Gerry also received the Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Award from the New England chapter of the Institute of American Entrepreneurs, the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America, and the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Roger Williams University and one in Humane Letters from the State University of New York.

Alan Gerry 2Notably, Alan Gerry maintains a long-standing philanthropic affiliation with Syracuse University, serves on our Board of Trustees, and is the namesake of the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Alan Gerry is an innovator, a philanthropist, and a family man, exemplifying dedication to the progression of communication and technological advances.

Alan Gerry is a benefactor and steward of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.


Notable Veteran Alumni: Dr. Franklin Story Musgrave

Dr. Franklin Story MusgraveFranklin Story Musgrave is an alumnus of Syracuse, and also a military veteran. You should know his story, because it’s a Syracuse University Story—one that speaks to our past, our present, and our future.

Born in Boston in 1935, Musgrave boasts an impressive record of scholastic achievement. His secondary education at Dexter School in Brookline, Massachusetts provided him a solid educational foundation. He later attended Syracuse University and earned a bachelor of science in math and statistics in 1958. Still, his insatiable thirst for knowledge led him to complete an impressive five additional degrees throughout his career including an M.B.A. from UCLA (1959), B.A. in chemistry from Marietta College (1960), M.D. from Columbia University (1964), M.S. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Kentucky (1966), and an M.A. in literature from the University of Houston-Clear Lake (1987).

Before entering college, however, Dr. Musgrave enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1953. During his enlistment, he served as an aviation electrician and instrument technician before receiving promotion to aircraft crew chief. In this time, he travelled to Korea, Japan, and Hawaii, and he explored East Asia aboard the USS Wasp. In addition to his travels, Musgrave was an accomplished pilot who flew more than 17,700 hours in 160 different aircrafts and participated in more than 800 free-falls as a daring parachutist.

Dr. Franklin Story Musgrave 2Among his numerous accomplishments and achievements, Musgrave was selected to work for NASA as a scientist-astronaut in 1967. He was instrumental in designing and developing the Skylab Program and all of the Space Shuttle extravehicular activity equipment. In his roles as a spacecraft communicator, mission specialist, and payload commander, he spent 53 days, 9 hours, and 55 minutes in space during his time with NASA. He became the second astronaut to take six spaceflights after his completion of the STS-80 mission in 1996, and the only astronaut to fly missions on all five of the Space Shuttles before retiring in 1997.

As he clearly demonstrated throughout his remarkable career, Dr. Musgrave firmly believes that the key to exploration is “getting out of the comfortable path.” Today, Dr. Musgrave enjoys his well-earned retirement by consulting with Disney’s Imagineering and Applied Minds in California. Musgrave is also a 1995 inductee of the International Space Hall of Fame and a 1997 recipient of Syracuse University’s highest alumni honor, the George Arents Award.

Dr. Franklin Story Musgrave is an alumnus of Syracuse University and a veteran of the U.S. military. You should know his story.