National Orange Day celebrates SU’s founding with special menu, community service

Syracuse University celebrated its 143rd birthday with orange Dreamsicle cake. The Carrier Dome and the city’s National Grid building glowed orange to recognize the anniversary, and SU alumni clubs honored the day through participation in community service.

Sunday marked National Orange Day, honoring SU’s founding on March 24, 1870. The day consisted of celebratory events on campus along with several alumni communities coming together across the country to celebrate Orange pride, according to a Tuesday SU News release.

“National Orange Day is a wonderful tradition that brings the SU community and alumni clubs across the nation together to celebrate the history of SU, and to engage in projects that support our respective local communities,” said Cristina Swift, assistant director of alumni relations in the release. “There is no better way to celebrate SU’s founding than to display our Orange spirit and pride through celebration and community outreach.”

Across the country, SU alumni clubs celebrated National Orange Day by organizing community service projects. The Big Apple Orange is hosting a virtual food drive throughout March, alumni are volunteering at Philabundance, the food bank of Greater Philadelphia on Saturday, and alumni in Boston are volunteering with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy on April 20 to help with their annual Muddy River clean-up.

National Orange Day is one of Nicole Morrissette-Ugoji’s favorite times of the year. Morrissette-Ugoji, an SU Food Services employee who works at Ernie Davis Dining Center, has celebrated National Orange Day since 2010.

“This day really captures the spirit of Syracuse when it comes to athletics and academia,” said Morrissette-Ugoji, who dressed in orange and blue from head to toe.

Ernie Davis Dining Center, decorated with orange tablecloths and balloons, celebrated National Orange Day with a menu that included cheese and crackers, orange chicken, butternut squash, orange Jell-O with Cool Whip and freshly squeezed orange juice.

When Anas Doulah walked into the dining hall Sunday evening, it was the first time he had heard of National Orange Day.

Doulah, a sophomore civil engineering major, said he liked the concept of honoring Orange pride.

“I think it’s a really good idea to celebrate it, especially with the timing of the university’s birthday,” said Doulah as he munched on orange cheese puffs.

Daniel Monroy, a freshman mechanical engineering major, recommended the university make National Orange Day more about the students. Having events similar to those at a carnival would allow students to have fun while celebrating the day and better understand what it means to be a part of the Syracuse Orange community.

Said Monroy: “This day brings a sense of community and a sense of pride. It’s a really great idea.”


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