In light of last weekend’s Homecoming, and the epic expression of SU pride, let’s look at some of the incredible individuals who make up our alumni body (and will hopefully find us jobs someday). While we have had some kick-ass athletes, a Vice President, and a slew of TV broadcasters, I want to call out some of the less talked about alumni — and no, Newhouse, Bob Costas is not on the list.
Aaron Krause ‘92
On Thursday, Aaron came to talk about his creation of the Scrub Daddy sponge, which is basically the best sponge on Earth. If I lived in a dorm, I’d rather sleep on a pile of these things that the crappy University mattress—these sponges are really that damn soft. While Aaron eventually made it to Shark Tank and signed a deal spurring a successful business, he had a rocky start trying to pitch his sponges at grocery stores and on QVC, making his life basically that of Joy Mangano from the JLaw movie Joy. Aaron never forgets his orange roots though, and he admitted that his product branding was inspired by Otto.
Dennis Crowley ‘98
In a true SU fashion, Dennis once charged freshmen to get into a party and racked in $1,600, showing hopeful signs for his future in business. In the adult world, however, Dennis made his mark by co-founding Foursquare, the successful app that let’s you know where to eat, hang, and drink. While it has been for a few years irrelevant, this man created so many advancements in meshing GPS location and social media, he certainly played a role in how we use social media now, so thanks Dennis. Anyways, Foursquare tells me Gannon’s Ice Cream is the top pick in Syracuse so at least it has its priorities straight.
Katherine Switzer ‘68 G ‘72
Katherine is the type of person who makes you feel guilty for sitting around re-watching Stranger Things for a third time this month—she is a marathon runner, journalist, author, social activist, *takes breath* TV commentator, public speaker, and historical icon. While a student at SU in 1967, she ran in the Boston Marathon, in which she registered under an ambiguous name and became the first female to ever register and compete in the race with a number. You might have seen the infamous picture of the race official, Jock Semple, literally trying to push her out of the race, whom of course she brushed right off and broke his spirit just like she broke gender barriers. What did you accomplish by age 20?
Bill Zysblat ‘72
Bill is the co-founder of RZO Productions, and basically silenced all my doubts on how boring finances and accounting are, since he worked with artists like The Rolling Stones, U2, Shania Twain, and Sting. His name has come up in the papers this year on an unfortunate note, as he is the business manager for recently passed superstar, David Bowie. Bill was Bowie’s go-to guy for 34 years of his career, and Bill will continue to be largely responsible for how, when, and where the David Bowie legacy lives on. Thank you, Bill, for all you’ve done to bring us these rockstars, and to prove that not only Bandier kids get to meet cool musicians.