A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University

Melvin Arnold Eggers

Term of Office: June 1971 – August 1991
No formal inauguration

Melvin A. Eggers joined the faculty of Syracuse University in 1950 as a professor of economics. He was later chair of the Economics Department, and was appointed Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 1970. Following the resignation of Corbally in 1971, Eggers served as Acting Chancellor for four months before being named Syracuse University’s ninth Chancellor and President in June 1971. His background as an economist made Eggers the ideal candidate to tackle the institution’s longstanding financial and organizational difficulties. During his tenure the University grew in enrollment, faculty, endowment, and reputation as a leader in research. Eggers also changed the campus landscape, constructing more than two dozen new buildings including the Carrier Dome, the Center for Science and Technology, and the Schine Student Center, and restoring many others. Shortly before the end of his administration Eggers saw the University community through one of its darkest hours — the loss of 35 study abroad students in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988. Eggers retired in 1991 after more than 40 years of service. Further information about Chancellor Eggers’ tenure is available in the Melvin A. Eggers Papers.

Portrait of Chancellor and President Melvin Arnold Eggers, circa 1980s. Syracuse University Portrait Collection, University Archives.

Photograph of Chancellor Eggers at the memorial service for the 35 Syracuse University study abroad students killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, 18 January 1989. Syracuse University Photo & Imaging Collection, University Archives.

Over 14,000 people attended the Pan Am Flight 103 memorial service held in the Carrier Dome. Chancellor Eggers announced the creation of 35 memorial scholarships and the construction of a permanent physical memorial. “There will be memorials of other kinds,” Eggers stated, “in our striving to be an ever more humane institution and in our working, in the time left to us, to make our contribution toward a better world.”