Rosemarie Nelson ’90 and Tim Nelson ’72 were among the more than 50,000 fans cheering on the SU football team on September 20, 1980, during the first-ever game inside the new Carrier Dome. On that warm autumn day, Rosemarie and Tim’s life together began. Their love for each other eventually led to marriage; their love for Syracuse University to a lifetime of support.
Both Nelsons earned degrees from the Whitman School of Management. While serving in Vietnam, Tim learned he was able to take advantage of a government program that allowed him to attend Syracuse University. Rosemarie availed herself of University College’s part time program, taking classes on nights and weekends while working full time.
A bond that lasts forever
The Nelsons’ love of SU athletics has resulted in lifelong friendships with other Orange fans they have encountered season after season at the Dome, or sitting next to on a bus trip to a championship game. “It’s a club we like belonging to,” says Rosemarie. “And it’s a bond that lasts forever.”
Over the years, the Nelsons have also developed a lasting bond with the young men and women of the University’s various athletic teams. “We’d be at a Dave Bing dinner or end of the season banquet and we’d sit with a player or two and start to hear their stories,” says Rosemarie. “They’d talk about how their hero was their mother, that she raised three kids, and never even got to see this young person play in college. So we realized we had advantages other people didn’t, and how much our giving means to these students.”
Supporting their passion
The Nelsons support a number of initiatives at Syracuse University, including funding for athletes, the Whitman School of Management, the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, and a primary medical care lab inside The Arch—the University’s new holistic health, wellness, and recreation complex. “Syracuse University has been very special to us, so we’d like to give other people the same chance to come here and enjoy it like we did,” says Tim.