The Carillon

A Legenday Bond

By Stephanie Snyder
A few friends enjoying lunch at the Alumni House in November
A few friends enjoyed lunch at the Alumni House in November.

The atmosphere at Tom & Mary Casey Stadium changed when a University at Albany bus rolled up to the South Entrance on a brisk Saturday morning in November. The brakes brought the bus to a screeching halt, and several faces and “fist pumps” appeared through cracked-open windows. Dozens of alums dressed in purple and gold spilled from the front entrance of the bus, energetically announcing they’d enjoyed the previous night together, just like old times.

Just as their weekend party itinerary intended, the legends had arrived for Great Dane Game Day.

The Legends arrive at the Casey Stadium
The Legends arrived at Casey Stadium for UAlbany Football vs. Stony Brook Nov. 19, 2016.

The “legends,” a group of 40 or so alums who include Ted Anderson ’82, Glen Titan ’82, Evan Zahn ’82, and Walt Tice ’81, have maintained tight friendships throughout the last three decades. Their journey began in the late 1970s at UAlbany, where they formed bonds as roommates, classmates and teammates. Their personal backgrounds varied, but for all of them, choosing UAlbany is the common thread that has held them together since setting foot on campus.

They are fathers and husbands, and highly respected attorneys, accountants, doctors and sales executives who live all over the United States. They credit Arnold Fischler ’82 for renewing their connection to UAlbany Athletics: The legends have cheered on the Great Danes at many fields and stadiums across the country, including at UCLA and Duke. “We have a great time supporting a growing program that’s achieved Division I success,” Zahn explained.

Nadine Zaky Kotb, Michael Lorka, Tony Aslanian and George Brewer
Purple and Gold Student Ambassadors Nadine Zaky Kotb ’18 and Michael Lorka ’17 led Tony Aslanian ’82 and George Brewer ’83, ’85, on a campus tour.

Get-togethers often extend to other UAlbany-related events, such as award presentations and even alumni fashion shows. “We don’t just attend reunions and events – we talk to each other weekly, sometimes daily, and support each other whenever possible,” says Titan. “When I walked the runway in the UAlbany fashion show in NYC last year, my friends were there to cheer me on.”

The legends’ story extends beyond friendship and supporting one other. Many generously support the University through endowed scholarships, contributing to campus construction projects and hosting fundraising events. “We’re all very ambitious and enjoy healthy competition, so when we were able, we each started giving,” Anderson explained. “We try to do more than the last guy,” Zahn added.

A business classroom is named in honor of Titan and his wife, Monica. He also established a baseball scholarship. “I don’t think our group would’ve achieved continued success if it weren’t for this school,” noted Titan. “I owe all of my professional success to this school … and my friends.”

“We owe it all to UAlbany,” Zahn concluded, speaking for the entire group. For them the University not only signifies everlasting friendships and continued opportunities to remain engaged as alumni – it is at the very core of legendary lives.