Alumni and students of color enjoyed the annual Multicultural Breakfast during Orange Central Weekend. In addition to a delicious breakfast, great conversation, and inspirational stories from alumni and current Our Time Has Come Scholars and Leaders, attendees celebrated the achievements of Robb Armstrong ’85, Jamal Salmon ’12 and Melvin Stith G’73, G’78, who were honored the previous evening at the 2022 University Alumni Awards Ceremony.
Armstrong received the George Arents Award for Excellence in Visual Arts. The Arents Award is Syracuse University’s highest alumni honor, presented annually to alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. A graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Armstrong created the Daily Orange comic strip “Hector” as an undergraduate. In 1989, his comic strip “JumpStart” was syndicated in 40 newspapers nationwide. Today, that comic about a cop named “Joe” and his nurse wife “Marcy,” can be read daily in more than 400 newspapers. It is the most widely syndicated comic strip by Black cartoonist in history and is currently being developed as a TV sitcom on CBS. Armstrong is author of Fearless, A Cartoonist’s Guide to Life and On A Roll, a JumpStart treasury. He was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate from Holy Family University in 2012.
Salmon was honored with the Generation Orange Award, which recognizes graduates of the last 10 years for their continued commitment to Syracuse University. He is senior vice president of global data analytics at Paramount Pictures, responsible for infusing data into key decisions made across the marketing and production departments—to inform media investment, creative direction, publicity and social media strategy. Salmon played a key role in the marketing tactics/strategies that launched numerous blockbusters, including A Quiet Place, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Top Gun: Maverick. He is also a lecturer at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and is a founding member of Syracuse University’s Multicultural Advancement Advisory Council.
Stith received the Military/Veteran Award, presented annually to Syracuse University U.S. military service members or veteran alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional meritorious service and achievement. Stith served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Command from 1968 to 1972, achieving the rank of captain. He then earned his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He served on the faculties of the University of South Florida, Florida A&M University School of Business and Industry, and Florida State University before serving as dean of the Whitman School in 2005. In 2018, Stith was appointed interim president of Norfolk State University. In 1990, he won Florida State University’s Dr. MLK Jr.’s Distinguished Service Award; and in 2018, he was inducted into the Florida State University College of Business Faculty Hall of Fame. Stith was named as a top influential black corporate director by Savoy magazine in 2016, 2017 and 2021.