Syracuse Student ‘Says Yes’ to Art History
Thanks to Say Yes Syracuse, Bailey Pfohl ’15 is getting a world-class education, at no cost
If you’ve ever been inside Syracuse Hancock International Airport, you probably have seen the larger-than-life photograph of Bailey Pfohl ’15 adorning the baggage claim area. Her image is part of a popular marketing campaign for Say Yes Syracuse, a chapter of
, which is a nonprofit foundation committed to increasing high school and college graduate rates for urban students.
A 2011 graduate of Thomas J. Corcoran High School in Syracuse, Pfohl has been using Say Yes Syracuse’s scholarship endowment fund to attend Syracuse University. In May, she will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences, with an eye toward attending graduate school at
in Cleveland, Ohio.
“I owe so much to Say Yes because they’ve paid my tuition in full,” says Pfohl, an art history major, with a minor specialization in education studies from the School of Education. “They started talking to me about Say Yes when I was a freshman in high school. I chose Syracuse University because it offers so many wonderful academic opportunities, including a renowned study-abroad program.”
Case in point: There’s a photo of her overlooking the Austrian city of Salzburg, taken last fall during a semester abroad, accompanying a recent Say Yes article in Syracuse’s major daily newspaper. These days, Pfohl’s picture seems to be everywhere. On web banners. In print ads. Signage.
Pfohl is used to the attention. When she’s not being the face of Say Yes Syracuse, the local native serves as one of the University’s more high-profile ambassadors. Pfohl not only works in the Chancellor’s Office, but also gives campus tours as part of University 100. Moreover, she is president of and a singer with the a cappella group Main Squeeze; has held a variety of positions, including acting coach, with the First Year Players; and has worked for the Office of Residence Life and Point of Contact Gallery, the latter of which is administered by A&S.
“I’ve had so many experiences and have made so many friends since I’ve been at Syracuse,” says Pfohl, describing campus as her home away from home. “I love the City of Syracuse, too. Even though I’ve lived here for more than 20 years, I always seem to find something new to do.”
Pfohl has managed to channel this enthusiasm into her coursework. She’s still reeling from her senior seminar, “Doing Art History: Research and Professional Practices,” which culminated with a whirlwind trip to New York City, where she soaked up museums, galleries, and auction houses. “The trip took my passion for art to the next level,” says Pfohl, who hopes to someday work in the field of registrar, development, or education for museums. “Since then, I’ve had zero doubt about my future [in art], since my goals and aspirations seem to be more achievable than ever.”
The senior seminar was made possible by publishing magnate Alan Mirken, who, before his death last year, established an endowment fund in memory of his wife, Barbara ’51, an A&S alumna.
Perhaps no one is more confident in Pfohl’s abilities than Romita Ray, associate professor of art history. “I have seen Bailey evolve into a smart, hard-working, and totally dedicated art history student, from her first-year onwards. She's creative, full of beans, a talented singer, and very invested in a better, livelier SU,” says Ray.
Pfohl returns the compliment: “I’ve left every one of her lectures knowing that I want to spend the rest of my life working in art. Thanks to Syracuse, I know I will.”