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Pramod Varshney

Pramod Varshney

Syracuse professor | Distinguished Alumni Award | Class of 1972

One side benefit of being a TA in electrical engineering in the 1970s: the view from the cramped office that came with the part-time job.

“I had an office on the third floor overlooking Wright Street. Papa Del’s Pizza used to be on Wright Street and I could see the long lines of people waiting to be seated on weekend nights,” recalls Pramod Varshney, who was presented with a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award by the UI’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“The best use of my office was to check out the line at Papa Del’s, order carryout and enjoy the pizza in my warm office while people waited for hours on cold winter nights to get a table in the restaurant.”

Those were the days, says the Syracuse University professor.

“I transferred into the BS program in electrical engineering and computer science in 1970. I took very heavy courseloads during my undergraduate days. Consequently, I spent a significant amount of time in the Electrical Engineering Building, later renamed Everitt Laboratory.

“I remember sitting through several classes consecutively in the classrooms on the second floor overlooking Green Street. The chairs were wooden and not too comfortable but instruction by first-rate professors made it all worthwhile.

“A few other places that I remember fondly are: spending long hours in the study area in Engineering Library, which used to be in Engineering Hall; working part-time at the Computer Center, which used to be in the Digital Computer Laboratory; and tennis courts next to Huff Gym, where I was found every night from 8 to 9.”