Syracuse University

Lou Reed  photo

Lou Reed

His song supplies the driving beat for this video's soundtrack.

Lou Reed’s song, Head Held High, supplies the driving beat to this video's soundtrack. It was penned when he was a member of the avant-garde group The Velvet Underground. Reed, who earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from SU in 1964, honed his facility with words under the guidance of his friend and mentor, poet Delmore Schwartz. A professor in SU’s renowned Creative Writing Program, Schwartz recognized Reed’s brilliant use of language and encouraged him to pursue his lyric endeavors. The rest, as they say, is music history.

In turn, Reed has served as an inspiration to singers and songwriters for more than 35 years, including such industry icons as David Bowie and U2’s lead singer, Bono, who attended SU’s Arents Award event honoring Reed.

Among the many talented musicians who name SU as their alma mater are Young Rascals founder Felix Cavaliere ’64, members of the indie rock band Ra Ra Riot, and acclaimed singer/songwriter Pete Yorn ’96. SU grad Ian Schrager ’68, helped define celebrity culture—and the music scene in the 1970s—as co-owner of the famous New York hot spot Studio 54. A successful entrepreneur, his company is a leader in high-end luxury hotels.