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President's Message

Charles M. Edmondson, Ph.D.

Charles M. Edmondson,

Alfred University President

A university president receives a large volume of mail, but occasionally, I receive a letter so special that it must be shared. The parent of a freshman woman recently wrote such a letter after bringing his daughter to Alfred University for the first time.

I believe this letter illustrates the reasons why Alfred University is such a special place. While the parent specifically mentions some faculty and staff by name, I am confident a parent could write similar accolades for any number of our faculty and staff.

At the request of the parent, I am deleting any content from the letter that would reveal the identity of his daughter.

“My wife and I were delighted to have spent the day seeing off our daughter at Alfred University yesterday. That was just the culmination of a series of positive contacts that we have made with people at Alfred since the beginning of the application process.

“Of the 10-12 colleges to which my daughter applied, I thought Alfred was not getting real serious consideration until she decided to visit following her acceptance. She had a very nice meeting with her admissions counselor, but the turning point came when Professor Steve Crosby spent over an hour with us discussing her interest in theater and showing us every inch of the performing arts center. The offer of a scholarship was always a factor, but my daughter was just as impressed with how friendly and personal everyone was with her. She finally decided to go to Alfred instead of Smith or Bryn Mawr because of her comfort level.

“Throughout the summer, she and I have received emails and talked on the phone to staff in the residential life office, the Crandall Health Center. the telecommunications office, the bookstore, Dr. Paul Strong (related to the Honors program), Professor Becky Prophet (her advisor, who answered questions despite being on vacation), and Deb O'Hara in the Dean's office. It has just been a real pleasure to contact a group of people who want to help make things go easier and cut through what red tape there is - instead of a bureaucracy.

“I also can't say enough about all the students who were helping out all day at the dorm (Reimer). From the football players who lugged things that I couldn't carry, to the three or four people who just stopped in to check on my daughter to Bryan (a junior fine arts major who was absolutely everywhere and a source of unlimited knowledge) - they were all great and a real credit to the university.

“I think students really were the key. After sitting in on Prof. Crosby's Acting class during our visit last spring, my daughter was stopped by a junior who started asking her what she was interested in. He told her his story about choosing Alfred over Cornell and just raved about how much he liked it. This was completely unsolicited. He just stopped while the three of us were getting ready to leave. She was very impressed with that, and we continue to be impressed with the students, staff and faculty we have met and interacted with. Your people represent Alfred very well. I know we might not bat 1.000 with everyone throughout my daughter's career, but I look forward to the next four years.”

Our mission statement says that we are a “student-centered” university, and this letter from a parent attests to the fact that at Alfred University, we live our mission. It’s much more than words on paper. It’s the way we treat people. It’s the way we go about the business of educating students.

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