Alfred University News

Opening Breakfast kicks off Alfred University’s 186th year

Alfred University held its Opening Breakfast Tuesday morning, marking the University’s 186th year. Classes for the 2021-22 academic year begin on Monday, Aug. 23.

ALFRED, NY – Alfred University held its Opening Breakfast Tuesday morning, marking the University’s 186th year. Classes for the 2021-22 academic year begin on Monday, Aug. 23.

Alfred University President Mark Zupan discussed several recent philanthropic gifts from alumni that will benefit the University.

  • Mildred “Millie” Haerter Pape ’40, who passed away in April, created a $2 million endowment bequest, through Alfred University’s planned-giving society, the Heritage Circle, to support the University’s Women’s Leadership Center (WLC).
  • Dr. Phil ’58 and Harriet Lau have funded a $100,000 endowed scholarship supporting, when possible, first-generation Asian-American students.
  • A $500,000 gift from Pamela Lavin Bernstein ’71 established the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Retention Fund, which will support the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Center for Advising. The Center, established in 2017-18, works to improve student retention and four-year graduation rates.
  • In 2018, a $1 million gift from James Jordan ’70, a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees, established a campus beautification fund. Jordan’s generosity funded the recent installation of new, Alfred University-branded signage across campus. The initial phase—which includes installation of identifying signage on academic, residential, and office buildings, as well as directional and way-finding signs—will be completed before the start of classes next week.
  • A gift from Eric ’69 and Susan Bershad supported renovations in the School of Art and Design.

Zupan commended Janet Marble, alumni engagement officer and events specialist, and fellow employees in University Advancement, for their work organizing Alumni Reunion, which was held the weekend of Aug. 6-8. More than 400 alumni and friends returned to campus for Reunion, which was not held in 2020 due to COVID.

Video link, 2021 Opening Breakfast

Zupan discussed two key themes—intersections and inclusivity—that are emerging from initial discussions of the University’s next five-year strategic plan, which will be implemented next fall.

Alfred University, as a small, close-knit community with a wide variety of academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular offerings, provides students with many opportunities to benefit from intersections.

“Metaphorically, the intersections we create in are community are across disciplines, across co-curricular settings, between the past and the future, with knowledge of our own personal development,” Zupan commented. “We are especially equipped, with all we have in a small place, and our range of programs, for this to be a huge assets that differentiates us” from other institutions.

Regarding inclusivity, Zupan urged staff and faculty to be aware of the needs of our students, particular during what has been a difficult time due to the challenges brought on by COVID. “We’d like to ask for your help in particular in this regard, to make sure we are there for each other, and especially for our students,” he said. “It has been a really tough time, the last 19 months. We need to make sure we are checking in on each other, and especially our students, on a regular basis.”