Press Releases

Alfred University senior assumes role of ‘President for a Day’

Alfred University | 4/05/19

Alfred University senior Keshawn Laplante and Mark Zupan, University president.
Alfred University senior Keshawn Laplante and Mark Zupan, University president.

Keshawn Laplante and Mark Zupan, Alfred University president, switched roles this week, as Laplante, a senior chemistry major from Schenectady, NY, served as “President for a Day.”


ALFRED, NY – Keshawn Laplante and Mark Zupan, Alfred University president, switched roles this week, as Laplante, a senior chemistry major from Schenectady, NY, served as “President for a Day.”

Keshawn spent time Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with Zupan, experiencing first-hand a day in the life of a university president. The Division of Student Affairs Center for Student Involvement and the President’s Office started the President for a Day program in 2018 as a way for the student body to interact with the president. Anastasia Campbell, a junior criminal justice major from Rochester, served as the first President for a Day last April.

Keshawn was among seven students who applied to serve as President for a Day, and was chosen by a panel of staff members from the Center for Student Involvement.

In his application he wrote, “I wanted to be President for a Day because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to see what the busy, but fulfilling, schedule is like for our University President, Mark Zupan. I have always been an active student on campus and saw this as another way to experience the uniqueness of what Alfred University has to offer to its students.”

Keshawn , who majors in chemistry with a minor in biology, aspires to be a veterinarian specializing in the treatment of exotic animals. He has been active on Student Senate, serving as president, vice president, and chair of the Finance Committee. He has also been active in the chemistry, biology, pre-vet, and model UN clubs, as well as the founder and past president of the bowling club. He is a former biology supplemental instructor, and a former resident assistant.

He is currently personnel manager for the Institute for Cultural Unity and a student officer in the Alfred University Public Safety Office.

Keshawn and his fiancée, Cheyenne, are the parents of a son Carter, 2, and a daughter Kaia, 1.

As part of his duties as President for a Day, Keshawn stood in for President Zupan Tuesday afternoon for a campus announcement of a gift from Alfred University alumnus Terry Galanis Sr. ’40, and that evening addressed the audience in attendance at the Samuel Scholes Jr. Lecture. He delivered the welcome for Wednesday evening’s dessert reception in the Knight Club, when senior students who participated in the University’s APEX (Applied and Experiential) learning program received special cords to wear with their gowns at commencement in May. President Zupan took on the role of a student, attending Keshawn ’s Thursday morning chemistry class in Myers Hall.

Even though both of President Zupan’s parents majored in chemistry in college and graduate school, President Zupan, an economist, pulled down the lowest score on the interactive quiz posed by the professor in Keshawn ’s chemistry class.