Press Releases

Alfred University bestows Fiat Lux! Awards on three

Alfred University | 5/15/19

Gary Ostrower ’61 (left), Nadine Shardlow ’86, ’17 M.S. (center) and Abigail Smith ’19.
Gary Ostrower ’61 (left), Nadine Shardlow ’86, ’17 M.S. (center) and Abigail Smith ’19.

At Tuesday’s annual All Employee Recognition Reception, Alfred University President Mark Zupan honored three University employees with Fiat Lux! Awards. The awards, established in 2016, recognize people who bring distinction to Alfred University.


ALFRED, NY – At Tuesday’s annual All Employee Recognition Reception, Alfred University President Mark Zupan honored three University employees with Fiat Lux! Awards. The awards, established in 2016, recognize people who bring distinction to Alfred University.

The 2019 Fiat Lux! Award honorees are: Gary Ostrower professor of history and a 1961 Alfred University graduate; Nadine Shardlow, a 1986 Alfred University graduate (2017 M.S.), the University’s director of Opportunity Programs and executive director of the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Center for Advising; and Abigail Smith, a current senior set to graduate Saturday with a B.F.A. degree.

This year marks Ostrower’s 50th year as a member of the Alfred University faculty. Zupan described Ostrower as someone who “cares deeply about out University and doing the right thing.”

That was never more evident than in 2016, when Ostrower suggested the University right an injustice done here more than 50 years prior, when student Warren Sutton ’61 was forced to drop out. An African-American and one of the University’s most-outstanding basketball players in generations was dating the daughter of the University’s treasurer. In the face of pressure from the administration, Sutton left school, fearing his scholarship would be taken away.

Ostrower suggested to Zupan that the University reach out to Sutton and make amends for the injustice, and spearheaded an effort to bring the story to the attention of the national media. Sutton would return to campus in the spring of 2017, when he received an honorary degree and addressed the graduating class at Commencement. The story was published in several regional and national media outlets, most recently in December in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Shardlow has been director of Opportunity Programs for 19 years. She is known for her caring and compassion for students served by the program, and for encouraging them to work hard to achieve their goals. That ability to inspire students to succeed is why the University chose Shardlow to lead the Pamela Lavin Bernstein Advising Center. Staffed by three academic success coaches, the Center aims to strengthen student retention by combining the efforts of faculty and professional academic advisors.

Shardlow is perfectly suited to helping students achieve success, and can use her own career and academic paths as an example. A year ago, she won the Bob Condrate Lifelong Learner Award at the employee recognition luncheon for her persistence and drive to earn a master’s degree in college student development. Shardlow accomplished the feat 30 years after she had received a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Smith was recognized for answering a last-minute request to assist the University’s Theater Department stage its production of “The Tempest” last month. Just weeks before her Senior Show, while preparing for finals, Smith stepped into the role of Ariel.

Smith was not in the original cast, but nonetheless answered the call for help from Becky Prophet, professor of theater and director of the production, agreeing to take on the role of Ariel just three days before the play opened. Smith was given a book as a prop in case she forgot a line (In the play, Prospero, her father, has a fondness for books). She barely had to glance at the book, she had learned her lines so well.

“It was amazing how she pulled this off and the cast pulled it off around her,” Zupan commented. “It was seamless how she was able to perform so flawlessly for three nights.”