Alfred University News

Alfred University presents Fiat Lux! Awards to parents, alumnus helping students quarantine as University prepares for Fall semester

Kelly Stephen of Hornell delivering snacks to students
Kelly Stephen of Hornell delivering snacks to students

Kelly Stephens of Hornell is part of a Facebook parent-to-parent group whose children attend Alfred University. Last week, when she read a post from a woman in Ohio reporting her son was feeling lonely on the campus, where he was quarantining for 14 days, she swung into action, assembling a care package and dropping it off at Openhym residence hall, where the student was staying.


ALFRED, NY (Aug. 18, 2020) – Kelly Stephens of Hornell is part of a Facebook parent-to-parent group whose children attend Alfred University. Last week, when she read a post from a woman in Ohio reporting her son was feeling lonely on the campus, where he was quarantining for 14 days, she swung into action, assembling a care package and dropping it off at Openhym residence hall, where the student was staying.

In Clarence, NY, Tamara and Paul Stephen, parents of Alfred University sophomore Malina Dittmer, opened their home to three students from California who also were required to quarantine but were unable to reside in campus facilities due to travel arrangements that had been previously set.

And meanwhile, Alfred University alumnus Jay Yedvab ’56 made a $1,000 donation to establish Alfred University’s Covid 19 Relief Fund, which will be used to help students defray extra expenses associated with attending Alfred University during the pandemic, including the cost of off-campus 14-day quarantines. Since Yedvab’s initial contribution, approximately 60 additional donors have pushed the fund up to approximately $30,000.

For their help in supporting Alfred University’s 2020 fall opening, Kelly Stephens, Tamara and Paul Stephen and Jay Yedvab have been honored with Fiat Lux! Awards, Alfred University President Mark Zupan announced Tuesday, during the University’s traditional breakfast meeting that kicks off the new school year.

Zupan noted that Stephens in particular supplemented her initial present with a subsequent gift of eight cases of bottled water and 22 electric fans to cool down rooms in the residence halls. Stephens, whose son, Rick Mattison, is a third-year student at the University, followed that gift with a van full of snacks that she dropped off on her third consecutive day of trips to the campus. 

“I just grabbed one of everything off the shelves,” she says. “Chips, cookies, crackers, peanuts, granola bars, pop tarts. … I was figuring, these are college students, they want to be able to eat when they want.”

“I know I would be stressed out if I were another little one’s mom going through this,” Tamara Stephens adds. “I figure, ‘I’ll just mom a couple of little ones.’”