AU Press Releases

Cyclists Larry and Denise Ploetz join alumni group for Reunion weekend

Denise and Larry Ploetz will bike into Alfred for Alumni Weekend.

Denise and Larry Ploetz will bike into Alfred for Alumni Weekend.

Larry and Denise Ploetz met on a blind date at Alfred University in 1967 and have been together ever since. 

Larry Ploetz is a ceramic engineer.  After a successful career in the industry he began his own company in 2001.  His passion is to share his knowledge and teach his clients how to optimize their production. He has clients all over the world with concentrations in Europe and Asia. 

 Denise majored in French and was student teaching in the Alfred area when, in December of 1968, Larry drove non-stop from Fort Bliss, Texas to ask for her hand in marriage and present her with an engagement ring.  They married in July 1969.  When their two children were in elementary school, Denise returned to teaching.  Denise taught for 35 years before retiring in May 2016.

 The endurance trip from Texas to Alfred must have inspired Larry.  He is a veteran of recent Alfred University Alumni Reunion bike rides including the “Alums along the Mohawk” trip from Albany to Alfred in 2013.  During the summer of 2014, Larry and a friend cycled the Lewis and Clark Trail from Seaside, Ore. to St. Charles, Mo. They covered 2,563 miles in 39 days, were ahead of their planned schedule, and so kept going all the way to the east coast, arriving at Triton Point Beach, Md. on July 21.  All told, they traveled 3,763 miles in 49 days, averaging 77 miles a day.              

 Denise and Larry will be traveling from their home in Ohio to meet other alumni cyclists in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio.  Others taking part in the adventure this year include Tinker ’57 and Dave ’58 Wilcox, Pat and Russ Fahey ’58, Bonnie and Elliott Lasky ’58, Barney Hart ’58, Roberta Auerbach ’74, and Jim Randall ’77.

Organizer James Randall says: “We invite other alumni to join us!  You are welcome to take part in the entire ride, ride with us for a day or two, or meet us for lunch, dinner, or sightseeing along the way.  The cycling will begin June 4 at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio.  We will visit Erie, PA, Letchworth State Park, and Hornell, NY on the way to the 2017 Alfred University alumni reunion.”

  Anyone interested in learning more about the trip should contact Jim Randall at, or call (607) 776-4404.