Fiat Trustee Recognition and Transitions

With the coming academic year, our University will see some transitions in the membership of our Board of Trustees. Such transitions are an important part of our annual cycle since they allow us to recognize the valuable contributions made to our University by individual members of our Board while permitting the opportunity to infuse some new blood and ideas within the group that holds a pivotal responsibility for Alfred University’s ongoing impact and well-being.

Over the past month, we have celebrated the contributions and service of outgoing Board members Elizabeth Reina ’02 MS ’05 and Chris Kulp ’71. Our newly-elected trustees, whose three-year terms will begin on July 1, are Neal Miller, Patricia St. George ’89, and Matthew Washington ’04.

Elizabeth Reina joined our Board in 2015 to serve a three-year term as an alumni-elected trustee. At the time, she was president of the Alfred University Alumni Council, which she joined in 2009. During her time on the Council, Elizabeth was involved in the planning of the Alumni Networking Reception for graduating seniors, as well as organizing events for Reunion and Homecoming. As a trustee, Elizabeth has served on the Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Advancement committees. As a student at Alfred University, Elizabeth was involved in Pirate Theater and our WALF radio station. She also served as president of the Student Senate. Elizabeth is employed as a trainer for Foothold Technology in New York City. Before joining Foothold, she was the associate program director of a supportive housing program for formerly homeless senior citizens.

Chris Kulp, also a former Alumni Council member and president, joined our Board of Trustees in 2006 as an alumni-elected trustee and, based on her service and dedication to our University, was approved by the Board to continue in her role as a trustee in 2009. She has been vice chair of the Student Affairs committee and a member of the Advancement committee. Due to her long-standing service and committee leadership, Chris was elected a Life Trustee at our Board’s May meeting.

In addition to her degree in nursing from Alfred University, Chris earned a master’s degree in public administration from SUNY Brockport in 1992. She had a long career in nursing administration, recruitment, and education in the Rochester area. In 1995, she started her own business, Organization Support Services, providing management services to health care and human services organizations, as well as to colleges, universities, and state-wide agencies. She retired in 2005.

Beyond the Alumni Council, which she joined in 1999, Chris had been involved with our University prior to being elected a trustee. She served as a member of the President’s Commission on Alcohol and Hazing; was co-chair of the Parents’ Annual Fund for six years; co-president of the Parents’ Association for five years; was a member of the Trustee Task Force on Greek Life in 2002; and was a charter member of our Judson Leadership Center Advisory Board. Chris has been active in Rochester-area alumni activities for a number of years. Her husband, Bruce, has served on the Employer Advisory Board, presented to classes, assisted in the strategic planning efforts of the Career Development Center, and was named an honorary alumnus in 2000. Chris and Bruce, who live in Webster, New York, are the parents of two daughters, also alumnae of Alfred University: Rachel Kulp Collins ’99 and Devan Kulp Schlepko ’02.

With regard to our newly-elected trustees, Neal Miller is a 1961 graduate of the Harley School in Rochester, New York. My sons, William and Walker, attended the Harley School, and I served on their Board for nine years, and grew to know and respect Neal in the process. We found that we shared many ideas and values about the importance of a liberal arts education in preparing our students for the future. Alfred University’s philosophy dovetails closely with Harley’s approach, and Neal would like to support our mission.

Neal earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in 1965 and an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1967. He was employed by Chase Investors as a fund manager and as president of Axe Houghton Stock Fund before joining Fidelity Investments where he managed more than $7 billion worth of funds, including the New Millennium Fund. He retired from Fidelity in 2008 but continues to serve as an advisor and mentor. Neal ranks as one of the three all-time leading money managers in Fidelity’s history based on fund performance. He and his wife, Lynne, make their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After graduating from Alfred University with a degree in accounting, Patty St. George joined KPMG in 1989 and was promoted to partner in 2003. She serves as a management consultant in KPMG’s Federal Advisory Practice and leads many of the firm’s largest defense-related clients. She is a member of the Association of Government Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Society of Military Comptrollers. She serves as treasurer of the board of directors of THANKS USA, an organization which provides need-based scholarship assistance to the children and spouses of American military personnel and is audit committee chair and executive board member of Browne Academy, an independent school serving K-8.

Patty and her husband, Cornelius Southall, are the parents of three children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Matthew Washington has stayed connected to Alfred University since his graduation, serving a three-year term as a member of the Alumni Council. He spoke at our Opening Convocation in 2016, delivered the commencement address to our AU-NYC graduates earlier this month, and was presented with a Fiat Lux! award for his dedication and commitment to our University.

Matthew serves as Manhattan’s deputy borough president for economic development and budget. He previously served as deputy director of external affairs at the Durst Organization. While there, he led public affairs for new development in Queens and worked on the project team that developed One World Trade Center, the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. In addition to government and real estate development, he has a diverse background in non-profit management having served as the executive director of Friends of the High School for Environmental Studies and as deputy director of Friends of Hudson River Park.

Matthew also invests much of his personal time to public service beyond his professional responsibilities. Born and raised in East Harlem, he remains committed to the area and was a member of its community board for over 10 years, six of those years as chair.

I like to talk about the four “I’s” of the alumni stewardship role—Input, Involvement, Investment, and Inspiration. When it comes to the role of our trustees, however, we can add a fifth “I” for Intensity. All that we expect from our graduates in terms of the four “I’s,” we expect at least an order of magnitude more from our trustees, thus, Intensity.

I cannot overstate the importance of our trustees to the future impact and well-being of our University. Please join me in thanking Elizabeth Reina and Chris Kulp for their dedicated service on our Board; and Chris for her willingness to continue serving as a Life Trustee. Please also join me in expressing heartfelt appreciation to Neal Miller, Patty St. George, and Matthew Washington for their willingness to accept the baton of Board service.