Fiat our common ground of Alfred University!

Last Friday, Bryan Hill ’90 focused his convocation remarks on how our University changed his life for the better as it did for his college roommate, Sam Goble ’89. Sam joined us for the occasion. He and Bryan have been close friends since their college days. Bryan came to Alfred “solely to play basketball.” Sam came to play football. They played their sports, Bryan admitted, and they did enough to “get by,” staying off probation, the first two semesters. But then the party ended, Bryan said, when his GPA fell and he was in academic jeopardy.

As is the case for so many of our alumni and what they have been able to accomplish, the faculty, staff, and fellow students who they crossed paths with at Alfred have been at the heart of our University’s magic. In Bryan’s case, the Alfred University community members who did the most to alter his path for the better included “Doc” Heineman, now professor emeritus of political science; Sam; and his future wife, Kenita Johnson Hill ’89. Bryan, like Sam, has had a remarkable career, and he credits Alfred University for transforming his life. His message to our students was not to look at where they came from—and definitely not at their grades over their first three semesters—but rather to look at what they ultimately will be able to accomplish, and thereby make the world better.

From left: Greg Connors ’92, chair of the Board of Trustees; Sam Goble ’89; Bryan Hill ’90;
and yours truly.

Bryan is now county executive for Fairfax County, Virginia, the second wealthiest county in the country. He oversees 12,000 employees and a $4.3 billion annual general fund budget, providing services to 1.3 million people. In turn, Bryan’s former college roommate, Sam, is vice president and lead engineer for Camco Manufacturing, a specialty machining firm headquartered in Sayre, Pennsylvania, that has several hundred employees and an enviable track record of meeting the needs of a wide range of industrial customers. Both Sam and Bryan are living proof that a few semesters of less-than-perfect grades don’t hinder a career.

Opening convocation also allowed us to formally celebrate two important programs launched this fall. One is Common Ground, which involves shared reading and facilitated discussion groups for all the new full-time undergraduate students on our Alfred campus throughout the Fall semester and culminating on Martin Luther King Day, January 21, 2019.


The second is APEX, which will provide our new full-time first-year students a grant of up to $2,000 by the time they become juniors to pursue an internship, co-op, research project, study abroad, or service learning opportunity. Over this academic year and next, our existing juniors and seniors will be able to apply for an APEX grant of up to $1,000. Logan Gee ’18, one of our two Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award winners this spring, coordinates the APEX program. If you know of a potential APEX internship/co-op learning opportunity at any of the organizations with which you are affiliated with please contact Logan.

The video of opening convocation is online for you to enjoy.

Fiat the common ground that Alfred University provides to all of us, and thereby the opportunity to make the world better!