Fiat Rewarding Careers

As an educator and now as president of Alfred University, there are few things more satisfying than having our former students return to campus to say “Thank you for what Alfred University did for me,” and in turn to be able to say, “Thank you for what you do for Alfred University.”

That is why our celebration of David ’78 and Vickie Voss ’94 Kaplan’s bequest gift Friday night, following the annual fall meeting of our Alfred University Board of Trustees, was such a special occasion. David and Vickie, who have had amazingly successful careers, first at Alfred University, then at Emporia State in Kansas, and finally in Washington, DC, where they now reside, are a real tribute to all that is best about Alfred University.

David ’78 and Vickie Voss ’94 Kaplan

David ’78 and Vickie Voss ’94 Kaplan

“Alfred University has given much more to us than we could ever give back,” said David as we recognized the Kaplans.

Vickie, who marveled at the changes the past two decades have brought to Alfred University, still found that the heart of what she loves, remains the same: what was to be a quick trip to look around Seidlin Hall, where she had so many of her classes, turned into a wonderful time spent catching up with her advisor, English professor Susan Morehouse.

While the $3.3 million bequest from David and Vickie will, we hope, not be realized for several more decades, they are committed to helping our counseling and psychology programs in the following ways:

  • They will create the Dr. David M. Kaplan ’78 and Vickie V. Kaplan ’94 Endowed Professorship for studies in professional counseling or psychology. The $1.5 million endowment will generate income that will support the salary, benefits, and professional expenses of a distinguished professor.
  • They will establish an endowed fund to support the David M. Kaplan ’78 annual award, to be presented at Honors Convocation, to a student who demonstrates “outstanding leadership in professional counseling.”
  • The remainder of their estate gift will establish the Dr. David M. Kaplan ’78 and Vickie V. Kaplan ’94 Endowed Fund to support initiatives in professional counseling, its most closely related field of psychology, and/or career development initiatives at Alfred University.

David Kaplan graduated from Alfred University cum laude with departmental honors in psychology in 1978. He completed a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Columbia University, and then a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He returned to Alfred University in 1986, serving as assistant director of our Career and Counseling Services for three years before becoming a professor of counselor education, a position he held until 2000, when he accepted the post of chair of the department of Counseling Education and Rehabilitation at Emporia State University in Kansas.

He became president of the American Counseling Association, the largest professional organization for counselors, serving from 2002-03. He was named chief professional officer of the organization the following year, and served in that capacity until his retirement earlier this year.

Vickie Kaplan graduated from Alfred University in 1994 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in general studies and minors in women’s studies and religious studies. She worked in the placement office for our New York State College of Ceramics and as a tutor in the Writing Center. After they moved to Emporia State, she was director of Career Services at Emporia State University. She then became a program assistant at the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

While at Alfred University, both Kaplans were involved in the community, and were members of the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co. They also owned and managed Alfred Counseling Services.

One alumnus recalled that he began to understand how integrated the community and Alfred University were when he saw David Kaplan leave class to respond to a fire alarm, and then return to campus wearing his turn-out gear. It made an impression about the value of community service that has lasted in the mind of the alumnus for more than two decades. That is real impact.

David and Vickie have both had distinguished careers and fulfilling work as volunteers serving the community, both at Alfred University and beyond. We are so proud of what they have done and so grateful for their magnanimous bequest commitment in support our University.

Please join me in congratulating David and Vickie on their professional accomplishments. Please also join me in thanking them for their generosity on behalf of Alfred University.

Fiat Rewarding Careers!