Everyone, it seems, has a “Kathy Woughter ’93 MS” anecdote. Current students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends all have stories they can tell about a time when Kathy touched their lives.
Kathy, who left Alfred University this past weekend to pursue new adventures in the Adirondacks, eschews personal praise, and is probably fuming at the amount of attention that was lavished on her. However, she richly deserves the accolades for the positive impact she has had on our University and as an advocate for our students.
In total, Kathy spent more than 25 years at our University. She graduated in 1993 with a master’s in counseling and spent a brief time at Alfred State College before returning to Alfred University in 1995 as a counselor in our Career Development Center. She was quickly promoted to director, a position she held until 2004 when she stepped into the role of vice president of Student Affairs.
It would be impossible to enumerate all of her accomplishments. I am not sure anyone, even Kathy, can recall every time her leadership and guidance helped us solve a problem or create a better environment for our students.
During Kathy’s tenure, she has had a positive impact on so many campus initiatives: the Women’s Leadership Center, which evolved into the Judson Leadership Center; the WILD program, which capitalizes on our location and environment to promote outdoor activities; the equestrian program that routinely produces riders who are competitive at the national level; programs that celebrate diversity; a re-energized athletics program with teams that are winning conference titles and advancing to nationals; emergency funds and food pantries for students who are struggling to remain in school; enhanced professional advising; and the APEX program that provides funding for our students to pursue applied/experiential opportunities such as co-ops, internships, study abroad, research, and service learning beyond those available through the traditional classroom.
Michele Cohen ’17 HD and Kristen Klabin ’92, ’93 MS, the trustees who serve as the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Student Affairs committee of our Board, created a lasting tribute to Kathy in a spot located appropriately enough between the Steinheim, home to the Career Development Center where she started her professional career at Alfred University, and the Powell Campus Center, where her office resided most recently. There’s a patio, a bench, some purple and gold flowers, and two sentinel pines. For what it’s worth: sentinel pines are not a species of pine. In our alma mater, when it says “Under the watchcare of Sentinel Pines,” sentinel is an adjective!
We sent Kathy off to her new home with a stack of books to read, a recently broken ankle to heal, years of memories, and a multitude of well-wishes. Oh, a purple-and-gold watering can, also came with the well-wishes, courtesy of Michele and Kristen, so that Kathy could return on a regular basis to our campus to water the sentinel pines and purple and gold flowers.
Had we had enough foresight, we would have earlier armed Kathy with a Zorb ball (also known as a Human Bubble ball)—appropriately bedecked, of course, with an Alfred University logo!—so as to have prevented the ankle injury that she sustained two weekends ago while on a hike.
Kathy and her husband, Bob ’97 MS, are among the Alfred University couples we will celebrate at Reunion, June 7-9. With more than 400 people already registered, it looks to be a great weekend.
Speaking of Alfred University couples, we celebrate Alfred University couples in our spring issue of the Alfred Magazine. If you missed this spectacular issue, it’s online for you to enjoy!
To culminate our 2018-19 academic year, we celebrated Alfred University’s commitment to excellence with our trustees and other honored guests at a dinner, held the Friday night before Commencement. It is always a special occasion where we honor faculty/staff award winners and recognize students, including our Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award recipients Dillion Smith and Nurila Kambar.
Our Commencement ceremony featured Dr. Marlin Miller ’54, ’89 HD, ’19 HD, a member and former chair of our Board of Trustees, as our speaker. Because of Marlin’s legendary leadership on the board, and his unmatched generosity to Alfred University, there is not a single person on our campus who has not benefited in some way from the gifts, tangible and intangible, he has given our University.
Please join me in thanking Marlin Miller and Kathy Woughter for providing such inspirational examples for all of us to follow.