Fiat Summer 2019

Having just passed the summer solstice and now enjoying the beautiful and extended daylight hours of the season at Alfred, we can once again take particular pride that our University continues to shine a bright light on our students and the larger world.

One such ray of light comes from the valuable insights of Bill LaCourse, one of our leading glass scientists. Earlier this week, Bill was asked by CNN to explain why it is so difficult for companies like Samsung and Apple to develop cell phones with foldable glass, something that is viewed as the form that next generation smartphones will take. Smartphone manufacturers and glass producers alike have been grappling with this problem, and it appears, according to Bill, that Corning Incorporated is on the cusp of solving it. It is worth noting that we have 462 alumni working at Corning, more than from any other university, and it is easy to surmise that some of them are leading those efforts.

Another ray is represented by the work being done by Don McPherson ’84 MS, ’88 PhD, ’18 HD, one of the co-founders of EnChroma and its chief science officer. Through Don’s work, EnChroma developed lenses that help those who are colorblind to see colors, including a popular band teacher in Kentucky whose students liked and respected him so much that they gifted him a pair of EnChroma glasses, enabling him to see the colors most of us are blessed to see every day.

We have highlighted Don’s impact on the world several times before, but it’s worth passing along what he wrote in response to our congratulatory note after seeing this latest video: “I am continually amazed by the aspects of existence that are common to all humans, like generosity of spirit. Stories like this one can act as a great glue for our currently fragile society. Or as Terry Tempest Williams coined it ‘Finding beauty in a broken world.’ These stories are what make me want to be part of solutions, far removed from complaining.”

Those sentiments are part of what make Don such a great example of spreading the Alfred University light.

The sixth annual MostArts Festival is about to blaze through Alfred on July 7-13. Thanks to the efforts of maestro Lisa Lantz, a professor of music at Alfred University and founder of MostArts, thousands of people will enjoy a wide range of arts, world class music, and the magical brilliance of our beautiful campus. This summer’s festival includes the unveiling of an Eva Hild ceramic sculpture that will adorn the front of the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.

Please join us if you can to experience the warmth of Alfred University and our surrounding community this summer. And, if you are or if you know a teacher, counselor, or coach in high school who could get to know us better by attending the MostArts Festival, please let me know and we will provide a complimentary ticket. We hope that through such connections and engagement we will attract promising students to our University over the years to come, especially as we build our new music major and other curricular additions to our performing arts programs.

As our fiscal year draws to a close on Saturday, please consider investing in and spreading the light of Alfred University by making a gift to the Alfred Fund. Thanks to the generosity of Marlin Miller ’54 ’89 HD, ’19 HD, and an anonymous donor, we have a $100,000 challenge that will match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, any new gift or new or expanded Saxon Circle commitment to the Alfred Fund by June 30.

And, on the lighter side of things, Laurie Lounsberry McFadden ’91, our University archivist and interim dean of Libraries, shared a photo of Prexy’s pool, so named because it was visible from the president’s office in Carnegie Hall.

Prexy's Pool

The pool was filled-in several decades ago to eliminate student pranks. Yet these campus pranks continue, sometimes perpetrated by unexpected sources. Take, for example, the rival’s bumper sticker that recently appeared on Brian Dalton’s truck.

Brian Dalton's Truck with Bumpersticker

Brian, our vice president of Enrollment Management, is a die-hard fan of the Texas Longhorns from UT Austin where he earned his doctorate. Our prankster is not. First Cat Peyton, diligently licking what appears to be adhesive from his paws, still insists on plausible deniability in the hijinks, although it is certifiable that he is not a Longhorns fan.

Just saying….Fiat Lux!