Fiat a Dedicated and Supportive Board of Trustees!

Alfred University’s sustained success as an institution has been due in no small part to an active and engaged Board of Trustees. Many on the Board are alumni who give generously of their time and resources to ensure that future generations of Saxons receive the same Alfred University experience they did – one that prepares them to grow personally, achieve professionally, and make a positive and lasting impact on the world.


As a new academic year approaches, and with it new challenges, we welcome two new members to our Board – Russ Cesari ’67 and Bob Cohen ’59 – while thanking Life Trustees Vicki Meyer ’81 and Bob Welter ’68 for their years of dedicated service to the Board. The appointments were made at the Board of Trustees meeting in May and became effective July 1.


We are thrilled and honored to have Russ Cesari and Bob Cohen join our Board. They have achieved considerable professional distinction and bring relevant and enviable expertise along with a consummate commitment to enhancing the visibility and impact of Alfred University.


Russ earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Alfred University, where he was a member of the Klan Alpine fraternity, lettered in football and track, and was active in student government. Russ was the Honor Graduate at Army Engineer Officer Candidate School, obtaining the rank of Captain. After returning to civilian life following a tour in Vietnam, he received an MBA from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in 1980, magna cum laude.


After a 30-year career as an IBM executive, Russ joined Northwest Financial Advisors in Herndon, VA, as principal and financial advisor. He is recognized nationally as a leading financial consultant. He has been ranked the #1 Financial Institution Services (FIS) advisor with LPL Financial; was named to Bank Investment Consultant’s (BIC) Top Bank Advisors lists; and earned the top spot on BIC’s Top Bank Advisors list in 2018.


Russ and his wife, Jo Ann, are the parents of three children; they reside in Annapolis, MD.


Robert Cohen earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Alfred University, where he was a member of Kappa Nu fraternity. He attended law school at Fordham University where he was a member of the Law Review, earning his degree in 1962. A leading matrimonial lawyer, Bob is currently a senior partner in the New York City firm of Cohen Clair Lans Greifer Thorpe & Rottenstreich LLP. He previously served as chairman and managing partner in the firm of Morrison Cohen LLP.  He is a former JAG officer.


An adjunct professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania since 2003, Bob is the author of the “anti-divorce book,” Reconcilable Differences. He was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to be a member of the Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department in 2012, and in 2016, Governor Cuomo named him chairperson of the Screening Committee and also designated him as a member of the State Judicial Screening Committee. Since 2016, Cohen has served as chairperson of the Matrimonial Committee of the Supreme Court, New York County. He was appointed a Special Master in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Pilot Program in the Second Judicial Department in 2018.


Bob and his wife, Stephanie Stiefel, reside in New York, NY, and have four sons. This is his second tenure on his alma mater’s Board of Trustees; he also served from 1984-90.


Vicki Meyer and Bob Welter exemplify the commitment and dedication the Board of Trustees has for our University. Combined, they have served the Board for nearly a half-century.


We are deeply grateful for the thoughtful counsel, passion for improvement, and generous philanthropic support that Vicki and Bob have provided to our University during their many years of service on our Board. We look forward to their ongoing engagement and support as Life Trustees.


Vicki Meyer graduated from Alfred University, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management and is a recently retired tax partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.


She served an initial term on the Alfred University Board of Trustees from 1992-95 and was re-elected to the Board in 1999. Vicki holds the distinction of being the longest serving chair of the Board’s Finance Committee, a position she held for 14 years, from 2001-15, when she stepped down to participate on the University’s Presidential Search Committee. She also served as chair of the Audit Committee and was a member of the Enrollment Management, Executive, Finance, Human Resources, and University Advancement committees, as well as the Trusteeship Subcommittee.


Vicki is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs, and is a CPA in New York.  She resides in Skaneateles, NY.


Bob Welter earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Alfred University, where he was a member of Klan Alpine fraternity and was active in track and lacrosse. He served an initial term on the Board of Trustees from 1993-96, and was re-elected to the Board in 1998. He served on the Audit, Facilities and Grounds, Finance and Student Affairs committees.


In 1984 Bob founded Data Graphics and serves as chief executive officer. Data Graphics evolved from R.K. Welter & Associates, a firm he started shortly after leaving Alfred in 1968, that manufactures labels, overlays and front panels for electronic equipment for large corporations and for military hardware. Bob and his wife, Melinda, reside in Port Orange, FL, and have three children.


Please join me in welcoming Russ Cesari and Bob Cohen to our Board of Trustees, and in thanking Vicki Meyer and Bob Welter for all they have done, and continue to do for Alfred University.


Fiat a dedicated and supportive Board of Trustees!