Fiat Capturing Hearts & Minds!

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of appearing with senior Tori Pellegrino, a materials science and engineering major from New Hartford, New York, for the taping of a segment of Buffalo television station WRGZ’s “WNY Living.” Tori and I talked about what makes Alfred University so Outside of Ordinary: our tradition of inclusivity; our diverse set of academic programs, several of which are ranked among the best in the nation; and a small-town setting that exudes a sense of community and family.

Viewers of the show, which aired Saturday, learned what our alumni, faculty, staff, and students already know about Alfred University. Our institution has indeed been inclusive from the start. We were the second college in the United States to admit women and the first to provide them a curriculum identical to their male counterparts. We were also among the first to admit African American and Native American students.  

Our wide range of academic offerings includes an engineering program that ranks among the top 50 in materials science and is among the global leaders in glass and ceramic engineering. Our School of Art and Design is consistently rated among the very best in the nation; our College of Business was recently rated among the top 100 by U.S. News and World Report; and our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences carries the distinction of having a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

In an op-ed published this week by the Buffalo News (“Another Voice: Cross-disciplinary approach elevates U.S. higher education”) I wrote about our country’s standing as a leader in postsecondary education. The piece references David Epstein’s latest book, “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World,” which suggests three reasons for American higher education’s impact: our institutions allow students to sample an array of educational programs; make it easier for students to shift majors; and offer greater opportunity for interdisciplinary work. These three factors are central to the magic that is at the heart of Alfred University’s success.

Our campus serves to attract a wide variety of students from across the United States and abroad. As Tori explained in the WGRZ WNY Living piece, Alfred University “captured my heart upon my first visit.” She spoke of an “overwhelming sense of community and family” that she has experienced during her time here—a sentiment that has been shared by countless Alfred University students, past and present.

Each fall, a new group of students experiences what makes Alfred University so special. Our University has hosted three Fall Open House events—two this past weekend, including an engineering-specific event on Friday.

The Engineering Open House was held in conjunction with Engineering and Materials Science Day and brought well over 100 students from area high schools to our University, where they toured the campus and Inamori School of Engineering facilities and met with our engineering faculty, staff, and students led by dean Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad ‘04. While on campus, the prospective students formed teams and participated in a competition (shown in these photos) to build a Rube Goldberg Machine. Named for Rube Goldberg, an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, a Rube Goldberg Machine is one that performs a simple task with a complicated set of steps.

Students attending our Engineering Open House in October
Students attending our October Engineering Open House

Our final Fall Open House is Saturday, November 9. Prospective students and their families visiting our campus on that day will have the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and current students, like Tori. And, like Tori, perhaps their hearts will be captivated by Alfred and, at this time next year, they, too, will be part of our Alfred University family.

If you know of any top prospective students who we should be considering for admission, please encourage them to either join us for the upcoming Open House or to arrange for a customized tour on an alternative day/time through Brian Dalton and the members of our Enrollment Management team (dalton@alfred.edu). By coming to campus, they will be able to benefit from a Visit Grant applicable toward their tuition as well as a $1,000/year Volunteers In Support of Alfred (VISA) scholarship in your name toward their future studies at our University.

Fiat Capturing Hearts and Minds!