Fiat Ringing Thanks

As the world responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is no shortage of heroes. No group has stood out more than the women and men working in the medical and emergency response fields—a significant number, these days, on a volunteer basis. They serve on the front lines, in communities large and small.

We at Alfred University know well the value and importance of the medical and ambulance communities. Many of our faculty and staff serve as volunteers for A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co., our local volunteer fire department and ambulance corps that has long prided itself on having more doctorates on staff than any other such volunteer company in the country. With the ongoing threat of COVID-19, we appreciate more than ever the selfless nature of the tasks firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and ambulance drivers undertake daily.

Alfred University is taking part in a community tribute to honor these medical and emergency response personnel for their dedication, sacrifice, and willingness to put themselves in harm’s way for the good of others. Beginning this week, Laurel Buckwalter ‘89, carillonneur emerita, and Stephen Crandall ’76, ’97 MS, retired dean of Libraries, have volunteered to perform recitals on the 80-year-old, 47-bell Davis Memorial Carillon. The 7 p.m. recitals—performed by Laurel and Steve on alternating weekdays—will follow a ringing of bells in church and municipal towers in the village of Alfred.

Becky Prophet ‘70, Alfred mayor and professor of theater at Alfred University, is encouraging village residents to emerge from their homes after the conclusion of the carillon recitals and clap and/or shout out their own words of appreciation. Prophet characterizes the front porch clapping/cheering “a community cacophony, just to let everyone know we’re all alive and well in spite of our social distancing.”

It is appropriate that Laurel, Steve, and Becky are involved in this collective expression of gratitude to our medical and ambulance communities. The three currently volunteer for the ambulance service at A.E. Crandall, and Steve is a trustee for the company.

Please join me in thanking the first responders and medical personnel who serve our campus and local community. If you live in our village, come outside after the bells have stopped pealing and show your appreciation for all the women and men on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, and for the heroes in our midst.

Fiat ringing thanks!