A Remarkable Commitment by Trustee Michele Cohen HD ’18 & her Husband, Marty

Alfred University has long been fortunate to have a dedicated Board of Trustees whose gifts over the years have supported so many projects that help us pursue our mission of transforming student lives and bettering our world.

Among our most generous benefactors have been Trustee Michele Cohen HD ‘18 and her husband, Marty, whose son, Adam, is a 2003 alumnus of our School of Art and Design. Their gifts have endowed the deanship of our School of Art and Design and Division of Performing Arts, established the Cohen Center for the Arts and Cohen Gallery, and provided the lead gift to launch APEX, our applied experiential learning program.

It is my great honor and privilege to announce the Cohens’ most recent gift, of $6 million, which establishes the Michele and Martin Cohen Capital Fund in support of Alfred University’s foundry/distributed boiler project. The project will renovate the existing heating plant (the building with the tall smokestack on the eastern side of the parking lot behind Carnegie Hall) to house a state of the art foundry for our School of Art and Design. Our existing foundry is currently located in temporary space behind Harder Hall. The Cohen’s support will replace the University’s current central steam heating plant with an energy-efficient distributed boiler system, thereby creating significant savings in our utilities and maintenance costs while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The overall project also will create some upgraded space to house our facilities team members who work out of the existing central heating plant building and will be displaced by the establishment of the new foundry.

The new foundry will be home to our University’s National Casting Center, Advanced Digital Fabrication Lab, and Additive and Advanced Manufacturing Center. This student-focused collaborative space—which reflects our University’s maker culture—will provide melting facilities, classroom space, and other experiential learning opportunities. It will be utilized by our School of Art and Design for its glass and metal casting programs and our Inamori School of Engineering for the materials science and mechanical engineering programs. The facility—which creates the potential for new degree programs in combined art and engineering, and digital fabrication design and engineering—will significantly benefit our University’s student recruitment and retention efforts.

New York State has approved $1.2 million from the SUNY Construction Fund for the foundry project’s design phase, set to begin in January. We expect that the construction of the new foundry will be completed by the Fall of 2022 or Spring of 2023. Construction of the new distributed boiler system will begin in January, with completion scheduled for the Fall of 2021.

Michele and Marty Cohen have made their extraordinary commitment in honor of Marlin Miller ’54, HD ’89, HD ’19, Michele’s colleague on our Board of Trustees, whom she describes as “a superb role model.” Marlin, a former Board chair, is a noted businessperson and philanthropist, and our University’s most generous donor. Projects funded by Marlin’s gifts include the Miller Performing Arts Center, Miller Theater, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, renovations of our Tefft and Openhym residence halls, construction of the Link between Tefft and Moskowitz halls, and a repaving project on campus which will create new bicycle and pedestrian paths as well as nearly 100 new parking spaces. Marlin’s philanthropy also supports numerous student scholarships and endowed faculty/staff positions.

Please join me in thanking Michele and Marty Cohen for their inspiring philanthropic support. Our University’s future has gotten that much brighter on account of their remarkable generosity.

Fiat Lux!