ASC Commencement 2008

Some 900 two- and four-year graduates, their families, professors, and friends were on hand Sunday, May 18, as Alfred State College honored its 97th graduating class.

Dr. John M. Anderson, college president, presided over the ceremony.

At this year's ceremony, Alfred State presented an honorary doctorate to Amory Houghton, Jr., former United States congressman.

The citation from SUNY (State University of New York) granting Houghton the doctor of science, read, in part:

"A life spent enhancing the physical world, improving the body politic, and contributing to the world scene is a life well lived. After graduating from Harvard University, you served your country as a member of the United States Marine Corps in World War II. You then began your work at Corning Glass Works where you rose to the level of Chairman and CEO. In your many successful years as the leader of Corning, you strengthened the Company's tradition of technical innovation and led its ground-breaking research and development efforts. Your leadership in these important areas earned you the Electronics Industries Alliance Medal of Honor and the designation of "father of fiber optics." Not only did you share your expertise with Corning Incorporated, but with numerous other corporations and institutions as member of various boards.

"In addition, you turned your attention to public service where you served as a member of the United States House of Representatives for nine consecutive terms from 1987 to 2005. Within your public role, you founded the John Quincy Adams Society, a forum that brings together moderate officeholders with top business leaders. You served as a founding member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group seeking to strengthen the political center. Through all of your work, you have been a steadfast friend, not only of the Southern Tier, but also of Alfred State, advising several presidents and helping the College grow in influence and importance in the region.

Anderson, Houghton and Rosati "For your truly significant contributions to science and technology, for your local, regional, national, and international service, and, in particular, to this College, the State University of New York, through its College of Technology at Alfred, bestows upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa."

Anderson and Dr. Ronald R. Rosati, ASC provost and vice president for academic affairs, vested Houghton with the doctoral hood.

The newly minted Dr. Houghton spoke briefly, thanking the SUNY (State University of New York) Board of Trustees and the campus community for this honor, and congratulating this year's graduates on their achievements and on their excellent choice of college.

Houghton noted that Alfred State College has an "enormous opportunity to turn upstate New York's assets of land and water" into programs and initiatives that can have a "tremendous impact on our state."

He also told the graduates that Alfred State College has a "great sense of community which will always be with you...there is no more special place than Alfred State College."

Taking the stage following Houghton, student speaker Jennifer Lorow congratulated her classmates and noted, "Today marks one of the many milestones of our lives. I am so excited to share this day with you. As I look out into all of the faces, I think back to these last two life-changing years and the changes that Alfred State and its students experienced."

Lorow then noted how her fears of college life were put to rest when she discovered that the campus was easy to navigate, the professors were friendly and warm and "reasonably small classes allowed us to have engaging discussions and work with our hands. The professors made themselves available when we had questions or problems.

"For a small town like Alfred, there is a surprisingly rich diversity of students. Students came from all over the world and different backgrounds. Many students were fresh out of high school. Some had transferred in from other institutions. We also had many non-traditional students who took a break after high school. Some started families or entered the military and then came back for school.

"During Freshman Convocation, we received a mouse pad that stated ‘Your Future, Under Construction.' We could have taken the slogan as a metaphor. As students, we were going to chisel away at learning information and create a career path.

"Soon though, fences started to go up and many [building] projects began. We started to see the college meant we were literally under construction. Many of us had to get creative as to how we would get to class since the traditional paths were blocked off due to the construction.

"Like the campus, [we] students have experienced growth and change. When we weren't busy doing homework or studying for tests, many of us joined some of the activities and clubs on campus to complement their studies or to forget studying for awhile. The Architecture Club, for example, took trips to Albany and Greece; the Outdoor Recreation Club ventured out to go camping, white-water rafting, snowboarding, and skiing. Some people even started new clubs such as the Alfred State Anglers' Club and the Arts and Crafts Club.

"Luckily, Alfred State was very different from the dismal vision of college that I had in mind. The professors, students, and activities made Alfred a hub of excitement, discovery and fun, and I just want to thank all of the parents, families, friends, and faculty who have provided their support during our college years at Alfred."

Lorow, a graduate in the liberal arts-humanities associate degree curriculum, has served as a student ambassador and head tour guide for the ASC Admissions Office; as co-editor of the student literary magazine, Ergo, and a contributing writer to the Tor Echo, the student newspaper; she is a member of the International Club. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and a recipient of the Eleanor Graves Memorial Scholarship, which is given to an outstanding student in the School of Arts and Sciences, as exemplified by character, citizenship, involvement in college community activities, and scholarship. She was a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence for 2008.

The Genesee Valley Central School graduate (who also attended Marathon High School in the Florida Keys, and Titusville High School in Titusville, FL), is the daughter of Michael Lorow, Angelica, and Lou Ann Thurston, Titusville. She is the granddaughter of Betty Whitehouse, Titusville.

Rosati presented the Paul B. Orvis Award for Excellence to the outstanding two-year graduates in each of the college's schools of study, as well as to a baccalaureate graduate. The 2008 recipients are

Jennifer Lorow, School of Arts and Sciences

Kyle D. Colbey, Utica, School of Management and Engineering Technology, baccalaureate level, served as finance chair on the Student Senate Executive Board, served as a peer tutor, served as a DJ on WETD (the campus radio station) as well on its board of directors as treasurer, is member of Tau Alpha Pi and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and he plays Intramural softball.

Julie A. Maier, Almond, School of Management and Engineering Technology, associate level, has excelled academically, making the Dean's list each semester in a very difficult curriculum (engineering science) at Alfred State. She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Alfred State College Jazz & Pep Bands, and plays Intramural volleyball.

Derek J. Doll, Youngstown, School of Applied Technology, a graduating senior in the electrical construction and maintenance program, has served as SkillsUSA president since 2007; SkillsUSA vice president 2006-07, where he helped organize and participated in fund raising, community service, and other activities for the betterment of the community, such as Taste of Wellsville fundraising activities, elementary school playground rebuilding, and a Red Cross Blood Drive; Global Community Outreach-mission worker March 2007; Neptune Water Ski Club member (rider/worker for fundraising activities); and has been employed by Jay Electric since 2005. Doll has many accolades to his credit, including first place in a local residential wiring tournament 2006, second place in State Residential Wiring tournament 2006; Alfred State Dean's list; and Student of the Year Award 2006 presented by IBEW local No. 237.

Doll is a graduate of Lewiston Porter High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma and a graduate of Niagara-Orleans BOCES.

The award, which honors Paul B. Orvis, a former president of Alfred State and State University of New York dean for two-year colleges, is a glass bowl. Recipients must meet four criteria: service, leadership, character, and scholarship. Faculty, staff, and fellow students appraise the first three. Scholarship is determined by an analysis of the student's academic standing in comparison to other students in the academic area.

Giving the welcome from students was Dustin Fabian, Frewsburg, who received his bachelor's degree in financial planning (BBA). He has served as president of Greek Senate; he has also served as president and pledge master of his fraternity, Gamma Theta Gamma. Fabian has worked as orientation coordinator. For the past year, he has served as the Student Senate president.

Amory Houghton, Jr. has served as a United States Representative from the State of New York, 29th Congressional District. Houghton was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee; chaired the Oversight Subcommittee and was a member of the Trade Subcommittee. He was also a member of the International Relations Committee, vice chairman of its Subcommittee on Africa, and was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the Congressional Delegate to the 58th General Assembly of the United Nations. Houghton is the founder of the John Quincy Adams Society, an issues forum which brings together moderate office holders with top business leaders, and is also a founding member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which seeks to strengthen the political center. He was also co-chairman of the Washington-based Faith and Politics Institute. The only former CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation to serve in the House, Houghton joined Corning Glass Works (now Corning Inc.) in 1951 after graduating from Harvard University and serving as a Marine during World War II. The Almanac of American Politics said of Houghton: "He may well be more what the Founding Fathers had in mind..." as the ideal congressman. In 2002, Houghton was inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the group founded by John Adams and John Hancock in 1780, "dedicated to advancing intellectual thought and constructive action in American society."

Before entering Congress, Houghton served on the boards of several major corporations, including Procter & Gamble, IBM, Citicorp, N.Y. Telephone, B. F. Goodrich, and Genentech. Appointed by President Reagan to the Grace Commission in 1982, he served as the panel's vice-chairman. He is a former trustee of St. Paul's School, the Brookings Institution, a former member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, a past director of the Episcopal Theological Seminary, and holds 16 honorary degrees. He now serves as a Board member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, co-chair of the Committee for the Future - a group committed to the economic revival of upstate New York - and is a special intern for Bishop Tom Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

Rev. Dr. James J. Tucker, III, Pastor, Church of God in Christ, Buffalo, and father of James J. Tucker, IV, a graduating senior in the culinary arts: baking, production and management curriculum, will give the invocation and benediction.

The Alfred State College Alumni Choir, under the direction of Professor Emeritus Anthony C. Cappadonia, provided musical interludes throughout the program; the ASC Faculty Quartet performed the Alma Mater.

The ceremony was held at neighboring Alfred University's McLane Physical Education Center because of predicted inclement weather.