Alfred State College officially welcomed more than 1,400 freshmen to campus recently during a New Student Convocation led by President Dr. Skip Sullivan at the Orvis Activities Center.
This year’s incoming class consists of 1,445 students from 57 of New York’s 62 counties and 15 additional states, plus international students from eight countries. Of these new students, 131 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars, and 199 additional students have been offered other scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional vocational skills, and extraordinary talents outside of the classroom. A number of students also bring with them previous work experience, military experience, and successful college course work.
In his remarks, Sullivan encouraged students to “jump in and be a part of things” by joining student clubs and organizations, and to seek out leadership opportunities. He also emphasized Alfred State’s focus on real-world learning.
“You may find yourself organizing disaster relief efforts for nearby communities or even in Haiti, competing in the Basic Utility Vehicle challenge or applying for a US patent,” Sullivan said. “Experiences like these enable our students to truly know how to solve problems you will face on the job, which is why our college has such a high employment and continuing education rate.”
Next, College Council Chair Patricia K. Fogarty provided some welcoming – and reassuring – remarks.
“Let me assure you, you would not be here if you did not have the ability to succeed,” she said. “Take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other, and keep going. It’s your time to blossom in life.”
Dr. John Williams, dean of the School of Architecture, Management and Engineering Technology, noted the exceptional faculty at Alfred State.
“Our faculty is committed to helping you in both your personal and professional growth,” he said. “We care about both who you are and who you long to be. As educators, we see our responsibility to help guide you in your growth, and to create experiences that challenge you, support you, and shape you. We are committed to your success.”
Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and Student Senate President Matt Landis, a heavy equipment operations major from Richmondville, led students, faculty, and staff in reciting the college oath.
After Sullivan’s concluding remarks, students, faculty, and staff headed to Pioneer Stadium to create a human Alfred State logo for a photo session, which was followed by food, music, and activities, outdoors nearby the stadium.