Some 900 two- and four-year graduates, their families, professors, and friends were on hand Sunday, May 13, as Alfred State College honored its 96th graduating class. Dr. John B. Clark, interim college president, presided over the ceremony. For only the fourth time in college history, Alfred State presented an honorary doctorate to alumnus Wayne W. Wagner, class of 1960, president and CEO, Birkett Mills, Penn Yan. The citation from SUNY (State University of New York) granting Wagner the doctor of humane letters degree, read, in part:
"Mr. Wagner, yours is a career defined by outstanding leadership of The Birkett Mills, the world's largest producer of buck wheat products, and your tireless service to your community and to your alma mater, Alfred State College. Your role as chief executive officer of your firm, your recognition for outstanding service by the Lions Club International, and extensive involvement in the Finger Lakes Economic Development Board, Fleet Rochester Regional Board, and the Soldiers and Sailors Hospital as well as the Rainbow Junction Children's Home in Penn Yan clearly demonstrate your commitment to the economic, social, and cultural vitality of the region. Your continued involvement with Alfred State College through the Development Fund Board and the President's Society reflects a deep appreciation for the educational opportunity afforded you at Alfred State. Your significant professional and volunteer efforts have made the Central and Southern Tier Region of New York State a better place to live and work."
Clark and Dr. Ronald R. Rosati, ASC provost and vice president for academic affairs, vested Wagner with the doctoral hood.
The newly minted Dr. Wagner 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.