Although the day dawned chilly and damp, the good wishes of the gathered guests warmed the day considerably as Dr. John M. Anderson was inaugurated as Alfred State College's 11th president. After a week filled with inauguration-related activities, including an ice cream social; a faculty/staff art exhibit and reception; spirit day where the campus community wore the school colors; and an inauguration lecture, outlining the college's first 60 years; the excitement and anticipation culminated with the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration ceremony held in the Orvis Gymnasium.
Hundreds of faculty, staff, and students, not to mention special guests and academic delegates, processed into the gym where a University Police color guard provided the requisite solemnity to the proceedings.
Speakers included Jim Grillo, (who also presided), SUNY (State University of New York) Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair, Faculty Senate, who offered greetings from faculty and staff; other speakers, representing their respective groups included Carl T. Hayden, chair, SUNY Board of Trustees; Susan Adsit, ASC '66, chair of the Alfred State College Development Fund Board, who brought greetings from all of the college's volunteer boards; Craig R. Clark, ASC executive director Wellsville Campus and dean, School of Applied Technology, who also serves as Mayor of the Village of Alfred, who brought greetings on behalf of the local community; Adam Nash, ASC '09, surveying technology major and chair, Student Senate, welcomed Dr. Anderson on behalf of ASC students; Jane Hollen, '76, Senior Vice President Xerox Information Management; Chief Information Officer for Xerox Corp., brought greetings from business and industry; Richard Miller, President Emeritus, Hartwick College, offered congratulations on behalf of the NYS Academic Community; Dr. Frank Thiel, member, Alfred State College Council, offered remarks on behalf of that body; Robert E. Rees, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and United University Professions (UUP) Chapter President, brought greetings from the Unions; and NYS Sen. Catharine Young (R-Olean), brought greetings from NYS elected officials.
Playing off the inaugural theme of "Honoring Tradition, Embracing Innovation," ASC Professor Terrence Morgan, English and Humanities Department, delivered an address on Alfred State College's first 100 years, citing a variety of perceived mishaps that turned into opportunities for growth. Some of these mishaps included building fires, budget cuts, and low enrollment. But each time Alfred State College was faced with adversity, the college sought innovative solutions and emerged even stronger.
Anderson's inaugural speech, built on Morgan's history of the college, but more importantly, focused on the future. And even though some of the challenges don't "go away," Anderson has a vision on how the college can meet those challenges head on and emerge as the premier college of technology in the nation.
"Alfred State has always been a small college with big dreams and our future is one of innovation, sustainability, and service. Alfred State will become the model to which technology colleges across the country aspire," noted Anderson.
Anderson outlined his plan for Alfred State's future:
"In this time of uncertain public resources, we will embrace innovation--we will create new models of service efficiency, revenue generation, and fundraising in order to realize our vision.
"We will embrace sustainability. The scope and vision of the new projects that are already underway and on the drawing board speak for themselves.
"One of our goals is to create a commercial wind farm that will generate at least the equivalent amount of energy through wind as all of the energy both of our campuses consume. At the same time, we will give resources back to the local community that supports us so loyally. There is simply no other college in this country undertaking such a project of this magnitude.
"Our Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture will emphasize innovative methods to propagate sustainable farming throughout the state, revitalizing an honored tradition. By creating instructional models that allow existing farmers to move seamlessly to organic processes, while at the same time teaching aspiring agripreneurs how to farm both organically and profitably, Alfred State will, one class at a time, convert the fallow farmland of New York State into a fertile source of locally produced organic food. We will be leaders in the economic renaissance of New York farming.
"Our Wellsville Campus construction programs will produce green model homes that not only support the college and educate the public, but will produce construction program graduates who are experts in green building techniques. In fact, within five years, Alfred State will produce more graduates who are prepared to move into ‘green collar' jobs than any other college of our size in the United States.
"We will embrace service. A college serves many constituencies, and we will find ways to continue to meet and to exceed our obligations to those constituencies. We will serve our students through innovation and dedication. We will serve our employees by creating a dynamic, challenging, rewarding place to work. We will serve the state by reinvigorating the field of organic agriculture and small-scale farms, and multiplying the presence and availability of renewable energy and green construction.
"I see a future where our contribution to the region and the state is even more important, even more powerful, even more pervasive than it is currently.
"It is easy to forget that at Alfred State College, we are part of something great. Those who came before us laid a solid foundation of honored traditions for us to build upon. Together, we will leave this institution even better than we found it - we will honor tradition, we will embrace innovation, and we will fully realize the transforming potential of a premier public institution in this great state."
Pictured here with Anderson, (front row, center) are Bob Donius, (front row, left) vice president for campus ministries at St. Bonaventure University, who delivered the invocation and benediction; Carl T. Hayden, (front row, right) chair, SUNY Board of Trustees who installed Anderson as president; Jim Grillo, (back row, left) SUNY (State University of New York) Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair, Faculty Senate, who presided; and Lawrence Burns,'65, grand marshal.