Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson kicked off the spring academic semester by presenting an abundance of kudos for the college community as well as issuing a new challenge.
Anderson’s presentation began with a series of vignettes acknowledging the impact the college’s faculty, staff, and students have had over the years, in places near and far. Congratulating the assemblage, Anderson noted that the college’s efforts do not go unnoticed by a wide variety of stakeholders, such as alumni, donors, elected officials, and business and industry, to name just a few.
Also acknowledging that many colleges—like Alfred State—focus on sustainability and civic engagement, Anderson noted that what makes Alfred State unique is the manner in which the college achieves success in those areas: through project-based learning, the philosophy that students learn by doing, and that learning how to think, not what to think, prepares ASC graduates to be conscientious global citizens.
And those conscientious global citizens direct their attention to issues big and small. One issue that the spring 2012 semester is spotlighting through Commencement (May 13, 2012) is the plight of abused animals. Dubbed “Campaign 101,” in recognition of the College’s 101st commencement, Alfred State and the two local animal shelters, the SPCA serving Allegany County and the Hornell Area Humane Society, will join forces throughout the spring to encourage 101 animal adoptions.
“As I contemplated Commencement 2012, the College’s 101st, I couldn’t get Disney’s 101 Dalmatians out of my mind,” Anderson told faculty and staff. “When I realized that, in essence, it was a story about animal cruelty, I asked myself what we, as a college, could do to mitigate animal mistreatment in our area. Enlisting the help of our veterinary technology faculty as well as the local shelters, we decided upon ‘Campaign 101,’ an effort to encourage the adoption of 101 pets from the two shelters by May 13. One aspect of this plan is the continuation of our students’ and faculty’s work in providing medical care for the shelter animals, including spaying and neutering, which, ultimately, makes the animals more adoptable. The second aspect is encouraging faculty and staff as well as the local communities to consider adopting a pet in the next four months…even if they’re not 101 Dalmatians!”
To jump-start the campaign, ASC officials opted to protect community members’ current pets by distributing ID tags for dogs and cats to facilitate the public’s willingness and ability to return lost animals to their owners. Dr. Emily Weiss, the researcher on the ID me project, has praised the College for its commitment and willingness to act on behalf of those creatures who can’t act on their own behalf.