Alfred State’s alumni green light a Traffic Light Celebration

Traffic light in the Village of Alfred
One traffic light and two institutions of higher education make for a very student-focused community found only in Alfred, NY. The small village is so proud of the one traffic light, its birthday is a cause for celebration.

At a glance

“We are excited to welcome back alumni for a fun-filled weekend. Not only will attendees get the opportunity to stay at the renovated MacKenzie Complex, they will be able to join the community as we celebrate the only traffic light in town on its birthday.”

ASC Director of Scholarships and College Relations Mary Perkins. 

Big Blue Ox graphic

Photo gallery from the Traffic Light Celebration

Finding a traffic light along your route is not usually a cause for celebration, but for the small Village of Alfred, NY the installation of its one-and-only traffic light was welcomed as a sign of the community coming of age. The stoplight proved that this picturesque small town is big enough to warrant stopping along your way. Now the traffic light’s birthday will attract visitors and alumni who attended this college town’s schools. SUNY Alfred State College and Alfred University are coordinating alumni reunions on the same June weekend to include a Traffic Light Celebration 50 years after the stoplight was first installed.

Alfred State College (ASC) is welcoming back past Pioneers for an Alumni Reunion on June 7 and 8. The event features accommodations for alumni in the MacKenzie Complex which also debuted 50 years ago as the largest residence hall complex in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. MacKenzie recently underwent a massive renovation and is styled like a modern ski resort to match the scenic setting of Alfred. Other Alumni Reunion activities include the 2024 Athletic Department Hall of Fame ceremony, a barbeque cookout to reminisce about college life, and of course the parade and live music under the infamous one-and-only traffic light in town on June 8 at 6 p.m.

“We are excited to welcome back alumni for a fun-filled weekend,” commented ASC Director of Scholarships and College Relations Mary Perkins. “Not only will attendees get the opportunity to stay at the renovated MacKenzie Complex, they will be able to join the community as we celebrate the only traffic light in town on its birthday. This community embraces how small and tight-knit we are as Alfred’s community and alumni are so supportive of our students.”

Approximately two-thirds of the student population in Alfred is enrolled at Alfred State College while the other third is across Main Street at Alfred University. Yes, the two schools are on either side of the famous traffic light. Many alumni have stories of dating or marrying a student at the opposing school where there is a congenial rivalry. The 2020 US Census found 4,026 residents in the Village of Alfred, but the two schools have more than 4,000 on-campus students. This extremely high concentration of students in a small village led The Washington Post to name Alfred the No. 1 Ultimate College Town in the United States.

ASC’s reunion weekend starts on Friday afternoon with a Champagne Check-In in the MacKenzie Commons. Lawn games, music, mingling, and fun will accompany happy hour and heavy appetizers. Alumni can stay right on campus in the MacKenzie Complex with lodging in the newly renovated MacKenzie Commons C-Tower. Rooms are available for both nights of the weekend.

Alumni Reunion Registration

Saturday begins with brunch and a panel discussion in the MacKenzie Commons with academic leadership at 10 a.m. followed by a tour of campus on the Big Blue Trolley.

The Athletic Department will induct the 2024 Hall of Fame Class in a ceremony that begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Leadership Center. The inductees include Catherine Bialecki (2015-18 Women’s Basketball), Jeromy Feuchter (2001-02 Football and Track & Field), Kay Pfleghardt (2012-16 Volleyball), Aaron Williams (2000-02 Baseball), and Rasheed Williams (2014-15 Football). Contributors John M. Anderson (Former College President) and the late Patricia Fogarty (Former College Council Chair) are also part of the class while the 1994 men’s soccer team will be honored as well. Read more about the 2024 Hall of Fame Class.

A Residence Life and Friends barbecue will be held in the MacKenzie Commons from 3 – 5 p.m. prior to the Village of Alfred’s celebration of the traffic light.

The 50 year traffic light celebration is free and open to visitors around the region. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a parade that will head down Main Street to the traffic light that separates Alfred State and Alfred University. A ceremony celebrating the traffic light will follow the parade before the band Sweet Degenerates brought to you by Alfred State will perform. Commemorative T-shirts and jars of “traffic jam” will be sold with proceeds to support the renovation of community playgrounds in the village.

Perkins continued, “Our plan is to make the Alumni Reunion an annual event. We love having our alumni back on campus and cannot wait to hear their stories and show and tell them all the remarkable things our students are currently doing.”

For more information about the event contact Mary Perkins at 607-587-3932 or