Alfred State Holds 103rd Commencement

Friends, families, and fellow students celebrated as approximately 900 Alfred State students graduated. Commencement ceremonies were held Sunday, May 18, 2014, and Dr. Skip Sullivan, president, presided over the event held at Pioneer Stadium on the Alfred State campus.

Welcoming the audience on behalf of the students was Joshua Altemoos, of Buffalo, N.Y., president of the Alfred State Student Senate, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology: network administration. This year’s student speaker was Tsu Zhu, of Flushing, N.Y. Zhu is a graduate of both the Culinary Arts Department, where she received her associate degree, and—most recently—the technology management program, where she received her bachelor’s.

Keynote speaker for the ceremony was David Campbell, successful businessman and founder and chair of All Hands Volunteers. Campbell, a native of Buffalo and resident of Carlisle, Massachusetts, has been President of BBN Technologies of Cambridge and CEO at Computer Task Group of Buffalo and Xpedior of Chicago. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Tektronix, M&T Bank, MRO Software, and Gibraltar Industries; he has been a Trustee at both Niagara University and the University at Buffalo; held the position of Chairman for Roswell Park Cancer Institute Council, the Buffalo United Way campaign, the Erie County IDA, and the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce; and he has served on the board of directors for numerous other corporate and nonprofit entities.

Following a tsunami in Thailand in 2005, Campbell became one of the founders of, and helped to bring in more than 200 volunteers and several hundred thousand dollars to assist in rebuilding. Inspired to continue the work of providing hands-on assistance to communities in need, Campbell then incorporated All Hands Volunteers (previously known as Hands on USA and Hands on Disaster Response, respectively) in 2006 and quickly brought 1,500 volunteers to Biloxi, Mississippi, in response to Hurricane Katrina. Under his leadership over the next seven years, the organization managed more than 30 projects. To date, All Hands Volunteers has helped communities in Haiti, Peru, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. U.S. relief projects have taken place in Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and Iowa.

Campbell has received numerous awards and recognitions during his career. He was named Citizen of the Year by The Buffalo News, received an honorary doctorate from Niagara University, and earned inclusion as a Fellow in the first year awards of the Purpose Prize.

President Sullivan also awarded an honorary degree during the ceremony, the Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.), to William Goodrich, president and CEO of Rochester’s LeChase Construction, Alfred State class of ’84.

Goodrich has been an integral member of LeChase since 1985. He was named president in 2002 and CEO in 2007; has been involved with Rochester Careers in Construction, a program that connects high school faculty and students with construction industry experts, for more than a decade; has been a driving force behind continuing education and training being available for his company’s employees; and, currently, more than 40 Alfred State graduates have found careers at LeChase.

At Alfred State, Goodrich has been an essential supporter of the $4.1 million Construction Workforce Development Center at the School of Applied Technology in Wellsville and in the opening of the $33.5 million Student Leadership Center, where LeChase sponsored one of thirteen leadership suites awarded to student organizations. LeChase also supports several institutional, charitable, and community-based organizations on an annual basis.

Goodrich maintains membership in many community and professional organizations; was the recipient of a President’s Medallion from Alfred State in 2010; was the keynote speaker for Alfred State’s 99th Commencement ceremony; and was featured in the Transitions, the College’s magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from Roberts Wesleyan College and an associate degree in Construction Engineering Technology from Alfred State.

The presentation of the Paul B. Orvis Award for Excellence, awarded to outstanding two-year graduates from each of the college’s schools of study as well as to one or more baccalaureate graduates, was a highlight of the ceremony. The award honors Paul B. Orvis, a former president of Alfred State and State University of New York dean for two-year colleges. Recipients must meet the criteria of service, leadership, character, and scholarship.

Honored at the ceremony were Nicole M. Agosta, Amsterdam, N.Y., (School of the Arts and Sciences baccalaureate recipient); Rachel A. Howard, Pittsford, N.Y., (School of Arts and Sciences associate degree recipient); Lisa J. Kowalewski, Akron, N.Y., (School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology associate degree recipient); Joshua D. Lenahan, Woodhull, N.Y., (School of Applied Technology recipient); and Kyle “Christian” J. Perry, Frewsburg, N.Y., (School of Architecture, Management, and Engineering Technology baccalaureate recipient).

The Alfred State Men’s Quartet performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Alfred State alma mater during the ceremony. Students and faculty were led out in recessional to the music of the Gates Keystone Police Pipes and Drums.