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President Sullivan: Opening doors a priority at Alfred State

Printer-friendly version Posted Date: Monday, January 9, 2017 - 12:00

In many ways, Alfred State is all about opening doors for students.

This can be taken literally, as it is common for students, faculty, and staff alike to hold doors open for one another when entering a building on campus. It can also be taken in a more symbolic sense, in which “doors” (opportunities) are opened for students because of the education and experiences they receive at Alfred State.

President Dr. Skip Sullivan focused on this very topic in his Opening Remarks speech for the spring 2017 semester. He began by talking about famous doors, doors in popular movies, scary doors, and even the band The Doors, before encouraging everyone to take seriously the notion of opening doors for students.

students Casey Connor (business administration, Cotuit, MA) left, and Ian Van Valen (construction management, Ithaca) hold open the doors to the Orvis Activities Center Cappadonia Auditorium
Students Casey Connor (business administration, Cotuit, MA)
left, and Ian Van Valen (construction management, Ithaca)
hold open the doors to the Orvis Activities Center Cappadonia
Auditorium prior to the start of President Skip Sullivan’s
Opening Remarks speech for the spring 2017 semester.

“Bus driver, faculty member, ISA, administrator, cleaner, tutor, coach, let’s make it a point to open doors for our students,” he said.

Sullivan then shared the story about how Paychex founder/chairman and Alfred State alum Thomas Golisano has maintained a close relationship with his former accounting professor, Tom Dunn, over the years. Golisano attributes a lot of his success to Dunn’s mentorship, and the “doors” that Dunn opened for him as a student at Alfred State.

The president then outlined ways in which employees can open doors for students on campus, including challenging them to step outside their comfort zones, introducing them to someone or an organization that might benefit them, helping them find a job or internship, and building their confidence.

“College is full of open doors,” Sullivan said. “We need to constantly encourage our students to push themselves, to open doors, to close the bad doors, or look for open doors. We the faculty and staff of Alfred State open doors all the time. Don’t take the responsibility lightly, but do embrace it. When our students knock on opportunity’s door, they must be ready and confident to open that door and walk in it.”

Additionally, Sullivan also spoke about new and planned programs, completed facilities and those under construction, projects in development, the college budget, athletics, enhancements to a number of areas, and more.