ALFRED, NY, May 2016 – The Alfred University (AU) Board of Trustees will confer the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on Dr. Charles M. Edmondson, the institution’s president, during the annual Commencement exercises on campus May 14.
The occasion will mark Edmondson’s final Commencement program as he is retiring June 30, 2016 as the University’s 13th president, after 16 years at the institution’s helm.
Dr. Leslie J. Gelber, chairman of the board of trustees, will confer the degree with assistance from Dr. Rick Stevens, University provost and academic vice president, “in recognition of Dr. Edmondson’s lifetime contributions to higher education, and to Alfred University in particular. He is a scholar, an acclaimed educator, a loyal friend, and a more than worthy leader of Alfred University. We are forever indebted to Charles M. Edmondson for his service to Alfred University.”
Gelber will also note that AU will “continue to see his (Edmondson’s) legacy in the bricks-and-mortar projects that began during the past 16 years: the Miller Theater, Joel’s House, Ann’s House, renovations to Herrick Library, Perlman Hall, the Bromeley-Daggett Equestrian Center at Maris Cuneo Equine Park, the Inamori Museum of Fine Ceramics, the McGee Pavilion, the Connors Pavilion, the improvements to Merrill Field, Doris Harrington Softball Field, the Joyce-Walton Family Health and Wellness Center, the Galanis Family Arena in McLane Center, and now the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum.”
While serving as AU president, Edmondson has served as a trustee of the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Independent College Fund of New York, the Presidents' Council of the NCAA, and as president of the Empire 8 Athletic Conference. In addition, he was appointed by Gov. Cuomo to serve as a charter member of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) for Western New York. He continues to serve on the executive committee of the REDC.
Edmondson was a visiting professor at Wuhan University, Wuchang, Hubei Province, People's Republic of China, in 1983. He was named a Phi Beta Delta International Scholar in 1992, and received a Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Relations from the Pew Memorial Trust and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 1991-92, and an Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship, 1991-92.
In 1989 and 1990, he was director of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for School Teachers, and participated in the Fulbright Seminars Abroad Program in its Seminar on Korean Culture and History in Seoul, Korea, in 1987. He has also received numerous awards for distinguished teaching.