Alfred State officially welcomed more than 1,400 freshmen to campus Thursday morning during a New Student Convocation led by President Dr. Skip Sullivan at the Orvis Activities Center.
This year’s incoming class consists of 1,443 students from 61 of New York’s 62 counties and 19 additional states, plus 22 international students from 10 countries. Of these new students, 97 have been identified as Alfred State Distinguished Scholars and 194 additional students have been offered other scholarships in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, exceptional vocational skills, and extraordinary talents outside of the classroom. A number of students also bring with them previous work experience, military experience, and successful college course work.
Speaking first to students, Sullivan provided a brief history of Alfred State. He then mentioned some of the new and exciting things happening at the college, Alfred State’s emphasis on hands-on learning, and the fact that students have many opportunities to get involved on campus.
“I hope you are excited to be starting your college career here,” Sullivan said. “We are delighted to have you as part of the Alfred State family.”
Also speaking about the Alfred State family was Patricia K. Fogarty, College Council chair, who assured students that though they may face problems or concerns, they will receive help along the way. She also urged students to step outside their comfort zones, explore cultural activities, support the college’s athletic teams, and to take advantage of the college’s many civic engagement opportunities.
“You are entering a great adventure,” she said. “Take this opportunity by the tail and give it a spin. The future is yours, and we are here to help you reach your goals.”
Dr. Kristin Poppo, provost, spoke about the college’s excellent programs, faculty, co-curricular opportunities, and available student support. Her greatest hope, she told the students, is that in two, three, four, or five years, she will shake their hand and give them their diploma on their graduation day.
“My hope is on that day, you are not only more prepared to embark on your career or more education, but that you have learned more about yourself and who you want to be in the world,” she said. “I hope that you will have found purpose in your life, and that when you walk across that stage, you will do so with a recognition of how you can help create a better world.”
Greg Sammons, vice president for Student Affairs, then introduced students to Alfred State’s “Principles of Community” and Student Senate President Katherine Holmok, a business administration major from Prattsville, led students, faculty, and staff in reciting the college oath.
After Sullivan’s concluding remarks, students, faculty, and staff headed to Pioneer Stadium to create a human Alfred State logo for a photo session, which was followed by food, music, and activities outdoors nearby the stadium.