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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Alfred University Bestows First Fiat Lux! Awards

Kristen Beck, President Mark Zupan,
Julio Fuentes and Don McPherson
ALFRED, NY – Alfred University kicked off its celebration of the inauguration of President Mark Zupan with a moving ceremony Friday night awarding two AU alumni – and one alumnus-to-be -- the newly created Fiat Lux! honor.
Zupan, playing host, presented the award to alumni Don McPherson, the inventor of corrective lenses that allow color blind people to discern individual colors, and Kristin Beck, a Wellsville native and former U.S. Navy Seal whose transgender transformation is the subject of a book, Warrior Princess, and a documentary film Lady Valor. Both are alumni. McPherson earned a master’s in glass science engineering in 1984, and a Ph.D.  in ceramic engineering in 1989. Beck is a 1989 graduate of AU.
Finally, Julio Fuentes, who as an AU student suffered a paralyzing spinal injury in a 2006 football game, received his own Fiat Lux!, promising the nearly 200 guests attending the dinner he also would accept the AU Board of Trustees’ offer to return to AU and complete his undergraduate studies. Fuentes has been undergoing physical rehabilitation for the past 10 years.
“You truly made an impact on my life,” Fuentes told Zupan after receiving his Fiat Lux! plaque. “And I know you’ll do the same for Alfred.”
Zupan takes the helm of Alfred University as its 14th president.