ALFRED, NY (Oct. 14, 2016) – Fiat lux – “Let there be light” – has become a major leadership theme for AU President Mark Zupan, as he prepares for his formal inauguration as AU’s 14th president on Saturday, Oct. 22.
“I want you to think about light,” Zupan told university faculty and staff, at the annual breakfast meeting that kicks off AU’s academic year. “Light illuminates, and thereby dispels darkness. Light also warms, and the warmth our students feel tells them ‘People care for me here.’”
Zupan now has initiated The Fiat Lux! Award, recognizing outstanding accomplishments of AU alumni, and will present the first three awards Friday, Oct. 21, at a pre-inaugural dinner on the AU campus.
This year’s honorees: Julio Fuentes, the former AU football player who suffered a paralyzing injury in 2006 – and who returned in September to Yunevich Stadium where he was recognized for his extraordinary spirit in fighting back against his injury; Don McPherson (’84), inventor of lenses that correct color-blindness and the founder of En Chroma, which manufactures the lenses; and Kristen Beck (’89), former U.S. Navy SEAL and Wellsville native. As Christopher Beck, she served a member of Seal Team 6, and then ran for Congress as a transgender woman.
According to Zupan, the diversity of the Fiat Lux awardees casts its own bright light on the Alfred University community. “Light is powerful, but it is made up of a rainbow of component colors that combine to deliver the strength that is light.”
AU’s inaugural ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. the following day in the Galanis Family Arena at the McLane Center. The ceremony is open to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community. A reception will be held in the adjoining Joyce-Walton Health and Wellness Center immediately following the ceremony.
Zupan was appointed Alfred University president by the AU Board of Trustees in February 2016. He officially began his tenure on July 1.