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By Craig Braack

Alfred University President: “Fiat Pride Month”

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Mark Zuppan encourages support for the Stonewall Fund

Dear Alfred University alumni, parents, and friends:

The Stonewall Riots began on June 28, 1969, when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City, and sparked six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement.The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

Each June, we recognize and honor our LGBTQ+ community members during Pride Month.

In 2018, Alfred University graduate Rick Russo ’92 and his spouse, Luis Lifschitz, established the Stonewall Fund at Alfred University to provide financial assistance to students in need who cannot rely on their families due to discrimination or intolerance with respect to their sexual and/or gender identity. Each year, Rick and Luis match all contributions received, up to $5,000. This annual tradition and celebration of LGBTQ+ history is now in its fifth year, and Rick and Luis have generously agreed to match donations up to $25,000.

They were moved to launch the Fund after reading a story in the New York Times about a young gay man named Dylan who, when outed, lost the support of his parents and found himself homeless. Thankfully, an aunt and uncle took in Dylan and he enrolled at the University of Mississippi.

Rick Russo ’92, left, and Luis Lifschitz created The Stonewall Fund
to help Alfred University students. 

Rick and Luis have since broadened their efforts to help LGBTQ+ college students by establishing Stonewell Fund Inc. In 2019, the organization created a Stonewall Fund (similar to the Fund at Alfred University) at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. Rick, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alfred University, is Dean of Extended Education and Associate Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education at UC, Berkeley.

“After seeing the generosity of Alfred University alumni and friends in support LGBTQ+ undergraduates, we realized that every college and university needs a Stonewall Fund and established the Stonewall Fund Inc.,” Rick notes. Stonewall Fund Inc. provides guidance to any institution of higher education wishing to establish its own Stonewall Fund.

In honor of Pride Month and in recognition of the generosity Rick and Luis have shown in support of our LGBTQ+ students, please consider making a gift to the Stonewall Fund.

Fiat Pride Month!


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