Sep. 12, 2013

Judith Albers Named to VanArsdale Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship


Judith J. Albers, SUNY Geneseo's Charles L. "Bud" VanArsdale Professor of Entrepreneurship, chats with VanArsdale during his recent visit to campus. The college established the chair through VanArdale's $2.5 million gift, the largest in the college's history.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- Judith J. Albers has been appointed to SUNY Geneseo's first endowed professorship in the college's 142-year history, the Charles L. "Bud" VanArsdale Endowed Chair for Entrepreneurship.

Albers, an authority on entrepreneurial training with specific expertise in commercialization of university-based research, has joined Geneseo's School of Business faculty.

"The appointment of Judith Albers to the college's first endowed chair couldn't come at a better time," said Christopher C. Dahl, SUNY Geneseo president. "New York state is mobilizing its colleges and universities as never before to help stimulate the state's economy, and entrepreneurship will be a key element in the recovery. Judy's experience as an entrepreneur herself, combined with her solid academic background, will make this professorship highly visible and beneficial to New York and will accentuate the distinguished level of scholarship our students enjoy. We are enormously grateful to Bud VanArsdale for making this possible."

The Geneseo chair was established with a historic $2.5 million gift – the largest in college history -- by VanArsdale, former president of the Bank of Castile, who later served as director of SUNY Geneseo's Small Business Development Center.

Albers, a resident of Victor, N.Y., received her academic training in chemistry, earning a doctorate from Brandeis University and her bachelor's degree from Duke University. She also has done post-doctoral work at Princeton University.

Albers is co-founder and managing partner of Neworks LLC, a training company best known as the managing umbrella organization for the Pre-Seed Workshop, which she co-founded and co-facilitates. The Pre-Seed workshop is a two-and-half-day "build-a-company" event that rallies community talent and resources to investigate and transform technologies with commercial potential into pre-seed-stage companies.

Previously, Albers served as chief operating officer of Excell Partners, a state-supported fund providing pre-seed and seed-stage financing to high-tech start-up companies in the Upstate New York region.

"I'm very grateful to Bud VanArsdale for his generous endowment of this chair and to President Dahl, Provost Long, and my new colleagues at Geneseo for their vote of confidence," said Albers. "Entrepreneurship plays a critical role as the driving force of our new economy, and I welcome the opportunity to instill a spirit of entrepreneurship on campus. SUNY Geneseo is a gem among New York's liberal arts colleges, and I am absolutely delighted and honored to be joining the Geneseo family as the VanArsdale Chair."

VanArsdale and his late wife, Marjorie, have a long history of philanthropic support for Geneseo, including funding the Charles and Marjorie VanArsdale Scholarship for International Studies in 1999. In 2008, the college awarded VanArsdale an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree for his life's work in economic development and service to others.

"Bud's latest gift is a true investment in students and the region, and we are elated to have Judy on board to carry his vision forward," said Geneseo Provost Carol Long. "His generosity will ensure that a great number of students will benefit from Judy's entrepreneurial expertise, strongly affirming Geneseo's high quality educational environment. This is a tremendous boon for our School of Business and the college."

In the college's initial announcement of the gift, VanArsdale called it an investment in students and the region, saying the future of the country is the development of small businesses. He said he chose to support Geneseo because of the college's many contributions to the region.

"Geneseo is one of the area's largest employers, has outstanding academics and produces great alumni," said VanArsdale. "I'm so impressed by Geneseo. If I can help the college, I want to do it."

David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516