Adelphi alum endows $1M to ‘Faculty Leadership’ effort

Thank you Viret much: Adelphi University alum Lionel Viret ('95) has gifted $1 million to the university's Faculty Leadership Fellows initiative.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A $1 million endowment from a former student will help Adelphi University faculty members become the academic leaders of tomorrow.

The Garden City-based university announced this week that 1995 graduate Lionel Viret, president of French bioscience company Stago, has “pledged $1 million to transform the lives of future leaders at Adelphi.”

More specifically, Viret has gifted a cool mil to the university’s Faculty Leadership Fellows initiative, which has been rechristened the Viret Family Faculty Leadership Fellows Program in light of the endowment.

The effort is focused on helping faculty members who are considering careers in academic leadership “develop higher-education initiatives that transform the college experience and improve higher education for all,” according to Adelphi.

Viret’s gift will allow the “highly selective” program to “continue in perpetuity,” the university added.

“We are thrilled that this alumnus, now living in Paris, chose to reach all the way to Garden City … to support our world-class university,” Adelphi President Christine Riordan said Wednesday.

First conceptualized in 2016, the Faculty Leadership Fellows program was created specifically for faculty members who aspire to become department chairs, deans, provosts or other executive-level college administrators.

Christine Riordan: “Transforming” higher ed.

Built around “an intensive, semester-long experience,” the program is designed to develop leadership skills through hands-on experiences while simultaneously advancing the university’s strategic educational plan. Participants are exposed to university operations, work closely with “leadership mentors” and attend professional-development seminars and conferences in their particular areas of interest, Adelphi said.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, five Adelphi faculty members were fellows of the Faculty Leadership initiative, including English Department Professor and Chairwoman Jacqueline Jones LaMon, who explored the power of mentoring programs; Biology Department Professor and Chairwoman Andrea Ward, who studied how Adelphi might establish a new health-science degree program; and Social Work Department Associate Professor and Chairwoman Diann Cameron-Kelly, who reviewed and catalogued the university’s research resources.

Also completing Faculty Leadership fellowships last school year were Robert B. Willumstad School of Business Professor Maryanne Hyland, who explored “professionalizing practices in working with part-time faculty,” and Ruth S. Ammon School of Education Associate Dean Daryl Gordon, who researched ways Adelphi might integrate “campus internalization efforts,” according to the university.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, three Adelphi faculty members are slated to work on leadership projects, the university added.

Stago, which focuses on hemostasis (the stopping of bleeding or cessation of blood circulation) and thrombosis (the formation of blood clots), has produced and distributed more than 350 blood-testing products used by biomedical scientists and healthcare providers around the globe. The company was founded in 1945 by Viret’s father, Jacques Viret.

Lionel Viret, who majored in political science and minored in history at Adelphi, took the reins from his father in 2007 and has helped grow the firm’s roster to more than 2,200 employees, with subsidiaries located around the world.

That includes Virginia-based point-of-care blood diagnostics platform manufacturer HemoSonics, which Stago acquired in 2017, and Diagnostica Stago Inc., a New Jersey-based distribution facility. The company also boasts logistics and research operations in Canada, Brazil, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, among other global locations.

With his worldwide operations clicking, Viret chose to endow his alma mater’s Faculty Leadership Fellows initiative – and Adelphi will put that generous donation to good use, according to Riordan.

“We will ensure that Mr. Viret’s gift enables faculty to create new paths and fresh solutions to transforming higher education,” the university president said, trumpeting “changes that make a profound difference in the lives of our students.”