30 Years Later: An Alumna's Leadership Lives On
Both then and now, 1987-88 Student Leadership Award recipient Althea Ceasor impacts her community and career through servant leadership.
In April 1988, Althea (Largie) Ceasor ’88 became the 12th recipient of the Student Leadership Award (now called the Marion Schrank Student Leadership Award), the highest leadership honor at SUNY Brockport. In an article featured in the Summer 1988 edition of Kaleidoscope, the College's former alumni magazine, Ceasor expressed hope that she would continue to live up to the expectations of the College community after she graduated. Now, 30 years later, The Port caught up with Ceasor to learn about the numerous ways she has done just that.
THEN AND NOW: Althea (Largie) Ceasor ’88
1988: The Student Leadership Award is selected on the basis of scholarly achievement and exemplary leadership. As a resident assistant and tutor at Brockport, Ceasor provided personal and academic support to 50 of her peers each week, on average.
“I’ve been able to be a positive influence in the lives of many students, showing them by example that there is nothing that cannot be achieved through hard work.”
2018: Now living in Florida, Ceasor has continued to serve in leadership roles in the workplace and her community. For the last 10 years, she had been a manager of partnership and business development at ADT Security Services, a position in which she directed cross-functional teams and was recognized as a “top business development leader” for enhancing partner programs. Ceasor is now pursuing a new career as a vice president and private client associate at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.
“I’ve been finding myself, every 10 years or so, wanting to stretch myself professionally. I haven’t been in the financial industry before. Our clients are people who are looking to make an impact in the world and for their families, and I’m looking forward to supporting them.”
1988: A mathematics and meteorology major, Ceasor was the only female and only African-American student in the meteorology program. She told Kaleidoscope she wanted to work at a television station as a meteorologist, then attend graduate school. Her long-term goal was to become a meteorological scientist.
“A professor once told one of my classes that only about 11 percent of us would end up in a career that aligns with our majors. I pursued an opportunity out of college that I couldn’t pass up.”
Ceasor started out as a communications director at Eastman Kodak Company, then served in leadership marketing and operations roles until her recent career change. She considers one of her key skills her “servant-leadership mindset,” an ability to help enrich the lives of others, which stems back to her days mentoring her peers in the residence halls.
1988: In addition to her role as a tutor and resident assistant, Ceasor was vice president of the Earth Sciences Club, founder of the Caribbean Club, a student representative on the judicial board and student life subcommittee, coordinator of the 1986 Alumni Association fashion show, a Leadership Development Institute participant, and a volunteer in the Rochester community.
“While I was at Brockport, I felt a sense of empowerment to make a difference. I was allowed to be a pioneer, with the full support of the administration behind me.”
Today, Ceasor continues to be involved as a volunteer, planner, and fundraiser for organizations in her community, including the American Association of Caregiving Youth, Kids in Distress Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and Susan G Komen.
Her volunteer spirit has left a lasting legacy at the College. The Caribbean Club, which was renamed the Caribbean Student Association, remains active. Members organize social, educational, and volunteer programs to promote cultural diversity and give back to the community.
“I’ve always felt fully supported by everyone at Brockport. Today, I fully support everything that Brockport is and will be.”