Campus News


Dr. L. David Pye, dean and professor of glass science emeritus at the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, presented a thought-provoking seminar entitled, “Examining The Shroud of Turin” at the Alfred State New Horizons Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.

Forum Director SUNY Distinguished Professor Joe Flynn noted, “This event epitomized the goals of the Forum which focus on topics which require careful inquiry from a variety of academic disciplines. Scientists, religious scholars, and historians have long debated the legitimacy of the claim that the Shroud is the actual burial cloth of the historical Jesus of Nazareth.” AU’s Dr. Pye was able to actually view the shroud in Italy, and was amazed, intrigued, and somewhat baffled by the nuances and complexities of this issue.  Information about the Shroud can be found at:

The still-evolving scientific and historical records are sometimes difficult to disentangle from the swirl of attention brought to the artifact by millions of people and numerous organizations who embrace and promote its authenticity.

Pye’s interest in the Shroud began in 2010 when it was last displayed in Turin, Italy. Then a visiting professor at the University of Parma, he was asked by documentary film makers working for the National Geographical Society about the possible role glass might have played in creating the image in the artifact. Pye’s presentation recapped the 2010 display and review the mixed history surrounding the Shroud. A lively public discussion followed.

Pye is an internationally renowned educator, researcher, and scholar of glass science and engineering. Most recently he received the President’s Award from the International Commission on Glass and Distinguished Life Membership in the American Ceramic Society. An aspiring stained glass artist, he currently also serves as CEO, Empire State Glassworks LLC, and editor of the International Journal of Applied Glass Science.  To Dr. Pye, the question of the Shroud is, as he put it, a “Fit topic for examination from a materials science point-of-view.”

The New Horizons Forum, sponsored by Alfred State’s School of Arts and Sciences, showcases current scholarly, creative, and public service work by faculty, students, professional staff, and invited guests. It is guided by a campus-wide team of advisers whose goal is to enrich the intellectual life of the institution.

Follow the Forum at

Upcoming New Horizons Forums include a revisit to the Alfred State College mission to Haiti, where ASC students and faculty have been helping rebuild that beleaguered country after the earthquake.


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