Centre adds young trustee slots to the board

Three grads from last six years

DANVILLE, Ky. (Centre College) — The Centre board has announced three Young Alumni Trustees: Briana Lathon Bluford ’15, Prashant Chakradhar ’19, and Henry Snyder ’20.

The new trustees are part of a two-year pilot program to bring younger voices to the board. Young alumni trustees will have graduated within the last 10 years and are elected to non-renewable two-year terms with full voting rights. They could be considered later for traditional four-year terms as appropriate.

President Milton C. Moreland notes that these young alumni trustees are closer in age and perspective to the prospective students the College seeks to recruit.

“Our new trustees were dynamic campus leaders as students and can offer insights into the undergraduate experience,” he says. “They will bridge the gap in experience between those who govern and those we aim to serve. They are also well-connected to their alumni peers and the Centre community.”

Briana Lathon Bluford is a lawyer with Humana, where she works in commercial healthcare compliance.

“The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a lawyer,” she says. “Law is a very special tool that can make things better. It’s a privilege to be a member of the bar, especially since only 2 percent of lawyers are Black women.”

Bluford was president of the Black Law Student Association at the University of Louisville and won the Trailblazer Award from the Louisville Bar Association. She currently is chair of the bar association’s Young Lawyers division.

A politics major at Centre, a resident assistant, and an admission interviewer, Lathon studied abroad in Ghana and Strasbourg, France. She counts one of the highlights of her life as being crowned 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Queen. A Louisville native, she continues to be involved with her city’s signature event as a director on the boards of both the Kentucky Derby Festival and the Kentucky Derby Museum.

She is co-founder of Colorful Conversations, a lifestyle website for professional women of color. “We discuss such topics as corporate strategy, parenting, mental health and wellness, and politics,” she says. The result has been a platform for “stories and experiences that may not be told in the mainstream.”

Bluford says that she is thrilled to be a Centre trustee because of the impact the College has had on her life.

“I learned a lot in law school, but it is my time at Centre College that set the stage and acted as a catalyst for the Briana that my colleagues, friends, and family experience today,” she says. “It’s important to me that other students, especially those who look like me, have access to that kind of transformative education.”

Bluford admits that she organizes her life and leisure time around good food.

“I loved food before Centre, but my time in Strasbourg, France, made a good meal nonnegotiable,” she says. Her husband’s present of an expresso machine in 2020 “is in the lead for things that have kept me sane during the pandemic,” she says. “A good latte can turn my entire day.”

Cooking and baking remain favorite diversions, including, recently, a strawberry matcha cake with matcha buttercream and strawberry puree that she baked for her husband’s birthday.

Prashant Chakradhar is an associate for decision modeling and economics with Ernst and Young, a public accounting and consulting firm.

In his role with EY, he creates financial and operational models to help executives of organizations, including multi-million and multi-billion-dollar ones, better understand the variables that impact their businesses and affect strategies to meet their objectives.

He is convinced that institutions whose goals include positive impacts on society can thrive.

“I view my work as both a learning experience in understanding how modern executives run successful organizations but also as an opportunity to imbue the decision-making processes of these organizations with some of my own perspectives,” he says. “The bottom line isn’t always measured in dollars and cents.”
He sees that optimism in his personal life as well.

Music, for example, has always been important to him. At Centre he was a principal in the Wind Ensemble, and he has also played the euphonium with the nationally competitive Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.

“My time with the organization taught me what it meant to truly perfect a craft,” he says. “Most importantly, it taught me how I could so easily find happiness outside of professional success.”

Now that he lives in Chicago, he is enjoying exploring the Windy City, especially the “abundance of delicious food the city has to offer,” he notes.

Chakradhar was a double major in economics & finance and mathematics at Centre and received the Charles Campbell Economics Prize among other honors. He was also a resident director, a member of the student judiciary, an admission interviewer, and a treasurer and vice president within Phi Kappa Tau. A student-led investment firm he co-founded beat its equity benchmarks by at least 2 percent for every year it was in operation. After Centre he earned a master’s in finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chakradhar believes that higher education is at “an inflection point” brought about in part by the pandemic and also by other trends that affect the next generation of college students. A liberal arts education, such as he received at Centre, can benefit our society.

“Having cultivated a passion for operational strategy, decision economics, and business transformation during and since my time at Centre, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to serve in an oversight and advisory role for the College as a trustee during this period of momentous change.”

Henry Snyder started researching the thoroughbred industry as sophomore and joined Churchill Downs right after graduating. Currently he is director of finance and was previously part of a two-year leadership rotation program with Churchill Downs.

“I am passionate about Kentucky and strengthening my home state,” he says. “Working in the thoroughbred industry offered me the chance to combine these two areas.”

As a “Live in Lou City Champ” a program sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., he has a platform to share his appreciation of his native city with a wider and curious audience. On the weekend, he says, he often explores Louisville’s parks and restaurants or cheers on the University of Louisville and Louisville City, a professional soccer team.

Snyder volunteers with a several charitable organizations, and he is also an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In his free time, Snyder loves to travel, everywhere from an international trip to a drive to a new place in Kentucky. “Exploring the world is fascinating,” he says.

As a student, he spent a summer in France as a Brown Fellow (premier scholarship program) and later a term with the Centre-in-London program.

On campus, Snyder was a leader, serving as president of both the Student Government Association and his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. He also was a voting member of the presidential search committee that successfully hired Milton Moreland in 2020. He did summer internships with Brown-Forman and with several Kentucky thoroughbred organizations. An economics and finance major, Snyder graduated summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the leadership honorary Omicron Delta Kappa.

He counts graduating from Centre as one of his most noteworthy accomplishments to date.

“It was earned after many late nights in the Doherty Library, lots of office hours with professors, and many formative experiences that challenged me to grow as a scholar and person,” he says.

That achievement influenced his accepting the responsibilities of a trustee. “Centre’s profound impact on my development drives my desire to serve the College as a trustee,” he says. “The opportunity to serve Centre and help strengthen our mission so that more students may have a life-changing experience is an honor.”

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