DANVILLE, Ky. (Centre College) – The Center Board of Trustees announced three young alumni trustees: Briana Lathon Bluford ’15, Prashant Chakradhar ’19 and Henry Snyder ’20.
The new directors are part of a two-year pilot program aimed at bringing younger voices to the board. Young former directors will have graduated within the last 10 years and are elected for a non-renewable term of two years with full voting rights. They could be considered later for traditional four-year terms, if appropriate.
President Milton C. Moreland notes that these young former trustees are closer in age and outlook to the prospective students the College seeks to recruit.
“Our new administrators were dynamic campus leaders as students and can provide insight into the undergraduate experience,” he says. “They will bridge the experience gap between those who govern and those we aim to serve. They are also well connected to their alumni peers and the Center community.
Briana Lathon Bluford is an attorney at Humana, where she works in the area of commercial healthcare compliance.
“The one thing I always wanted to be was a lawyer,” she says. “The law is a very special tool that can make things better. It is a privilege to be a member of the bar, especially since only 2% of female lawyers are black women.
Bluford served as president of the Black Law Student Association at the University of Louisville and won the Trailblazer Award from the Louisville Bar Association. She is currently the president of the young lawyers division of the bar association.
Majoring in Politics at the Center, Resident Assistant and Admissions Investigator, Lathon studied abroad in Ghana and Strasbourg, France. She counts one of the highlights of her life as being crowned queen of the 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival. A native of Louisville, she continues to participate in her city’s signature event as director of the Kentucky Derby Festival Boards of Directors. and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
She is the co-founder of Colorful Conversations, a lifestyle website for professional women of color. “We discuss topics like business strategy, parenting, mental health and wellness, and politics,” she says. The result was a platform for “stories and experiences that cannot be told in the mainstream”.
Bluford says she is thrilled to be a trustee of the Center because of the impact the College has had on her life.
“I learned a lot in law school, but it was my time at Center 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 like me, have access to this type of transformative education.”
Bluford admits that she organizes her life and hobbies around good food.
“I loved food before the Centre, but my time in Strasbourg, France made a good meal non-negotiable,” she says. Her husband’s gift of an espresso machine in 2020 “tops the list of things that kept me sane during the pandemic,” she says. “A good latte can transform my whole day.”
Cooking and baking remain her favorite pastimes, including, recently, a strawberry matcha cake with matcha buttercream and strawberry puree that she made for her husband’s birthday.
Prashant Chakradhar is a business modeling and economics partner at Ernst and Young, an accounting and consulting firm.
In his role at EY, he creates financial and operating models to help leaders of organizations, including multi-million and multi-billion dollar organizations, better understand the variables that impact their businesses and affect strategies to achieve their goals.
He is convinced that institutions whose goals include positive impacts on society can thrive.
“I view my work as both a learning experience to understand 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 is not always measured in dollars and cents.”
He also sees this optimism in his personal life.
Music, for example, has always been important to him. At the Center he was a principal of the Wind Ensemble and he also played euphonium with the nationally competitive Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.
“My time with the organization taught me what it really meant to perfect a craft,” he says. “Most importantly, it taught me how I could so easily find happiness outside of career success.”
Now that he lives in Chicago, he enjoys exploring the Windy City, especially “the abundance of delicious food the city has to offer,” he notes.
Chakradhar was a double major in Economics and Finance and Mathematics at the Center and received the Charles Campbell Economics Prize, among other accolades. He has also served as Resident Director, Student Judiciary, Admissions Investigator, Treasurer, and Vice President within Phi Kappa Tau. A student-run investment firm he co-founded has beaten its equity benchmarks by at least 2% for every year it has been in business. After Center, he earned a master’s degree in finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chakradhar believes higher education is at “an inflection point” caused in part by the pandemic and also by other trends affecting the next generation of students. A liberal arts education, such as he received at the Center, can benefit our society.
“Having cultivated a passion for operational strategy, decision economics and business transformation during and since my time at the Centre, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to play an oversight and advisory role for the College as an administrator during this time of momentous change.”
Henry Snyder began researching the Thoroughbred industry in his second year and joined Churchill Downs right after graduating. He is currently Director of Finance and was previously part of a two-year leadership rotation program with Churchill Downs.
“I’m passionate about Kentucky and strengthening my home state,” he says. “Working in the thoroughbred industry gave me the chance to combine these two fields.”
As “Live in Lou City Champ,” a program sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., he has a platform to share his appreciation of his hometown with a wider, curious audience. On weekends, he says, he often explores Louisville’s parks and restaurants or cheers on the University of Louisville and Louisville City, a professional football team.
Snyder volunteers with several charities and he is also an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
In his spare time, Snyder loves to travel, everywhere from an international trip to a car trip 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 (leading scholarship program) and later a term with the Centre-in-London program.
On campus, Snyder was a leader, serving as president of the Student Government Association and its fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. He was also a voting member of the presidential search committee that successfully hired Milton Moreland in 2020. He has done summer internships with Brown-Forman and with several Kentucky Thoroughbred organizations. With degrees in economics and finance, Snyder graduated summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honorary leadership.
He considers graduating from the Center one of his most notable achievements to date.
“It was earned after many late nights at the Doherty Library, many office hours with professors, and many formative experiences that challenged me to grow as a scholar and a person,” he says.
This realization influenced his acceptance of the responsibilities of administrator. “The profound impact of the Center on my development motivates my desire to serve the College as an administrator,” he says. “The opportunity to serve the Center and help strengthen our mission so that more students can have a life-changing experience is an honor.”