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Through the Years

A historic look at Westfield State University SPRING 2011




FOCUS SPRING 2011 Editor Janice Beetle Godleski ’85 Beetle Press Design Editor Janet Garcia ’83 M Ed ’04 Director of Marketing Designer G. John Devanski Guy With Glasses Design Photographer David Harris-Fried Enrollment Management Editorial Board Glen Brewster, Professor English Department

Mickey Curtis Athletics Michael Filas, Professor English Department Janet Garcia ’83 M Ed ’04 Enrollment Management George Layng, Professor English Department Marsha Marotta Dean of Undergraduate Studies Katheryn Bradford Alumni Relations Class Notes Kelly Galanis Alumni Relations Contributing Writers: Mickey Curtis, Dr. Evan S. Dobelle, Kelly A. Galanis, Janice Beetle Godleski ’85, Elizabeth R. LaFond, ’03, ’07, Rachel Lareau ’11, Peter Miller ’84, Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ’00, Meghan (Canning) Musante ’02, Tracey Pinto ’85 and Robert Plasse. Printing Mansir Printing

ISSN 1520-7641

F r o m t h e E d it o r

Academic Excellence—Still By Janice Beetle Godleski A visit to Westfield State University always takes me back to the early 1980s. The campus was as beautiful then. It was as welcoming, and it was as active. Westfield State helped students like me thrive, and it still does. In the fall of 1981, my mother took me to downtown Westfield to buy cleaning products, a cheap rug and Kraft macaroni and cheese. She walked with me up three flights of Scanlon Hall and stayed with me until I’d met my two roommates and put sheets on my bed. I cried when she drove away and left me to start my first semester in college. But my tears had dried by the time I had walked back up to my room. That’s all the time it took for me to realize I had a new place to call home. The dining hall was still downstairs in Scanlon back then, right in front of you when you walked in the doors. Out behind the building, where the new dining hall exists now, were tennis courts. There was a clear view to Lammers Hall, then the only co-ed dorm. For three years, I ate all my meals in Scanlon with my fellow classmates. Those of us in Scanlon always bragged in bad weather that we only needed to walk down the stairs. I worked in the cafeteria as well, doing salad bar prep when I was a freshman, serving the food — which was quite good — as a sophomore, and taking inventory of all the food on hand when I was a junior and senior. I made minimum wage, which was just over $3 an hour. Westfield State provided opportunities, and it still does. In the dorm, there were several payphones in the corridors and all the girls shared them. When the phone rang, someone answered it and ran down the hall to get the student the call was for, leaving a note if they weren’t in. And they weren’t apt to be because students were busy. Westfield State nurtured leaders, and it still does. There were more activities then than I can count. The radio station was called WSKB, just as it still is, and I loved listening to the girl down the hall on her DJ shift. The newspaper was called The Owl; I was a reporter for my first three years and the editor in my senior year.

There was a swimming pool, a weight room, coffee houses in the campus center, movies in Dever Auditorium. Circle K met on the ground floor of Ely, where blood drives were also held. There were sports teams that thrived and intramurals that offered those of us without athletic promise a chance to have fun. Westfield State encouraged participation, and it still does. And in terms of music and theater, there were endless options. I met my best friends on campus in the Musical Theatre Guild, which will celebrate a reunion this June. We performed Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Cabaret and Mame. There was children’s theater in Ely, which performed such shows as the Wizard of Oz, and there were jazz groups, an orchestra and a cappella. Student government was also popular, and the campus even had its own chapter of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group. Students back then were gathering signatures and helping to get the Bottle Bill passed. Westfield State promoted individuality, and it still does. In the midst of extracurricular pursuits, at the heart of the campus, were academics. The library was always teeming with students studying, writing a research paper or reading quietly. Classes were held in Bates, Wilson, Ely and Parenzo halls. Professors pushed students to grow, to learn, to achieve. I will never forget several of the professors I had in my four years there. Dr. Celeste Loughman taught me that average wasn’t good enough. She taught me how to begin to communicate with people in the professional world. Dr. Bette Roberts taught me to think critically and to speak with my own voice. David Humphrey, a part-time professor, taught me that I could be a journalist, and he helped me secure not only my internship at the Springfield Morning Union (now the Republican) but also my first job there. Westfield State encouraged success, and it still does. Westfield State changed lives, and it still does. n

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Table of Contents On Campus Pages 3-5

Alumni on the Go Pages 6-9

Faculty Center Pages 10-13

Athletics Pages 14-17

Alumni News and Notes Pages 24-25

Class Notes Pages 26-32

On Our Cover We had some fun and issued a student I.D. to our founder, Horace Mann, as we celebrate 173 years of history. Walk with us through our past in the pages of this issue of FOCUS.

We’d love to hear from you! Want to get involved? Join the Westfield State Alumni Fan page or group on Facebook and LinkedIn; follow us on Twitter@WestfieldState and @WestfieldAlumni; call 413-572-5404, 413-572-5228; or email or

FOCUS magazine is published for Westfield State University two times a year. The mission of the magazine is to highlight the work of the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni at the University and to share with the wider community the stories of excellence on campus. FOCUS magazine welcomes story ideas and story submissions. Ideas and stories can be offered to Editor Janice Beetle Godleski ’85 at (413) 374-6239 or via e-mail at Stories must be of interest to the general readership and should be no longer than 600 words. Class Notes, highlighting alums’ personal or vocational views, are also welcome and can be sent to Deadline for the Fall 2011 issue is July 1, 2011. F OCUS MA GAZINE • SPRING 2 0 1 1


Fr o m t h e P r e s id e n t

Capturing Energy for the Future During one of the coldest spells this

winter, I stood in a snowstorm on campus and marveled at the installation of 400 solar panels on the roofs of Bates and Wilson Halls. The first of its kind in the city of Westfield, this Solar Photo-Voltaic System now produces electricity on even cloudy days and in the process, provides more than 37.80 Kilowatts of electricity in Bates and 73.92 KW in Wilson. What’s more: kiosks in both halls let us know the system is running, how much electricity is being generated and how much has been produced over time. The future is here at Westfield and we are saving $20,000 per year, as the solar panels feed energy into the building’s electric supply. Energy. It’s at the heart of all we do and all we have done at Westfield State, since Horace Mann founded us more than 173 years ago. It characterizes our history, fuels and sustains us in our present and inspires our future. It is an energy fostered by a belief in the power of public education, by a desire to be of service and sustained by the demonstrable knowledge that we are succeeding and making a difference today, while ensuring a better tomorrow. It’s the energy of a dynamic university community that has evolved with each successive name change — Barre Normal School (1838); the Westfield Normal School (1844) Westfield State Teachers College (1932); Westfield State College (1960) and Westfield State University (2010). Westfield State has always responded with innovation to the times and the very human needs associated with those eras. A rich history. In 1838, our founder Horace Mann, Massachusetts’ First Secretary of Education, recognized that the public school system of the 19th century was seriously in need of change. In addition to increasing state funding for education, he established formal teacher training programs, like the one in Barre, our forerunner. In 1844, the Barre Normal School was moved to Westfield as America’s first public co-educational institution without barrier to race, gender or economic class. With degreed, credentialed teachers 2

becoming the standard throughout the country, the normal schools were renamed Teacher’s Colleges in 1932 and, in 1960, acknowledging the growing number of students wanting more than a high school

It is an energy fostered by a belief in the power of public education, by a desire to be of service and sustained by the demonstrable knowledge that we are succeeding and making a difference today, while ensuring a better tomorrow. degree, the state legislature granted Westfield State college status. This allowed us to become a multi-purpose academic institution. In July 2010, when Governor Patrick signed legislation granting university status to six of the nine state colleges, it was wonderful recognition. In truth, we have functioned for many years as more than a teaching college, offering master’s degrees in seven disciplines, as well as post-baccalaureate and professional development programs. At long last we are “calling it like it is,” as our billboards proclaimed, and while the name change does not create new programs or degrees, nor require additional state funding or higher tuition and fees for our students, it does help us to achieve our goals as Westfield State University. With that new university designation we have increased visibility beyond our

region and are better positioned to attract exceptional faculty and administrators, as well as private and non-state funding that in today’s complicated financial times is critical to our future growth. Future Westfield State graduates will also see an increase in the value of their degree, as they enter the competitive global marketplace where titles and names mean a great deal. Given the speed with which modern technology and science is changing the world as we know it, I am proud to say that we are staying ahead of the curve. Westfield State is creatively responding to the political, social and economic complexities of the day. Our staff, faculty and administrators address such issues as accessibility, affordability, safety and security, sustainability and the reality that higher education is an absolute necessity. In this digital age, we are adapting to the state-of-the-art world of educational technology with all its ramifications. Technical and information literacy is an academic priority and international programs and opportunities are helping our students to achieve a multicultural competency and world view that celebrates diversity. I think that if Horace Mann were alive during this exciting, even revolutionary era of rapid change, he would very much appreciate how we have honored his legacy and committed the energies of our institution to his belief in the power of education to transform society. I really believe that he would applaud our efforts to fulfill our primary mission — “to assist students to develop intellectually and to use their knowledge and skills to improve the social and economic conditions in their communities…with a sense of social responsibility and citizenship.” Here at Westfield State University — like the new solar panels on Bates and Wilson Halls — we are indeed harnessing our energies, keeping abreast of the times, contributing to our regional, state and national communities and continuing to foster fond memories for us all. Thanks for being part of our history as well as our future. n

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

On Ca m p us

Academic Center Honors Dedicated Alum By Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ‘00 Westfield State University’s newest

Westfield State academic resource programs: the academic space, the Banacos tutoring center, disability Academic Center, honors services and the learning the memory of Westfield disabilities program. State alum James “Jimmy” But, catering to Banacos and serves as a individual learning styles testament to an indomitable is nothing new to the spirit. Paralyzed in 1970, University. Banacos moved beyond “For more than 25 years, his physical limitations and Westfield State has quietly became one of his alma revolutionized the services mater’s strongest advocates. and opportunities avail A Watertown native, able for students with difBanacos majored in educaferent learning styles,” says tion and became known as Center Director Joseph “Mr. Personality” because Shinn. “In particular, our of his upbeat and engaging learning disabilities prodemeanor. He loved athletgram has a distinguished ics and participated in varrecord of academic success sity cross country, lacrosse and continues to accomand intramural sports at modate greater numbers The Banacos Academic Center Westfield State. of students each year.” In May 1970, Banacos competed in a home lacrosse game against Students receive professional assistance ranging from learning new Springfield College. As always, he gave an all-out effort, and out of academic and adaptive skills to advising and tutoring. In addition, they nowhere was checked hard by a defender. Banacos fell to the ground, have access to special software and individualized test administration having suffered an injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down from the program services that are elective rather than required — givfor the rest of his life. ing students ownership of their needs and progress. For the next 35 years, Banacos became an active alumni of Westfield The Banacos Academic Center is part of a $1.2 million renovation State who dedicated himself to helping others and connecting alumni project located in the space once occupied by the Parenzo gym and to the University. locker room. The gym, which continues to be used Ken Magarian, former athletic director and now by varsity sports teams for practice, was included in director for special programs and community the renovations. Banacos’ family and friends have service, says Banacos continued to be a presence for so far contributed over $125,000. Westfield State athletes from his Watertown home “People will tell you Jimmy lived life to its fullest even after his injury. in all circumstances. We are privileged he made “Every time we had a game in the Boston area, Westfield State a part of his life,” says President I would make the bus stop at Jimmy’s house,” Evan S. Dobelle. “His attitude and accomplishments Magarian says. “I wanted the athletes to see him and are inspiring and make him a terrific role model for talk to him. His spirit and presence always made you our students, which is why we are proud to honor feel better about yourself.” his spirit through the dedication of the Banacos Even though he was unable to continue on the Academic Center.” Westfield State campus, Magarian says Jimmy Charley Crowley, one of Banacos’ closest became the University’s de facto alumni relations friends, says, “He was the kind of person who cared manager. In 1982, Westfield State awarded Banacos about other people. If someone had a problem, he its very first honorary bachelor’s degree. Banacos always tried to help. James ‘Jimmy’ Banacos in 1972 died in 2005, following complications of pneumonia, “He would ask about you and your family first, at his home in Florida, but his impact on the University and fellow no matter what procedure or physical pain he was going through at alumni was tremendous. the time,” Crowley added. “Friends would visit him to cheer him up, yet “Everyone from the classes of 1969 to 1974 knew Jimmy, and everyhe was the one who cheered them up.” one contacted him. He was the central point of contact for all those The new center honors the memory of Jimmy Banacos and his devopeople and he kept tabs on everyone,” says Magarian. tion to the campus community of Westfield State University. n The Banacos Academic Center provides all students with three



On Ca m p us

Come back to Westfield State University for Homecoming 2011! Take a trip back to your alma mater on Saturday, October 29, 2011, and celebrate Westfield State University’s annual Homecoming extravaganza! Reconnect with your classmates, friends, professors and other alumni while you enjoy a wide variety of food and drink, dance to a roster of fine, live musicians and enjoy great games, activities and more. Catch the many great athletic events happening including football, women’s soccer and many alumni games. Grow your Westfield State memorabilia collection by purchasing alumni gear and school

spirit items from Barnes and Noble and the Alumni Store. Advance registration opens on April 29 at homecoming. Those who register online will save $5 on the entrance costs and will receive a complimentary beverage and mug. Check back to the page often for news and updates on the latest Homecoming 2011 happenings, or contact Kelly Galanis at (413) 572-5228 or kgalanis@wsc. for details. n

Westfield Through The Years

Gender Balance The ratio of male to female students has very slowly balanced out over the years. In 1855, the student population was 66 percent female and 33 percent male. In 1878, that trend peaked with 93 percent of the student population being female and 6 percent male. Because of the Civil War, the percentage of men dropped drastically, and in the last half of the century, their numbers never exceeded 10 percent. In 2011, the student body is 47 percent male and 53 percent female.


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011



Al um ni o n th e G o

Managing History

University alumna talks about the care and feeding of historical documents By Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ‘00 If you’re interested in

assisted a patron looking for taking a look at something in information about former Westfield State University’s student and faculty member archives, you will need to conFlora White. tact Karen Canary ’95 and don The original Normal white gloves for the occasion. School was located in Barre. It’s not that Canary’s into forThere is very little actual mality. She is responsible for archival material from that the Westfield State University period. “The earliest piece Archives, and it’s her job to we have is a Westfield protect the letters, photoNormal School catalog graphs, yearbooks and other from 1844,” says Canary. historical documents that tell “We were in Westfield then, the story of the University. but occupying existing Established in 1974, the buildings.” During the first archives are located on the year, classes were held in sixth floor of the Ely Library; one room of the Westfield Canary came on board in 2001 Academy; then, the folKaren Canary ’95 is responsible for the University’s archives, which provide an authenand began to manage, grow lowing year moved next tic look back at the history of Westfield State University. It traces the beginnings of the and protect the archive’s door to two small rooms in first co-educational normal school, to a teacher’s college, to a liberal arts college and documents in 2004. She is the the Town Hall. It was not finally to its newest status as a university. person that students, alumni until the mid-1950s that and community members will reach when they particularly those of campus buildings. “People the school moved to its present location on call to request an appointment to use archival often are curious about a relative’s experience Western Avenue. documents and materials. at Westfield State,” she says. “They might want Canary attends to the reference, arrange Canary usually interviews those who make to know what the campus, or a certain buildment and organization of the historical materirequests in a telephone call prior to their ing, looked like at a specific time in history.” als by creating tools that will help people use appointment, so she knows exactly what Canary is often busy creating historical and understand the archival collections. These the researcher wishes to explore. She then exhibits like the one that took place in the tools are called “finding aids.” Finding aids locates the historical materials and before downtown gallery last fall. There were about provide information about a collection such the appointment, lays them out in a special 50 photographs that documented university as historical or biographical information about area located near her desk so that she may life over the years. Other patron research has the collection and information about the types supervise the handling. Visitors don the white included finding information about our past of materials that are in the collection as well cotton gloves and use pencils to take notes. university presidents, name changes that the as any restrictions or laws that apply to This protects documents from stray ink marks university has had since its inception, and the collection. that would damage them. providing digital copies of photographs She says it was actually librarians who The most accessed items are photographs, for various campus publications. She also first started creating historical scrapbooks of Continued on page 22

Westfield Through The Years

Evolution of Male Dormitories When the Barre Normal School moved to Westfield in 1844, there were no dormitory facilities. Students were introduced to town citizens who would offer to rent them a room in their home for about $2 per week. In 1873, Westfield Normal Board Hall, was built on the corner of Washington and King streets. Only women and the principal and his family lived in it. Men were still renting rooms in private homes, but they were allowed to eat in the dining room of the dormitory. In 1903, Dickinson Hall expanded but still housed women only. There were no accommodations for male students until 1967 when Davis Hall was built. However, men had to walk to Scanlon Hall for dining services. Today, the University operates nine oncampus residences and one recently acquired off-campus apartment building at Landsdowne Place in downtown Westfield. 6

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Graduating over 30 years apart, this pair values Westfield State education By Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ‘00 Katherine Gonsalves ’11

and her mother, Marianne ’78, agree that Westfield State University is friendly and provides a first-rate supportive learning environment. That they agree — having attended the University over 30 years apart — is testament to its consistent, quality education. The two Gonsalves women have taken advantage of Westfield State’s two most popular majors: education and criminal justice. One of the first female students in the criminal justice department, Marianne earned a degree that landed her a position with the Massachusetts Marianne and Katherine Gonsalves State Police. She was one of the first women accepted into its ranks participated in so many clubs.” in 1979. Also, Marianne remembers having only one The mom-and-daughter pair recently shared female professor. “She did so much for me, their “then” and “now” experiences. Marianne was such an inspiration. I am grateful that says, “I lived in Lammers Hall with the same Katherine has so many female professors and roommate for all four years. It was a great role models now.” dorm where I made many friends.” Katherine lived in Courtney Hall her freshman year; The most noticeable difference that dorm wasn’t built until the 1990s, and about Westfield State to Marianne Marianne was astounded at the state-of-theis the physical change to the campus art residence hall her daughter first lived in. coupled with the social changes of Katherine spent her sophomore year in the campus community. Marianne Dickinson Hall, and, ironically, has spent the last two years in Lammers, her mom’s says, “There are so many new dorm. “I like the layout of the building,” buildings, landscaping and a full says Katherine, “because you get to know athletic center. The campus seemed your dorm-mates.” Marianne agrees adding, smaller when I was student.” “Lammers was laid back with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.” Marianne is still in touch with her Westfield The most noticeable difference about State roommate. Westfield State to Marianne is the physical While Marianne was active in student change to the campus coupled with the social government, Katherine has taken advantage changes of the campus community. Marianne of many other campus clubs and activities. For says, “There are so many new buildings, landinstance, she is an active member of the Gay/ scaping and a full athletic center. The campus Straight Alliance, Substance Abuse Prevention seemed smaller when I was student.” Committee and other organizations that And, adds Katherine, “My mom is still surweren’t in existence for her mom. “The campus prised to see so many students on cell phones has grown with society’s needs and concerns,” between classes. She only had the phone in said Marianne, “and I am glad Katherine has Lammers when she was a student.” And, in F OCUS MA GAZINE • SPRING 2 0 1 1

addition to the new facilities, Katherine adds, “I’ve noticed tons of good changes since Dr. Dobelle became Westfield’s president. For instance, there have been a lot of renovations and services, like extending the dining hall hours, so we can study there.” While Marianne believes her Westfield State education was the key to her success as a Massachusetts state trooper, Katherine is optimistic about her preparation for teaching students with severe special needs. “I have learned so much, and want to establish my own private education center, where special needs students get all the therapies, activities and full inclusion in an after school program. This is my ultimate professional goal,” says Katherine. Both women feel that the friendships and experiences of living at Westfield State have enhanced them personally. Marianne, participating in Westfield State’s national study exchange program, went to the University of Alaska with four of her classmates. “I would never have seen Fairbanks if it wasn’t for Westfield State. I think I appreciate that opportunity even more now than I did then. It was fascinating to be in a different part of the country as a student.” Katherine, on the other hand, has stayed on campus. She is very happy about the diverse group of friends she has met. “Especially in the last two years the campus has become incredibly diverse. I am making connections with people from different walks of life; my perceptions of people are expanding.” The Gonsalves are grateful for the excellent education they received — in the 1970s and the 2000s. Marianne is looking forward to the 2011 Westfield State University Commencement when her daughter, Katherine, joins her as an alumna. n


Al um ni o n th e G o

Forty Years of Loyalty By Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ‘00 Ken Magarian ’71 came to Westfield State

During his tenure, the only gym availCollege from Northern Essex Community able to Westfield State students was College in 1968 to study education. He also housed in the back portion of Parenzo had a passion for sports that has kept him at Hall. It was the original gym built in the Westfield State University ever since. He is an mid-1950s, designed for women who example of an alumnus involved as he could greatly out-numbered male students. It be with his alma mater, and his experience had long been a goal of Magarian to see a with the University offers up a great historinew state-or-the-art athletics facility built cal view. on the Westfield campus. Magarian, along Magarian grew up in Tyngsboro, a small with Dr. Carol Persson and others, were Massachusetts town near Lowell. As a kid, charged with developing plans for such he worked in his dad’s delicatessen, “when I a hub. was even too young to work there,” he says Magarian feels strongly that the new with a laugh. After high school graduation, Woodward Athletics Center has enhanced Magarian went to a community college the image of Westfield State. “When stubecause he didn’t know what area of study dents and parents visit a school, the camhe wanted to pursue. What he knew then pus buildings convey an important image. was that he had a passion for baseball. They represent the college’s mission. The Things started to gel for Magarian when Woodward Center is an expression of he arrived on the Westfield campus as an Westfield’s forward-thinking and dedicaeducation major and a baseball player. tion to providing students with the most “I was always involved in athletics, but once advanced technologies and facilities.” I started playing baseball at Westfield, my For over forty years, Magarian has been desire to pursue athletics was ignited,” part of the evolution of Westfield State he says. University. In the mid-2000s, he took on In the spring of 1971, Magarian coma new challenge. He became a part of Ken Magarian pleted his education degree with a special Westfield’s Advancement and University education minor. Teachers were in great Relations Department. As a director of demand, and he planned to return to eastern Massachusetts to teach Community Outreach, Magarian now connects students, faculty and school. His interests in athletics had grown so much while at Westfield staff to volunteer opportunities and academic internships in organizaState, though, he instead changed direction and enrolled at Springfield tions and businesses in the area. His years at Westfield State, coupled College for two years of graduate study in physical education and athwith being an active city resident, made Magarian the perfect choice for letic administration. uniting the University with the community. During his two years of graduate study at Springfield College, Magarian’s networking approach has paired the Westfield campus Magarian continued working part-time at Westfield, developing the community with the mayor’s office, YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club and Westfield intramurals program in 1971. “Later, I was asked by Westfield the Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few. These partnerships have State to be the assistant baseball coach… I never planned it but, after provided faculty and staff a chance to volunteer in the community. For that, I never left,” he recalls. many students, their volunteerism opened the door to an internship After securing his master’s degree from Springfield College, Magarian where they obtained real life experience working in their area of interwas hired full-time at Westfield State. He worked as the assistant est. “In my present position I get to support Westfield State’s mission of baseball coach, freshman baseball coach, ran the intramurals recresupporting the community and teaching students to become commuation program, was the sports information director, the head athletic nity leaders,” says Magarian. trainer — and “taught a course or two.” Soon, Magarian was essentially “I look back at the evolution of Westfield State University and marrunning the athletics program. “I have done everything in athletics, I vel at the changes that have occurred. We have grown from a small mean really done every job,” he says. teacher’s college to a comprehensive liberal arts university. Though From the mid 1990s to the mid-2000s, the athletics program continmost of my time was spent in athletics, I believe that is where students ued to expand. Eventually, Magarian became Westfield State’s athletics learn true leadership skills — and so did I. I have been proud to contribdirector. He had to hire staff for jobs he had been doing for years. “I was ute to the University in every position I have held, every student I have seeing the program grow, and since I knew every aspect of athletics coached and every project in which I participated,” Magarian says. “This here at Westfield, I was able to hire top notch professionals to fill my is a special place. Our mission has remained strong and consistent: we previous positions,” says Magarian. Over time, Magarian hired a baseball give back to the community." n coach, sports information director and athletic trainer. 8

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

It’s All Relative

This family has deep roots at Westfield State By Rachel Lareau ’11 The Bennett family believes in

funding obviously for student activities and students remain on campus. There have also been many buildings built since I’ve been here. The Dining Commons is new, Courtney Hall is new, New Hall is new, Mod Hall is new, the elevators are all new. The campus has grown a lot since I’ve been here.

Westfield State University. Dr.William Bennett, a geography professor, is the patriarch of a family with close ties to Westfield State. His daughter, Kittery, is currently a member of the Class of 2014, and, Kittery’s mother, Lisa (Biancuzzo) Bennett ’83 is also a Westfield alumna. The Bennett family shares a unique perspective on the evolution of Westfield State. Dr. Bennett and Kittery took some time to talk about their experience here. Dr. Bennett’s office in Wilson, next to the auditorium in which he holds most of his lectures, is an open space that offers evidence of a busy professor. Notebooks, assignments for grading, pens, pencils and academic texts are stacked in piles on his desk. I sat down with him to ask him some questions about life here on campus. RL: How many years have you been teaching here? WB: Thirty-two years.

RL: I know that your daughter Kittery goes to school here. Do you see her on campus? WB: Oh, I see her, but I avoid visiting her a little bit, so as to preserve the college experience. I helped her move in, and I know what dorm she lives in, but I haven’t visited her at her dorm since I helped her bring her things in.

Dr. William Bennett is a longtime professor at Westfield State. His wife, Lisa (Biancuzzo) Bennett ’83 is an alumna, and his daughter Kittery Bennett is a member of the Class of 2014.

RL: Wow, and how did you end up working here? WB: Well, that’s a bit of a story. (He sits back and chuckles as he settles into seat.) I’ll have to give you a little bit of background first. I got my Ph.D. at Michigan State, and upon finishing my doctorate, I started looking for job opportunities and found an opening here. It was in the summer of 1979. There was also a position open in Central Connecticut, in New Britain, and I applied for both. I didn’t hear back from Westfield State, but I heard back from New Britain, and they flew me out there to interview, and once I got to the airport, they gave me a rental car so I could drive up to the campus. I interviewed at the campus, but I hated the school, and wasn’t interested in the position, so I left. Now, they thought I was going to drive back to the airport and leave that night, but instead I took the car to West Springfield, got a hotel room, and drove up here to Westfield. It was early August, and no one had showed up on campus yet. It was almost completely deserted, but I parked in what’s now the Commuter Lot and got out anyway. When I started walking across the green, I saw someone


walking across the campus, and I ran up to him to ask him where the geography department was; turns out, he was the chairman of the geography department! They hadn’t contacted me because I was the second choice candidate, but the first choice had ended up taking a job elsewhere, and they had been ready to contact me when I showed up. He was pretty eager to interview me, because it was August and they needed to fill the position before the school year, so I interviewed, and I liked the College, and here I am today. RL: What are some of the changes you’ve seen on campus since you started? WB: When I started, and for the first few years I was here, the College was what I like to call a “suitcase campus.” On Friday afternoons, everyone would pack up and leave. The buses would be full, and everyone would head back to Worcester or Boston on the weekends. I think that’s mainly because the campus at the time was only 2,500 students max, and there weren’t many activities for students during the weekend. But now that there’s about 5,000 or so students, there’s more

RL: What does the switch to a university mean to you as a teacher, and what do you think it means to the campus? WB: More status, mainly. The school looks better in the public eye.

Kittery Bennett also got a chance to talk about the changes she’s seen during her years on the Westfield State campus. Kittery was an incoming freshman in 2008 but changed her major from psychology to nursing last year, so as a part of this exciting new program on the campus she will be graduating in 2014 instead of 2012. RL: You’ve been here for three years so far. What are some of the changes you’ve seen? KB: Oh, lots of changes. The school seems to spend more and more money on campus, like the big TV screens, renovations to the Ely building, adding programs. There’s always something going on. RL: What does the switch to a university mean to you as a student, and what do you think it means to the campus? KB: It’s a good thing. I think it looks good for us as students when we look for jobs and on our resumes. RL: Kit, thank you so much for the interview! KB: You’re welcome. n


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Historical Archives Grown by One Professor, One Donation By Claudia Moore-O’Brien, M.Ed ‘00 Professor Robert T. Brown

the 1930s. The woman was the had a long career at Westfield daughter of Dr. Raymond G. State teaching and establishing the Patterson — a Westfield State archives. It has been a strange, and faculty member who taught social sometimes happenstance journey studies from the late 1920s to that required his years of diligence the early 1950s. He was nearly 90 to create an archive for Westfield years old and wanted to creState University. That journey ate a “museum” for the College. started many years ago. Because he had taught in the Dr. Brown came to Westfield history department, Dr. Patterson State in 1966 after obtaining a turned to Dr. Brown as the presgraduate degree in history from ent department chair for help. Syracuse University. At that time, “It was all brand new territory for Westfield was still predominantly me,” said Dr. Brown. a teacher’s college. For 20 years, Dr. Patterson wanted to make Dr. Brown taught a basic required a cash donation for the museum, course for education students and Dr. Brown agreed to “create called “Introduction to the Nonsomething.” The College was western World.” In addition, he still in state of social change and taught black history and other chaos with rapid turnover of multi-cultural history courses. presidents and new senior adminHowever, he was equally commitistrators. With Westfield State’s ted to establishing and maintaining administration focused on its the Westfield State archives. future, Dr. Brown said, “there was Professor Robert Brown holds a poster that is included in Westfield State’s archives. The turbulence and social These archives have been moved to a space with archival storage protocols to ensure not a lot of interest in creating a change of the late 60s had reached historical items are well preserved. Anyone interested in making a donation to the museum.” He decided to reach the Westfield campus, “The world out to the Alumni Association collection can contact Karen Canary at or (413) 572-5281. was changing, and so was the for assistance. At that time, the College,” recalls Dr. Brown. There were student sit-ins, marches, speech- alumni association was not part of the College; it was a private and es and a resulting reorganization of the campus’ administration and independent institution. The Association, as represented by its presicommitment to the College’s future direction and mission. Dr. Brown dent, Jane Ourand, was interested in the project and Dr. Brown became was present when that change was shepherded in with a new presithe driving force behind the acquisitions. Once assured of a commitdent, new administrators and a unionized faculty. Also at that time was ment to establish a museum under the sponsorship of the Alumni the formation of departmental “chairs,” or head administrators, for each Association, Dr. Patterson donated about $5,000. Thus, the Raymond G. academic department. Dr. Brown was the first department chairperson Patterson Alumni Archive was created. for the history and political science department in the spring of 1972. Dr. Brown located about 20 boxes of 19th century documents in Shortly afterwards, Dr. Brown was contacted by a woman who said a College closet, and that served as the beginning or “core” of the her elderly father had been a faculty member at Westfield State in archives. As Dr. Brown sought out more records and documents for the Continued on page 23

Westfield Through The Years

Dining at the University There were no dining facilities for students until Dickinson Hall opened in 1874. Though it housed only women, male students were welcome to eat in their dining room. Today, there are several dining options on campus, ranging from sit-down to takeout, and restaurant style to the cafeteria style of Tim and Jeanne’s, where students can eat three meals a day. In addition, the campus hosts Pandini’s (Italian food), Dunkin’ Donuts, Commuter Café, Subway, Jazzman’s (coffee house), Quixote’s, and the Garden Café. The seven dining options are located in five buildings on campus: Ely Hall, Wilson Hall, Tim and Jeanne’s, New Hall and The Horace Mann Center. 10

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Faculty View

Watching academic change over 35 years By Peter Miller ’84 Change.

It is an inevitable part of life. And from its humble beginnings, Westfield State University has seen its share of change — developing from the first co-educational, publicly financed teacher-training institution in America at Barre, Massachusetts, to the techno-savvy, globally aware Westfield State University. Perhaps no one has witnessed more change than retired professor of music, Dr. Catherine A. Dower. When Dr. Dower arrived at what was then Westfield State Teachers College (WSTC) in January of 1956, essentially to start a department of music, the institution was located on Court Street in what is now the City of Westfield Municipal Building. The faculty numbered just 25. The first, and biggest, change for the College took place the next fall when WSTC moved to its present location on Western Avenue. Dr. Dower’s office and classroom were located on the first floor in Parenzo Hall and the library was located on the second floor of Parenzo. There was one dormitory, Scanlon Hall, named for President Edward Scanlon. Over the next few years, Bates and Wilson halls and the Ely Student Union were developed. The three apartment buildings were named after faculty members Edward Welch, Cecilia Seymour and Frederick Conlon, who with President Scanlon, spent years battling Boston just to keep the College open. Dr. Dower even helped with the physical growth of the campus when she spotted a “For Sale” sign on a home that was part of the Albright estate. Her sharp eye set in motion events that would ensure that the estate became part of the College’s property. In the 1980s, the Albright house was the home of the College president; now it houses the Campus Police Department. Dr. Dower also experienced the changes that came with each new College presidency. She says the current President, Dr. Evan Dobelle, has brought about the biggest changes in campus history, for the better. He has made the campus more visible, not only with brick columns along Western Avenue and through television screens on buildings across


Dr. Catherine A. Dower

campus with the latest news for all to view, but in the manner that he works. She credits Dr. Dobelle with the development of the art gallery downtown, with the University being more “city friendly” and with reaching out to the campus and city communities. “We never have had such continuous positive publicity,” Dr. Dower says. “He has good ideas and develops them to everyone’s advantage.” One thing that never changed during Dr. Dower’s 35-year tenure was her approach, enthusiasm and caring for students. When she was hired, the music department was a service department for the department of education. “Because our students were studying to be school teachers, I felt it was most important for them to see famous places around the United States,” she says. “My Glee Club sang at the World’s Fair in September of 1965, the year it was in New York,” she says. Dr. Dower also traveled with the Glee Club several times to Washington, D.C., to sing at the National Cathedral, on the steps of the Capitol and, at one time, at the Lebanese Embassy. “In March of 1967, we sang a combined concert with the District of

Columbia Teacher’s College. They came for a combined concert to Westfield State in May of the same year,” she says. “We also sang a program at the Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center skating rink in New York City each year at Christmas and Easter-time, and we welcomed Alaska and Hawaii into the Union with a concert at which both Senator Oren Long of Hawaii and Congressman Rivers of Alaska and our own Congressman Silvio Conte came from Washington, D.C. and spoke.” Dr. Dower’s caring for her students, present and past, was a reason for a trip to Washington, D.C. “We went to serenade one of our former Glee Club members, John Ruel, who left Westfield State, joined the Army and was wounded in Vietnam. He was in Walter Reed Army Hospital, and we went there and sang a program for him.” Throughout her career, Dr. Dower spent her personal time and her own money to purchase music (and sometimes breakfast snacks) to provide her students with the best possible education. She also never stopped believing that “when you are right, and know it, one should never back down.” When she did not receive raises commensurate with male instructors, she took the State of Massachusetts to court, with the help of the Faculty Union, and she initiated a law suit in 1972 against the state of Massachusetts, with the help of the Faculty Union. In 1982, her case was finally heard, and she won her suit. Although she retired in December of 1990, Dr. Dower is still active with the Alumni Affairs Office. She is an honorary member of the Westfield State University Foundation and is writing her seventh book. Dr. Dower also wrote the existing history of the music department. When asked to compare the University as it was when she started her career here in 1956 — having been wooed from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to the University of 2011, Dr. Dower replied, “There is no comparison. We now have a wider offering of courses, majors and degrees and a cosmopolitan atmosphere with more varied programs giving world-wide experiences to so many faculty and students. It is a remarkably welcome change.” n


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‘Best Students I Know’

New professor says Westfield State’s students excel, work hard and could compete with undergrads across the country By Tracey Pinto ’85 Professor Hugh Jo is in his sec-

ond year teaching political science at Westfield State University. He has come a long way from South Korea where he was born. As a sophomore in college, not only did Dr. Jo make a huge geographical move from South Korea to the United States, but he also changed his major from architecture to political science. He was, he says, “fascinated by the discipline of political science that examines important decisions of political leaders and interaction among states.”

activities, which reflects the more competitive job market.” Dr. Jo says Westfield State students cope well with the heightened

“I believe these students can compete well with any students from other colleges and universities in the U.S.”

expectations and requirements. Dr. Jo also loves the class sizes, which are relatively small. He gets to know students by their names and can engage in more intense class “I have been teaching for discussions. “Faculty and staff members in the department and in the several years — including University community are very colthis past one and a half legial,” he says. “I run into someone I years at Westfield State know from school — faculty, staff and University — at various students — in the grocery store, and institutions of different we chat casually. I like this kind of a sizes, but some of the best small community or town-like setting at Westfield State.” students I know are from Dr. Jo is excited about the future Westfield State.” of Westfield State. He says, “I’m very Dr. Jo did his graduate work at the excited about the long-term campus University of Albany with a concentraexpansion plan. The University is addtion on American Foreign Policy and ing new majors and programs. The international relations. When he first University is planning new residential came to WSU, he had no idea what a and academic buildings in the near beautiful campus he would find. future.” Professor Hugh Jo Dr. Jo found himself so busy prepar Recently, Dr. Jo says he met a lifeing for lectures, working on papers and serving on various committees long member of Westfield State who just retired. This former professor that he never actually took time to really look around. It wasn’t until said when he first started teaching some decades ago, Parenzo Hall was this past summer, when he invited his close friends to visit and showed the only building on campus. Westfield State has indeed come a long them around campus that he really took note of his beautiful surroundway in a matter of just one generation. ings. His friends loved the campus — especially the greenery and the stone walls — and Dr. Jo began to appreciate the beauty of the “I’m very excited about the long-term campus campus, too. expansion plan. The University is adding new majors Dr. Jo has very enthusiastic and positive impressions of Westfield and programs. The University is planning new State students. “I have been teaching for several years — including residential and academic buildings in the near future.” this past one and a half years at Westfield State University — at various institutions of different sizes, but some of the best students I know are “How will Westfield State change — in appearance of the campus as from Westfield State,” he says. “I believe these students can compete well as in substance of the program — by the time I retire?” Dr. Jo asks. well with any students from other colleges and universities in the U.S. “I cannot imagine. It’s just thrilling to be part of the growing Westfield College students today are under greater pressure than, say, a decade State community.” n ago. In addition, to maintain a good academic standing, they are expected to study abroad, do internships and do other extracurricular 12

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Veteran Faculty Member Reflects on Westfield State By Elizabeth R. LaFond, ’03, ’07 The events in our country in 1975 ranged from

ordinary to significant. Wheel of Fortune premiered on NBC, and the Vietnam War ended. Locally, one significant beginning was the teaching career of Dr. Erika Pilver, who joined the Westfield State history department, and, 35 years later, continues to inspire, teach and motivate her students. Touching the lives of up to 8,400 students who have come in and out of her classes during her career, Dr. Pilver harbors what she calls “an abiding passion” for government; this she has had since high school. Growing up in Thompson, Conn., Dr. Pilver studied political science as an undergraduate and pursued a journalism career. For 13 years, she worked as an editor of a small, local weekly newspaper, covering all news except sports. Between attending events, taking photos, interviewing folks for stories and editing copy, Dr. Pilver worked toward a master’s degree in political science/public administration. She then “retired” as a journalist, earned her doctoral degree and began her teaching career. Today she is chair of the political science department. Although Dr. Pilver enjoys the quad in the warm weather, where she can take a seat in one of the new Adirondack chairs, Parenzo Hall holds a special place in her heart since she’s spent most of her time there. But her favorite thing about Westfield State University is the relations in her department. “We see and talk to each other every day. It’s very stimulating to have discussions and arguments about political theory, and I feel very fortunate to be in a department with such a high degree of collegiality,” she adds. Dr. Pilver teaches classes about state and


Dr. Erika Pilver

local government and courses in public administration. She also teaches courses in the master of public administration program. The lessons she enjoys teaching students revolve around how government works. Her syllabus has questions listed that students should keep in mind while studying government. “I ask my students, who benefits? Who pays? Who decides? Who influences the decision-makers? And also, who should benefit? Who should pay? Who should decide? Who influences the decision, who benefits and who loses?” These questions and many more are debated in Dr. Pilver’s classes. Although Dr. Pilver fondly remembers many students who left lasting impressions on her, the first student who made a lasting impression on her was Alice Perry, who was in one of her earlier classes. “Although she [Alice] was only at Westfield State for a year, she went on to law school and has had a successful career as an assistant prosecutor. She spoke to one of my classes a year ago, later started work on a Ph.D., in Criminal Justice and taught here for two years,” she says.” She has just received her

Ph.D this month, and we continue to be friends.” When asked to paint a picture of campus in 1975, Dr. Pilver noted there were fewer buildings. “Physically, the campus has expanded — new buildings and renovations on the main campus, the new physical education building and the addition of the Horace Mann Center. The student body has expanded, too, along with the addition of courses, programs and departments.” Dr. Pilver sees the future of Westfield State University as very exciting. “It’s been interesting to see the various college presidents come and go, each with their own personalities, which was reflected to some extent in the culture of the College,” she says. “When Evan Dobelle came, our seniors were upset they were leaving and would not be able to take part in the excitement he brought to campus.” Dr. Pilver admits she is not too far from retirement. “I’m still here because when Evan Dobelle came he made everything so exciting that I’ve been interested in staying.” “My goals for the political science department are to continue challenging ourselves but to also to continue to be the very collegial department that we’ve been,” Dr. Pilver says. “My hopes for the University are to continue on the path that we’re going on now, which is to expand the horizons of our students.” Dr. Pilver’s advice for students is simple: “Question everything!” n



From Stickball to the Smith Cup

A look at the history and development of athletics at Westfield State University By Meghan (Canning) Musante ’02 Charles “Bud” Hagan remembers current location in 1956. holding basketball practice on the WSTC didn’t have enough rickety third floor of Westfield City men to support a varsity footHall. Jump too abruptly and the lights ball team during the 1950-1951 would flicker. His players literally ran school year, but it did have a the court in the dark. very well supported intramural Games and practices moved to touch football program, accordParenzo Hall, and eventually, years ing to standout student athlete later, to the Woodward Center field Bill Miller (Class of 1953). The house. Student participation and sophomores (Miller’s class) involvement grew as the number defeated the juniors (Class of of sports offered grew from two to 1952) in the first-ever game and more than 20 in the 1980s. Times set up an intense rivalry between have certainly changed since 1956, the classes. Nearly all students when Bud became the first full-time attended the games, which were athletics director. During his 34 years known to be very intense and The Class of 1927 women’s basketball team at Westfield. at Westfield State University (then physical, Miller said. Westfield State Teachers College, [WSTC]), Bud coached basketball Intramural basketball was introduced this school year as well. Since and baseball, directed the athletics programs and served as a physical only 13 men were allowed on the varsity team, the Men’s Athletic education instructor and registrar until his retirement in 1990. Association opted to promote intramurals. Another popular sport was The early days of intercolle“stickball,” where equipment included just a broom handle and tennis giate sports at Westfield included ball. A fence along King Street became the students’ version of Fenway men’s baseball and basketball Park’s Green Monster. games between junior colleges Women student athletes kept active since 1927 with intramural field and any schools Bud could coax Continued on page 22 onto the schedule. Students drove to away games in their own vehicles to locations as far away as Farmington, Maine. The program expanded in the mid-1950s around the time male enrollment nearly doubled. Westfield was accepted into the 16-member New England Teachers College Athletic Mike Ciampa (‘80) was a first team Conference in 1956, thanks in part All-America outfielder for Westfield to the work of Edward Welch. State in 1979. Welch joined Westfield as a faculty member in 1948 and served as the adviser/director of the Men’s Athletic Association for eight years. During that time he initiated the long-range plans to increase the number of varsity sports offered and worked toward expanding the campus from downtown Westfield to its The Westfield State men’s soccer team celebrates its third place finish in the 1974

ATHLETI C S T h r o u g h T h e Y e a r s

NCAA national championships. Holding the coveted trophy is team captain Mike Walker (Class of 1975).




Theresa Lammers is named director of physical education and is responsible for the formation of the Women’s Athletic Association.

The first intercollegiate game is held. A basketball team is formed with the 14 men enrolled at the College and the schedule includes North Adams State Teachers College and Hyannis State Teacher College.

Charles (Bud) Hagan is named Westfield’s first athletics director and the College is a member of the 16-team New England Teachers Conference.


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Fielding the Way Two women talk about history of athletics for women at Westfield State By Janice Beetle Godleski ’85 While Westfield State University’s population has long been predominantly female, its athletic teams, for many decades, were fielded by male students. Two women who helped change that trend were Tilia J. Fantasia and Nanci (Mahoney) Salvidio ’73. Fantasia, professor emeritus, is a former chair of the movement science department and a field hockey and softball coach. Salvidio was one of the University’s earliest female athletes, and she is now the executive assistant to President Evan S. Dobelle and associate vice president of advancement and university relations. Salvidio says that although female athletes had little to no weight training, athletic trainers or sport specific exercises, they were unparalled in skills, spirit, passion and devotion. In the question-and-answer feature below, Salvidio and Fantasia reminisce about the history of Westfield State athletics.

What was it like playing and coaching in the early years of the Westfield intercollegiate athletics program? Salvidio: The coaching was outstanding, although for me, not much different than high school. I was accustomed to excellent coaching. There was also strong support from students, faculty and staff. One reason may be that the fields and courts were right in the middle of the main campus then, and folks would always stop by to cheer us on. Female athletes, at least with Division III schools, were accustomed to “less than” facilities, arrangements and uniforms. But, we made it work. For many of us it continued to lay the groundwork to be involved with some form of athletic endeavors throughout our lives. Fantasia: When I first came to Westfield State, in 1966, there were no women’s teams in existence. We had a cheerleading squad that cheered at the men’s home and away games. The female faculty in the women’s physical education department chaperoned the cheerleaders on away basketball games and hosted a social for each of the men’s basketball team home games. As it was evident to the women’s physical education faculty that there were a large number of female students interested in sports teams, the faculty volunteered to coach; they worked with faculty coaches from other state colleges to form a women’s athletics conference for the state colleges. The Student Government Association was responsible for allocating funding for student activities, including athletics. Funds for women’s programs were far less than that allocated for men’s programs. There was little or no support from the athletic department. Slowly, with the dedication of the female faculty and coaches and the high interest of students, the number of women’s teams expanded. Within four years Cindy (Sturm) Menard, a track and cross country star we had women’s teams in tennis, field hockey, in the early 1980s, is Westfield State’s first national champion and the only two-time national champion. basketball, softball, volleyball and gymnastics.  She captured the NCAA Division III cross country cham- I coached field hockey and softball, Dr. Martha pionship in 1981 and placed first nationally in the van Allen coached tennis and assisted in field

Westfield State’s Claudine Rice (Class of 1995) receives the medal from comedian Bill Cosby—an avid sports fan who resides in Western Mass.—for placing first in the hammer throw at the 1995 Penn Relays. Rice also won the NCAA hammer throw national championship in 1994.

hockey and softball, Dr. Carmella Virgilio coached gymnastics, Marie Duffy coached basketball and Carol Vermillion coached volleyball. The passage of Title IX in 1972, followed by the rules and regulations of the then Department of Health, Education and Welfare, allowed women’s programs to continue to expand as better funding became available. How were the teams transported to and from away games? S: Many times, players transported themselves to away games. F: Also in faculty and coaches’ cars and, eventually, commercial transportation, i.e., bus, vans. Continued on page 21

3,000 meter run during the 1982 outdoor track season.




Paul Bogan plays a significant role in the rise and prestige of the Westfield State Athletics Department. Bogan served as athletics director for 32 years, from 1963 to 1995, and the program grows from two sports to as many as 22.

The first intercollegiate women’s game — field hockey — is played. Other women’s varsity sports offered in 1970 are softball, tennis, gymnastics, basketball and volleyball.

Westfield State places third in the NCAA Division III men’s soccer national championships.




As of the New Year, Westfield State University is lodged in a familiar spot — first place — in

its quest for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletics Conference (MASCAC) Smith Cup. At the conclusion of the fall semester, the Owls are perched at the top with 61.67 of a possible 75 points for an .822 percentage. Westfield captured three regular season championships and placed second in three of the seven fall sports to get off to another strong start. Rival Bridgewater State University is second with a .713 percentage (53.5 of 75 points) followed by Worcester State University (.522 percentage). The Smith Cup is awarded to the MASCAC institution, which compiles the most points based on the placement of each of its programs competing in the 17 league championships. Westfield State re-claimed the Smith Cup following the 2009-10 academic year, as the Owls have won three of the last four Cups. Bridgewater State took the title in 2008-09, edging Westfield by less than a point. - Mickey Curtis

Owls Boast of Team and Individual Bests in Fall 2010 By Mickey Curtis, Associate Athletics Director The Westfield State University varsity sports

teams continued to excel on the playing fields during the 2010 fall semester. In the seven Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) fall sports, the Owls captured regular season championships in men’s soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s cross country, and were runners-up in women’s soccer, women’s cross country and football. The volleyball squad of veteran Fred Glanville defended its MASCAC crown and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. The Owls posted a 20-13 overall record, including a perfect 6-0 MASCAC

Women’s Volleyball Championship Team

mark. First-team all-conference players were senior outside hitter Rachel Ryan, junior setter Kerin DeGirolamo and junior outside hitter

Alex Shaw, who was also the MASCAC player of the year. The men’s soccer team achieved a stellar season, capturing its first MASCAC regular season championship in 10 years and posting Westfield’s best record in 35 years with a 14-3-1 mark. The lone tie, however, occurred during a disappointing shootout defeat to Framingham in the conference’s postseason tournament. Thirty Westfield student athletes earned all-conference honors during the fall semester, led by six underclassmen from the men’s soccer team. First-team selections were junior forward Josh Severns, junior midfielder Continued on page 20

ATHLETI C S T h r o u g h T h e Y e a r s 1980



Westfield wins its first of two New England Division III outdoor men’s track and field championships. The Owls are New England champs again in 1985.

Westfield hosts the inaugural NCAA Division III field hockey national championship and finishes third in the country.

Westfield State places third in the nation in the NCAA Division III softball national championships.


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Unique Sports Venues Remembered By Mickey Curtis, Associate Athletics Director Sports memories are often

injuries occurred to players divassociated with a team’s playing ing for and chasing loose balls in venue. Fenway Park has been the the bandbox gym). The seating Red Sox home for nearly a cencapacity was approximately 350 tury while the Celtics and Bruins and overflow crowds stood two played in the storied Boston to three rows deep surroundGarden. ing the court during games in At Westfield State, the Owls the 1960s and 1970s. When called Parenzo Gymnasium their the standing room policy was home court for nearly 50 years. discontinued because of safety Dubbed “an outstanding and hazards, it was not uncomspacious facility” when it opened mon to see the “sold out” sign in the fall of 1956, the gymnasium posted. was hailed as the perfect “athletic The gym was loud and hot plant” for the four-year teacher’s during games. Parenzo Hall’s college of 386 students, which steam pipes were located included 110 males. But Parenzo nearby and the gymnasium’s Gym quickly became too small to windows were usually open in accommodate the growing stuthe dead of winter. For obvious dent population of the 1960s and reasons, some Westfield coaches the booming athletics program, stayed away from the gym when which grew from two varsity showing high school recruits the sports to as many as 22 in the college campus. 1980s. Despite its many drawbacks, Despite its limitations, the the gym had soft and forgivresourceful and respected ing rims that many players varsity athletics and intramurals welcomed, including basketball Athletic facilities in 1974 and today programs played and practiced legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving, who in Parenzo Gym as many as 20 hours a day until finally moving into scored a game-high 17 points to lead the UMass Amherst freshmen Westfield State’s long overdue academics/athletics facility and field team to a 70-42 victory over Westfield at Parenzo Gym in December house — the $17 million Woodward Center — in September of 2004. of 1968. The overused floor always had a nice bounce, and its regula Parenzo Gym remains today, primarily as playing space for the tion length of 90 feet allowed Westfield to host an NCAA Tournament intramurals program. Also lasting are women’s basketball game in 1996. the Parenzo Gym memories for many The former baseball field on the Westfield State alumni. “My high school campus green also evokes many memor middle school gym is bigger than this,” ories. The players and students enjoyed remarked many students. the atmosphere, with the games being Westfield athletics administrators played smack in the middle of campus. enjoyed the looks on opponents’ faces Prior to Lammers Hall and the Student when they first walked into “The Owl Union/Library being constructed in Dome,” which only had seating on the early 1970s, the tall pine trees one side and little room to run out of surrounding most of the field gave it a bounds — 33 inches from the walls to Norman Rockwell feel. If you were powbe exact — on the other three sides of erful enough to clout a home run off A game being played on the former baseball field located the court. (It is amazing that no serious Continued on next page on the campus green, circa 1975, with Lammers Hall looming large beyond the outfield fence.




Westfield State’s 2001 football team posts a 10-0 regular season record and qualifies for the NCAA Tournament.

The Woodward Center opens to rave reviews in September of 2004. The $17 million academic/athletic building features a field house measuring 35,000 square feet.

Peter Laviolette (’86) coaches the Carolina Hurricanes to the coveted Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He also serves as the head coach of the U.S. team at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.



UNIQUE SPORTS VENUES REMEMBERED continued from previous page

A basketball game being played in tiny Parenzo Gym in the late 1960s. Note the large crowd standing at the edge of the court.

Lammers Hall, you officially became a member of the “Lammers Slammer” Club. Former baseball head coach Ken Magarian always made an effort to schedule home games during the annual Spring Weekend to give his Owls a decided advantage. Westfield played its baseball games for nearly 30 years and its softball games for 19 years on the campus green before moving to its current field sites in 1989, adjacent to the Alumni Field outdoor athletics complex. Alumni Field also has an interesting history. The men’s soccer, men’s lacrosse and field hockey teams played on the campus green until the fall of 1974, when the “state-of-the-

A women’s basketball game, circa 1940, in the gym of the former Dickinson Hall in downtown Westfield.

Parenzo Gym, when it opened in 1956, was a “state-of-theart” facility.

art” AstroTurf Complex was opened on Western Avenue across the street from Stanley Park. This multi-purpose, low maintenance outdoor playing surface was a practical solution to Westfield’s growing varsity athletics and intramurals demands. Many visiting teams were not too receptive to playing on the fast and slick AstroTurf, which later became source of many aching bones when the carpet began to wear thin. It also had a large crown down the center of the field that frustrated many soccer opponents who stressed ball possession. Men’s soccer was the king sport in the 1970s and games, including a stunning upset victory over the UMass

Amherst, drew standing room only crowds of more than 1,000 spectators. Because of the state budget crisis in the late 1980s, the $1 million that had been approved to replace the AstroTurf was frozen. The field was finally condemned for the 1991 academic year and Westfield teams scrambled to find alternate playing sites. Westfield State survived this facility crisis by passing a referendum that tacked on a $50 per semester athletics facility fee for each student. With the fee in place the new turf and track and field complex — renamed Alumni Field — was completed in October of 1992. The original AstroTurf athletics complex also included a highly popular oval running surface that lasted 17 years and allowed Westfield to host track and field meets almost every weekend, including New England championships. It was a far cry from the track and field program’s humble beginnings in 1970, when the team practiced anywhere it could find open space (the tunnels between the campus buildings, parking lots and hallways) and its equipment included only four hurdles. In April of 2009, a special dedication ceremony was held to honor legendary Westfield track and field coach Jerry Gravel and the facility was named the “Jerry Gravel Track.” Alumni Field’s most recent renovations were completed in the summer of 2006, providing Westfield State University with exceptional athletics facilities that fully complement its championship teams and athletes. n

This photo was taken during the first intercollegiate game at the Woodward Center, a volleyball match in September of 2004.


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011



Commencement Exercises

Saturday, May 21, 2011 10:30 am · Campus Green

Commencement speaker: Collins Tuohy

Go Green! Read Focus online.

Visit the Alumni site at

Westfield Through The Years

Cost of Attendance In 1844 there was no cost for attending classes; access to textbooks cost 50 cents. In 1878, tuition was still free, however, other costs had increased. There was a $2 fee per term for students’ incidentals; board for women was $75 per term, $80 for men. In 1950, tuition was $75 and new charges included: $15 for student fees, $35 for textbooks, $160 for three meals per day and $119 for women’s dormitory rooms. In 1992, tuition was $1,380. Other fees included: approximately $2,000 for a dorm room (prices varied according to specific dormitory), $1,231 for the meal plan and miscellaneous fees of $164.50. In 2010, tuition was $970, with mandatory fees of $6,461, approximately $5,000 for a room and $3,160 for the meal plan. Essentially, the tuition costs have recently been cut, however, mandatory fees have inflated the cost of the University. At our present cost, Westfield State remains a best buy. F OCUS MA GAZINE • SPRING 2 0 1 1


owls boast continued from page 16

Justin Lalibertie breakaway

Justin Laliberte and junior goalie Jeff Pepoli. Severns and Laliberte also earned All-New England second-team honors. MASCAC second-team selections were junior forward Tim Parsons, sophomore midfielder Jon Principato and freshman defender Zach Rogers. The women’s cross country team won its seventh consecutive MASCAC championship. Earning all-conference honors by finishing in the top 10 were: senior Rachel Dionne, freshman Caitlin Ryan, junior Marissa Bonito, sophomore Rachael Cardin and sophomore Lynsay Wray.

The Westfield men’s cross country squad finished a close second in the MASCAC finals, led by three all-conference performers: junior Jonathan Joyce, sophomore Anthony Frissora and freshman Tevin Honohan, who was the MASCAC rookie of the year. The women’s soccer team was unable to defend its MASCAC crown, but the Owls did have several individual highlights. First-team selections were sophomore forward Kayley Miller, senior midfielder Kate MacLellan, senior midfielder Ali Pease and junior back Heather Dragon. Freshman midfielder Alannah Vargus was selected the 2010 MASCAC rookie

of the year. Miller, who played at Division I Monmouth (New Jersey) University last year, led the Owls in scoring with 28 points (12 goals, 4 assists). MacLellan capped her outstanding collegiate career with an even 100 points (31 goals, 38 assists) to rank fourth on Westfield’s alltime scoring charts. The three-time first-team all-conference selection holds school records for career assists and assists in a season (15). Pease, a second-team all-conference selection in each of her first three years, finished her fine four-year career with 39 points (12 goals, 15 assists). Pease holds the school record for assists in a game with four. The Westfield football team finished with a 5-5 overall record led by five all-conference selections. Senior punter Chris Stengel capped a record-setting career by earning first-team honors for the third straight season; he was also an All-East Region honoree for the second consecutive year. Senior running back/receiver Evan Berneche, junior defensive back Ryan O’Connell and sophomore defensive end Chris Walker were first-team picks and sophomore linebacker Justin Ehrhardt — the team’s leading tackler — was a second-team selection. Berneche achieved a rare feat by leading the Owls in both receiving and rushing. In his firstever game in the offensive backfield, he ran for 235 yards on 37 carries to earn the prestigious Gold Helmet Award as the New England player of the week. Three Owls were chosen to the field hockey all-conference team. Senior midfielder Alicia Gardner and junior defender Nicole Gagnon were first-team selections and junior forward Jessi Gould was a second-team pick. Gardner finished her fine four-year career with a school record 28 assists and ranks seventh on the school’s all-time scoring charts with 60 points. Gould had an outstanding junior season with 42 points (18 goals, 6 assists). She currently ranks third on Westfield’s all-time scoring list with 96 points (41 goals, 14 assists), trailing Westfield head coach and former Owl standout Heather Cabral by three points. n

Kate MacLellan capped her outstanding collegiate career with an even 100 points to rank fourth on Westfield’s all-time scoring charts.


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

FIELDING THE WAY continued from page 15 available. And, again, with the passage of Title IX, a more equitable scheduling of facilities emerged.

The Westfield State field hockey team placed third in the 1981 NCAA Division III national championships.

Where were the playing fields located and what condition were they in? S: The conditions of the fields were, by today’s standards, terrible. F: The field hockey field was a combination men’s lacrosse and soccer field located in front of Courtney Hall, which did not yet exist. The softball diamond was located in the right outfield of the baseball diamond in front of Lammers Hall, also yet to be built. The tennis courts were where the current Dining Commons stands.

Paula Eaton ’93, led the nation in stolen bases in 1992.

How many games did you play a year and what colleges did you play? S: In addition to the regularly scheduled season other opportunities became available


through individual coach’s efforts. I was given the opportunity to play “Club” field hockey at Smith College at a level that matched Division I. A premiere coach from Springfield College selected me to participate each weekend throughout the fall season, and she would drive me back and forth since I did not have a car. Dedication, expertise, caring and support: those were the overarching traits of women’s athletics in the late 60s and early 70s. F: Each faculty coach arranged the team games. Most were with the other Massachusetts state colleges and some were with other colleges in the area that had women’s teams, such as Springfield and Elms colleges, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Western New England College. Each year the number of games increased.  On the average, each of the teams probably started with five to eight games. Did you have regularly structured practice sessions? S: I played three varsity sports each year — field hockey, basketball and softball — and I had throughout high school. This was all before Title IX of 1972 was enacted into law. So, up to this point, it was “normal” for girls and women to practice at less desirable times than our male counterparts, to not have money for newer uniforms, travel and other amenities because the bulk of the budget was used for male sports teams. Westfield State University athletics has progressed in direct proportion to the national progression of schools similar to ours, and in direct proportion to state funding. F: Yes, whenever practice facilities became

Was there much student body support? S: Overall, my athletic experience at Westfield State University was a positive one. Often, as female athletes, we didn’t realize that we were “less than” our male counterparts because that’s the way it always was. There was a great network of women coaches who mentored young female athletes. Often, that was the way that opportunities came along. F: Little support at the start, but since there were many more female students, I believe the student body was approximately 60 percent female and interest in women’s sport grew, support increased, especially financially. What are your observations on how the Westfield varsity athletics program has progressed over the last 40 to 60 years? S: Women’s intercollegiate athletics at Westfield has progressed phenomenally from 40 to 60 years ago. Opportunities abound for the Division III athlete with competing conferences, state and national titles. Each sport is given equal funding with coaches “recruiting” and building their teams. Our facilities are now the envy of the state system. But, we cannot forget those women who battled, struggled and strived for equity and helped make gender impartiality tantamount in athletics. I am particularly proud to know some of these women. F: It’s a dream come true. I never thought I’d see the day that Westfield State fielded a full complement of sports opportunities for women based on their interests and funded those programs on an equitable level.  It was a long battle, and those women who coached as well as the female students who fielded the early teams and fought for an equal opportunity to play deserve our utmost respect and admiration. n

The Westfield State women’s volleyball team celebrates after winning its second straight MASCAC championship on 2010.


from stickball to the smith cup continued from page 14

Managing History continued from page 6

hockey, basketball and baseball. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the first varsity game — field hockey — was held. Other sports for women that were offered at this time included softball, tennis, gymnastics, basketball and volleyball. For the most popular sports of field hockey, basketball and softball, they also competed against each other in-house as the blue and white teams. Many men were thankful they were not on either of the women’s field hockey teams as play was as aggressive as it is today, said Bill. The late Dr. Theresa Lammers, dubbed the pioneer of the women’s athletic program, spent nearly 40 years as director of physical education. She was responsible for forming the Women’s Athletic Association. Lammers would undoubtedly be impressed by the $17 million Woodward Center, the academic/ athletics facility and field house that was completed in September of 2004. She was likely one of a number of coaches who avoided the tiny Parenzo Gym dur-

Westfield. “One of our former librarians, Miss Pratt, was very involved in campus life. She organized events and saved invitations, dance cards, playbills and news clippings,” says Canary. There are also scrapbooks that were donated by alumni, faculty and staff members. The archives began with 20 boxes of archival materials. Those boxes were discovered by Professor Robert T. Brown in the 1970s in the attic closet of the old training school on Washington Street. Dr. Brown brought the boxes to the campus and they were placed in a room on the mezzanine of the library. The materials were relocated to the sixth floor of the library in 1998. Today the archives contain historical objects such as magnets, jewelry, yearbooks and the mace carried by the Grand Marshall during graduation in the 1970s. Currently, Canary is working on a finding aid for the latest large donation to the archives, the Catherine A. Dower Collection, 1956 — 1990. Dr. Dower was a faculty member and chairperson of the Westfield State Music department. The bulk of the collection consists of Dr. Dower’s promotion and tenure notebooks from 1949 to her retirement in December of 1990. The collection is in 14 boxes and documents all Dr. Dower’s accomplishments, articles and her Irish music collection. During the mid- to late 1980s, Westfield State offered an Irish studies program. At that time, Dr. Dower became very interested in Irish classical music. Searching for materials to use in her teaching, Dr. Dower discovered there was little Irish classical music to be found in the United States. She took a sabbatical and went to Ireland in search of original Irish classical music. She found and photocopied handwritten scores of Irish classical music written by many Irish composers and returned to Westfield State with it. She used this music in the classroom where her students benefitted from her examples of a wide variety of Irish composers. All collections are put through the same process. A new collection is accepted and brought to the library where it is evaluated for preservation concerns as well as an estimate of the number of boxes or containers it will need for storage purposes. Next the material is entered into a text document so that staff members can access the material quickly when a call comes in. Finally, research about the collection is gathered to create a finding aid to enable the public to find out more about the materials. Canary believes the Dower collection will be of value to students interested in women’s history, women in higher education and women in music education. Anyone interested in accessing or donating to the archives can contact Karen Canary at (413) 5725281 or n

The Westfield State University Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010 was inducted during alumni weekend. First row, left to right, are: Hector Gomes (‘81, soccer), Holly Maines McGovern (‘99, basketbal/soccer), Matt Collins (‘00, track and field). Back row: Rick Vittum (‘94, football), Tom Brincklow (‘92, basketball).


Bud Hagan, left, the first athletics director at Westfield State, goes over batting tips with some of his players circa 1957.

ing tours for high school recruits, joked Associate Athletics Director Mickey Curtis. The University has gone through a number of advancements in the world of athletics. From track practice in the hallways to installation of the then stateof-the-art AstroTurf in 1974 to the expansion of the number of NCAA Division III and club sports offered, Westfield continues to strongly support its athletics program, student athletes and alumni. n

Russell Thompson (’87) was a third team AllAmerica men’s basketball player and led the nation in rebounding.

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Ireland October 5 – 13, 2011 8 days, 7 nights: $1899

For full details and the most current information please visit Valid Passport required.

Westfield State Alumni HISTORICAL ARCHIVES continued from page 10 archives, he says, “I found that the great bulk of the Westfield State records were destroyed twice. First, in 1955, when the College moved to the Western Avenue site from Court Street, the then President Scanlon was so happy to be getting a new campus, a new beginning ... he didn’t want to bring up that ‘junk.’ Word quickly spread through town for residents to ‘come and get it.’” Some of the items removed included formal portraits of all the College presidents, as well as other museum-quality items. Remaining paper documents were transferred to Westfield State’s prior location on Washington Street. The second loss of materials came in 1970, when a roof inspection at the Washington Street building prompted city public safety officers to inform the College that there were old documents at risk of water damage. Again, the College was directed to dispose of the official records and documents. Fortunately, in both cases, rather than being destroyed, the city janitors retained many of the documents,


and they ended up in private homes. Dr. Brown spent the first 10 years of his work on the archives recovering items from homes. “I would get a phone call and someone would say, ‘My dad brought this home…,’ and I would go and investigate,” he says. In this way, Dr. Brown was able to retrieve many items, such as scrapbooks, catalogs and official documents from the 1840s, 1850s and 1860s from residents in Westfield homes. In addition, Dr. Brown had an antiques and rare books business that allowed him access to the “market,” where he was able to locate the formal presidential portraits at an antiques sale in Maine and return them to the College. With his new role, Dr. Brown also became a pack rat of sorts. “Every time there was an issue of a student newspaper, new yearbook or any new publication, I was sure to get a couple of copies for the archives,” he says. “I also clipped newspapers from 1972 until my retirement.” Dr. Brown also developed a retrieval system to collect official documents, accreditations

and reports. “In the old days, the janitors took all the paper trash down to the furnace in the basement of Parenzo Hall. I would go through that trash,” says Dr. Brown. He developed files on all the presidents, staff hires, accreditations and faculty documents. When Dr. Brown came upon photographs, the Alumni Association would assist him by identifying the subjects and locations. Alumni also contributed to the archives with their personal items from the College. Up to his retirement in 1998, Dr. Brown was a one-man archive keeper operating out of one closet in the library. But more importantly, he was the College’s historical expert. The archives house all the historical documents, photographs and articles of Westfield State, the first co-educational normal school in America. He says, “To this day, 13 years after I’ve retired, I still get phone calls that come to me with historical questions.” n


Al um ni News a n d No te s Consider Westfield State for your next event! You already know that Westfield State University is one of the

most beautiful campuses in the region. We boast timeless brick architecture, impeccable landscaping and state-of-the-art technology all tucked into a scenic and pristine setting.  We may, in fact, be the premiere destination to host your next event!  While you may never have considered your alma mater as a conference site, we offer an on-campus experience for groups of all sizes.  Think about what Westfield State has to offer your group, company, family and event; our 256-acre campus is wireless and all classroom spaces are equipped with the latest technology.  Adjacent to the campus is beautiful Stanley Park, 272 acres of nature preserves, botanical gardens and recreational areas, all free and open to the public.  Just 30 minutes away, you’ll find the beauty and culture of the Berkshires, including Tanglewood, Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum and dozens of art, music and theater venues.   Westfield is conveniently located in a quintessential New England town, just three hours from New York City, two hours from Boston, Providence and Albany, one hour from Hartford, 30 minutes from Northampton, Amherst and the Berkshires, and less than an hour from ski resorts, kayaking, white water rafting, zip lining and mountain climbing. If you think Westfield State would be a great venue for your summer events keep in mind the great things we have to offer:  • We can accommodate sports groups, leadership retreats, corporate or professional affiliates, school groups, tour groups and more. • We offer overnight accommodations. We can accommodate groups of 1,000-plus. We offer a variety of living arrangements from standard residence hall rooms to private apartments with full kitchens and private bath facilities. New Hall is an air-conditioned apartment-style area with conference rooms both in-hall and nearby at Wilson Hall. Lansdowne Place is a downtown apartment complex, also with air conditioned facilities. All buildings are locked 24/7 and campus security is always available, and housing is available from late May to early August. • Our food services are excellent. Meals and snacks can be provided on your schedule with options including use of our dining hall or private catered events in an alternate location. • Host services are also available. Our staff is available to help make sure your event is successful. We can help you with the basics, such as planning evening events in the area or on campus, helping you map out effective schedules and anything in between. Shuttles can be scheduled to bring participants across campus or to surrounding areas. • We have an extensive athletic facility, two wellness centers and an indoor pool. • Meetings can be held in a variety of settings from small living room-like lounges to large auditorium style rooms with multimedia capabilities. To request more information, contact Jessica Hufnagle, Office of Residential Life, at (413) 572-8053 or


Need a new or replacement diploma? If you are seeking a new diploma with “University” in the title, please contact the registrar’s office at The cost for a new diploma is $25, and you will receive it roughly six to eight weeks after your degree is verified and the diploma is printed. Please submit payment to the registrar’s office directly. The University will continue to offer re-orders using College in the title for a limited time. Please use the same form to request your re-order. Please note that your diploma will not arrive with a cover. Should you have any further questions, please contact our office or the office of the registrar.

WESTFIELD STATE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION We have had a wonderful year under the direction of President Ryan O’Connell! Now it is time for the 2011-2012 election process to begin. We need you to run for the Executive Council of our Association. This revitalized group will continue to work to improve the Westfield State alumni experience for all graduate and nongraduate alumni. Please consider volunteering to serve. You can find more information at or by emailing Kathi Bradford at You may nominate another alum or self-nominate!

Election Timeline for 2011-2012: Aug. 22-Sept. 7: Call for Nominations Sept. 9-19: On line voting Sept. 20-27: Run off election, if needed Sept. 29: Announcement of the 2010-2011 newly elected council members

Golden Owls Celebrate at the 2011 Commencement If you are a member of the Class of 1961, mark your calendars for

May 21 to return to campus and become a “Golden Owl” in celebration of your 50th anniversary! Members of the “Golden Owls” who have celebrated more than their 50th anniversary are also welcome to attend!

Reunion Weekend — June 23 — 25, 2011 Reunion Weekend is happening soon! The Class of 1986 and 1971 will be celebrating milestone reunions and the Musical Theatre Guild is gathering a group of its closest friends over this weekend. Be sure to register online today at to guarantee your space! If you are a member of a class ending in 2 or 7 or just part of a group of classmates and friends that want to plan a reunion and come back to campus, please contact Kathi McColley Bradford at (413) 572-5404 or

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Visit the Alumni Store Be sure to visit for all the latest alumni gear. We have sweatshirts, camp chairs and more inventory is always arriving. Stop by today to place your order for yourself or your favorite graduate!

Keep in touch and share your news! We want to hear from you! Do you have a new job? Have you gotten married, had a baby or experienced a life-changing event? Tell us all about it! We welcome your news for publication in each issue of Focus magazine. Please send any news and photos to Kelly Galanis at We look forward to hearing from you!

Visit the alumni Web site! Have you logged on to the alumni Web site at What are you waiting for? Be sure to stop by and visit your source for all things alumni. Learn about the latest happenings at the University, upcoming alumni functions and benefits and perks of being an alumni association member. You may also log on to update your information. If it is your first time logging in, your username and password will be the same — first initial, last name and four digit year of graduation (ex. Joe Smith, class of 1999 is jsmith1999). For assistance with logging in please contact Kelly Galanis at (413) 572-5228 or

MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW. . . May 21, 2011 — Golden Owls Celebration at Commencement 2011 (for all alumni celebrating 50 or more years!) Contact: Kathi Bradford, June 24-26, 2011 — Reunion Weekend 2011 Classes ending in 1 or 6 and friends, affinity groups and all alumni interested in returning for a visit Contact: Kathi Bradford,

Solve the myStery of what to do thiS Summer!

Mentors Needed! Do you have an interesting career? Ever think about things you would

have done differently while in school? Want to help our current students succeed? Consider being a mentor for our annual Alumni Mentor Day. We welcome back many alumni to the campus to share their career experiences with our students. This popular program is always looking for new and interesting individuals willing to speak about their journey in the real world. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Kelly Galanis at (413) 572-5228 or

Support Westfield State University Our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2011, so there is still plenty of time to make your tax-deductible donation. Visit to make a donation online or mail your payments to us at Westfield State Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1630, Westfield, MA 01086-1630. Every bit helps with our scholarship programs and more. For questions, please contact Kathi Bradford at (413) 572-5404 or kbradford@wsc.

An interactive, residential program for students entering their freshman, sophomore and junior years of high school.

Dates: sunday, July 10 – Friday, July 22 F OCUS MA GAZINE • SPRING 2 0 1 1


Cla ss No t es




Ann and Peter Connors (from

The Class of 1960 recently cel-

Robert W. Gilligan is enjoy-

the Westfield Theatre Group’s

class years ’58 and ’63 respec-

ebrated its 50th reunion on the

ing retired life after working

Evening of One Acts in January

tively) celebrated their 50 wed-

campus of Westfield State in the

in elementary and secondary

2010.  This is the second

ding anniversary on June 25,

Scanlon Banquet Hall.

education as a teacher, guid-

script of Kathleen’s that Plays

ance counselor and director of

Magazine has published, the

guidance for many years. He

first being “Dracula’s Son.”

2010. Peter taught for 38 years in the West Springfield school system and Ann is a former


and his wife, Carol, moved to

teacher from Blessed Sacrament

Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1995

School in Holyoke. The couple is

to begin retirement and have

enjoying retirement and travel-

recently relocated to Hilton

ing to places made on a wish list

Head Island, S.C.

created over their many happy years of marriage.


Paul Sawyer, who obtained his

Kathleen Hilbert Palmer’s

bachelor of music in education,

original script titled “Untaken”

received the Pioneer Valley

was bought and published by

Excellence in Teaching Award from the Grinspoon Foundation for the 2009-2010 school year. He previously worked as the high school band director and music theory teacher, but this year he taught general music at all five Gateway elementary schools. He composes music and gives private flute lessons. He also is a singer-songwriter who performs as a soloist and with several bands throughout

Greg Wrinn

Former Ludlow High School Music Director Gregory J. Wrinn’s legacy was remembered on Nov. 14, 2010, at a

Boston’s Plays Magazine. The one-act details the life of six individuals from New York City the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.  The play debuted at

1972 Sister Mary Courtney passed away on October 24, 2010. She earned her master’s in teaching from Westfield State.

1978 Governor Deval Patrick nominated Barbara M. Hyland for Circuit Justice of the Probate and Family Court. Barbara is a 1983 graduate of Western New England College School of Law. She lives in Holyoke.

tribute concert planned on the one-year anniversary of his death. The memorial concert included familiar music from Wrinn’s 35 years conducting Ludlow choruses.

New England.

The Class of 1960 recently celebrated its 50th reunion on the campus of Westfield State in the Scanlon Banquet Hall. Pictured are the attendees with President Evan Dobelle.


Several alumni from the 1970s attended and participated in the 2010 Owl Club Golf Tournament this past Aug. Front row, from left to right are: Greg Little ‘72, Rich Feller ‘72, Wayne Dimetres ‘72, Carl Bates ‘72, Bill Hackenson ‘73, John Coughlin ‘73, Rich Mancuso ‘74, Kevin Harrington ‘73. Back Row left to right: Russ Hammond ‘73, Bruce MacLeod ‘72, Bob Gleason ‘74, Floyd Field ‘73, Don Byron ‘74, Frank Friguglietti ‘73, Mike Perry ‘76, Jim McManus ‘71-72, Ben Adams ‘75.

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

on the council are offered to leaders in association management representing the nation’s top association management companies. McKenna is president of McKenna Management, Inc., a Chelmsford-based association management company that works with nonprofit trade associations and professional societies.

1982 Michael and Maribeth Bulens McNamara (from class years ’82 and ’83 respectively) celebrated 25 years of marriage on May Westfield State Alumni Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk. From left to right are: Lee Ann Morgan, Jack Mosko ‘78, Jacqueline Mosko, Jill Tutty, Paulette Gerry, Bob Mayo ‘78, Frank DiSalvio ‘78 and Joe Seckler ‘79. Kneeling are Tim Sicard ‘78 and Captain Bob Benn ‘78.

18, 2010, and invited friends from their wedding day and those that they have met along the way. A crowd of about 100

The team of Westfield State

has been named principal of

22,000-plus member organiza-

friends gathered at the Auburn/

Alumni, led by team captain Bob

Holy Trinity School in Greenfield.

tion and the leading voice of the

Webster Lodge of Elks and

association profession. Positions

witnessed a renewal of vows

Benn ’78 completed the Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk on Sept. 12, 2010. The team raised over $11,000 to help fight cancer. This is the second year that the team has participated in the walk and welcomes alumni interested in joining them in the future. Contact Bob Benn for details on how to participate. Pam McKenna

1981 Anne Heston, principal of Blessed Sacrament School in Holyoke for the past six years,


Pamela Hickey McKenna, is serving as chair of the AMC Section Council for the American Society of Association Executives, a

Front row, left to right are: Stacey Sadler Moffat ‘86, Laura Liberty ‘82, Annie McNamara ‘86, Mike McNamara ‘82, Maribeth Bulens McNamara ‘83, Steven Rogers ‘81, Kathy Shannon Fitzpatrick ‘83, Mark Dalton ‘82. Back row, left to right: Bob Quist ‘82, Ken Guittarr ‘83, Andy Clarke ‘82, Peter Coates ‘82, Bob Fitzpatrick ‘83 and Jim Barrett ‘83. Not pictured, Kathy McNamara Ohman ‘78.


Cla ss No t es

followed by music, dancing

Pastoral Staff, the newslet-

while at Westfield State and

and fun. Westfield State was

ter put out bimonthly by the

worked for the postal service

well represented with alumni

Episcopal Diocese of Western

while completing her studies.

from five different class years in

Massachusetts. In addition,


Janice completes freelance projects for CDH, writes for

1985 Dr. Marsha Olsen was selected to fill the newly created position of Mentor Principal in the Torrington, Conn., school district. She brings a wealth of secondary leadership experience to the district and is excited to take on this new role. Janice Beetle Godleski lost

the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton and networks with colleagues to further develop the business. Her longtime friend Judy Kelliher, also an experienced writer, editor and production manager, has come on board to help her grow Beetle Press. To learn more, visit and

her beloved husband, Ed, to metastatic lung cancer on Sept. 14, 2010. She stepped away from her full-time job at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) in Northampton prior to his death to care for him. After his


1995 Elizabeth A. Whitehead was recently promoted to regional director of the National Credit


Union Administration, where

The Massachusetts State Police

she has been employed for

honored Scott M. McDonald, a

the past 21 years. Elizabeth

state trooper for the Springfield

currently lives in Scottsdale,

barracks, with a Medal of Honor


during their annual awards ceremony. The Medal of Honor is the highest award given by the Massachusetts State Police and was given to Trooper McDonald and other troopers for their bravery stemming from a raid in New Bedford that forced them to return fire and kill a criminal suspect.

Laura M. Crouch is enjoying life after retiring from the U.S. Postal Service in 2005. She was a continuing education student

2005 Joseph J. Tolland III graduated with a doctor of physical therapy degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in May 2010. At graduation he received an Award of Excellence from the dean of the school of health and environment. Following graduation he traveled to Peru with a volunteer physical therapy team from UMass as part of the Village Empowerment

passing, she began to focus on

Program. Joseph is presently

writing a nonfiction book about

working on the staff at Braintree

grieving. The book is nearly

Rehabilitation Hospital.

complete, and Janice has found an agent who has agreed to


read the manuscript. Also grow-

Jesus E. Arocho was promoted

ing from tragedy was Janice’s

to sergeant at the Amherst

decision to put her energy back

Police Department. He has been

into her writing, editing and

with the department since

graphic design business, Beetle

1999 and earned his bachelor’s

Press, which she established in 1998. Through Beetle Press, Janice continues to serve as editor for Focus magazine, and


Class of 1990: front row, from left to right: Katey Noonan, Jen Thomas Daly, Dan Hunter, Amy Keenan, Karen Edwards, Nancy Daly, Mike Dorr, Mike Daly, Matt Moriarity; middle row: Eileen Swan Rockwal, Mike Rockwal, Norm Smith, Jeff Costello, Korte Yeo and friends; and back row: Greg Gangi, Wayne Andress, Terri Carroll Conway, Chris Lemanski, Jim Daly, Todd Rosner, Scott Liberman, Kathy Cronin and Kris Cronin.

degree in criminal justice from Westfield State.

FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Births 2001

Jose Delgado

Jose M. Delgado was recently selected to fill the position of



Diane Balicki married Craig

Stephanie Smith married Brian

Goodrow on Nov. 7, 2009.

Dimetres on Aug. 29, 2010, on

The bride graduated from

the rooftop at the Springfield

Westfield State College and is

Marriott. In attendance were

a life insurance case manager

Stephanie’s college friends

at MassMutual Financial Group

Kathy Lilley ’05, Shannon Kelley

in Enfield. The couple currently

Bradley ’05, Liz Rosales ’05,

resides in Feeding Hills.

Christine Byrne Stark ’05, Aimee Worcestor ’04, Chloe Johnson

mayoral aide for Springfield


Mayor Dominic J. Sarno ’93. Dominic said Jose “will be a

’05 and Laureen D’Amato ’05.

great addition to my inter-


nal staff and will assist with

Nicole Rundall married Matthew

responding to concerns from

Joseph Robert Fontaine

constituents and members of

Matthew Fontaine and Sarah

the business community.”

Kalagher Fontaine ‘02 are

Kosiorek in a June 27, 2009, ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church in Chicopee. The bride, who graduated from Westfield State

happy to announce the arrival


of their first child, Joseph Robert

Aubrey Cook won second

Fontaine on Nov. 6, 2010. He

place at the International

weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces

Triathlon Union (ITU) World

and was 20 inches long.

in the sprint distance category

teacher at Coburn School in West Springfield. The couple Harris Berger Wedding

resides in Huntington.

Alison Harris married Jeff Berger

Championship in Budapest on Sept. 11, 2010. Cook competed

College, is a second-grade


against 34 other women in her


age group, aged 20 to 24, from

Robert St. Amand married Kerri-

around the globe.

Ann Fraterrigo this past summer

on Nov. 13, 2010. They had a


great reception at Chez Josef in

Courtney Murphy married her


high school sweetheart, Colin

in Guilderland, N.Y. The groom is


a high school guidance counselor in Suffield, Conn.

Gerald D. Healy was named the Grand Marshall of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Healy is a longtime member of the parade committee and professor and chair of the economics and management department.


Murphy Wedding 2009


Cla ss No t es

Bonzey, on April 17, 2009.

‘07, Rebeka Lent ‘08, Jessie

Several of Courtney’s Westfield

Ramsey ‘07, Shannon Green

State friends were in attendance

’04, Marykate Gilrein ‘08, Brian

and are pictured here.

Broderick ‘07, Courtney Walsh

Sarah Partelo married Michael Chalero on July 3, 2010, at a ceremony at Faith United Church in Springfield. A reception followed at the Hampden Country

‘07, Meghann Dennehey ‘07. Bottom row, left to right: Adam Nichols ‘07, Julie Lech ‘07, Rosemary Dowling ‘07, Ryan O’Connell ‘07.

Club in Hampden. Sarah and Michael live in Springfield.


Jessie Ramsey married John

Teresa Cellucci married

Haddad Jr. on Aug. 14, 2010.

Christopher Buklerewicz on

Many Westfield State Alumni

May 15, 2010. Both general

were in attendance. In the

science graduates of the class

top row, from left to right are:

of 2008, they are now chemistry

Jennifer Zampieron ‘07, Stacy

teachers in the Pioneer Valley

Hurtubise ‘07, Eric Mallet ‘09,

area. Many of their alumni

Colin O’Hara ‘06, Aaron Jensen

friends joined them for their big

Buklerewicz Wedding

day. Back row from left to right:

Coviello ‘08, Brad White ’08.

Jake Bell ‘06, Rob Favolise, Josh

Front row, left to right: Bride,

Cortis, Cathy Olier ‘08, Dave

Teresa (Cellucci) Buklerewicz ‘08, Groom, Christopher Buklerewicz ‘08, Jenny Ledbury ’08 and Lauren Archibald ‘08. The photo was taken by Dennis Osipiak of Bristol, Conn.

2009 Melissa Moran married Kevin Dooley on Feb. 13, 2010, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Springfield. The couple honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and currently lives in West Springfield.

Ramsey Wedding


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

Deaths 1927 Miriam Ring Adams passed away on Sept. 21, 2010, at the age of 103.



Donald W. Tuohey of Westfield

Linda A. Crowley passed away

Thomas E. Long passed away on

passed away on July 19, 2010,

on October 20, 2010.

Sept. 15, 2010. He was a retired sergeant of the Springfield

after a short illness. He taught for many years in the West Springfield schools and retired as Principal of Southampton


Police Department.

Doris O. Murphy passed away on Nov. 11, 2010. She worked for


the Holyoke public school sys-

Robert Symington suddenly

tem for 30 years as an elemen-

passed away on June 22, 2010.


tary teacher, reading specialist

He received his master’s degree

George Hamel passed away at

and principal.

from Westfield State College


his home on June 22, 2010. He

Carolyn Yeager passed away on

Mildred S. Green passed

earned his bachelor’s degree

Sept. 18, 2010. She was a retired

away on October 16, 2010 in

from Westfield State College

teacher and social worker.

Wilbraham. Millie’s passion for

and was a long-time educator.


Road Elementary School in 1987.

Iva T. Barstow passed away on Nov. 12, 2010.

Westfield State was apparent through her outstanding work with our Alumni Association throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Her efforts to maintain our records even in her own home have been a hugely tremendous help in keeping our

1958 John Brian Halloran passed away on October 25, 2010, in Brewster. He is a former principal and superintendent.

alumni engaged and committed


to their alma mater.

Gene Francis Basili, Jr. passed

Domenica Piergiovanni

away suddenly on Nov. 9, 2010.

and was a long-time educator.


1971 Michael J. Placzek passed away on Nov. 21, 2010. Frances M. Thomas passed away on Aug. 18, 2010, in Springfield.

1972 Beverly A. Liberty passed away

Rosanne Sullivan

on Aug. 17, 2010. She was a

Rosanne M. Parrella Sullivan

teacher in the Springfield public

of Nashua, N.H., passed away

Perrin passed away on May

Marilyn Johnson passed away at

school system for 37 years, retir-

11, 2010. She retired from the

her home on Aug. 5, 2010. She

on October 22, 2010, after a

ing in 2007.

Massachusetts school system in

received her bachelor’s degree

courageous battle with breast

1977 and spent her retirement

from in elementary education

in Westerly, R.I.

from Westfield State Teachers


She leaves her husband, David


Phyllis Bryar passed away sud-

Sullivan ’83, and her three

denly on June 27, 2010.

children. A charitable nonprofit


Ralph J. Russomando passed

Maureen Conway passed away

away on Sept. 1, 2010.

cancer for two and a half years.

Kenneth E. Doerpholz, Sr. passed away on Nov. 7, 2010.

June 16, 2010.


Kenneth earned two masters degrees from Westfield State

Phyllis R. Sullivan passed away

and was the first recipient of

on October 17, 2010.

the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies.


corporation has been established in Rosanne’s name to fund research for the treatment and cure of triple negative breast cancer. A tax-deductible contribution may be sent to: Rosanne’s Rush for A Cure, P.O.


Cla ss No t es Box 7401, Nashua, NH, 03060-




7401, or visit http://rushfora-

Patricia S. Gibson passed away

Matthew A. Cellilli passed

on Aug. 17, 2010. She was

away on Aug. 22, 2010. He

David Vincent, professor of

a retired Springfield school

was an employee of Sodexo at

the geography department at


teacher and earned her master’s

Westfield State University for

Westfield State, passed away

Wendy E. Woods passed away

degree in education from

the past 16 years.

on Aug. 5, 2010, at his home

on October 20, 2010.

Westfield State.

with his family. He taught

Susan Farrington passed away



on June 7, 2010, after a coura-

Penelope “Penny” Wing passed

Bonnie Grenier passed away on

geous battle with cancer.

away on Nov. 26, 2010.

July 22, 2010.

at Shrewsbury High School, Plymouth State College and SUNY College at Oneonta before he became part of the faculty of Westfield State. At

Rosalie Szarkowski passed



Westfield, he taught geography

away July 2, 2010, peacefully

Brett Fickett passed away on

Frederick S. Kareta III passed

and regional planning, climatol-

at home. She graduated from

July 13, 2010.

away on Aug. 28, 2010.

ogy and other related courses.

Westfield State College in 1994 with a degree in psychology.

Need a new or replacement diploma? If you would like a new diploma with UNIVERSITY in the title, please contact the Registrar’s Office at All alumni of Westfield State are eligible to have their diploma reprinted. The cost for your new diploma is $25 and will be mailed 6-8 weeks after your degree is verified and the diploma is printed. Please submit payment to the Office of the Registrar. The University will continue to offer re-orders using COLLEGE in the title for a limited time; please use the same form to request your re-order. Please note: Your diploma will NOT arrive with a cover. Should you have any further questions, contact our office or the Office of the Registrar.


FO C U S M A GA ZI NE • S P R I NG 2011

ALUMNI EMPLOYEES The University employs over 80 alumni. Some of them are pictured above. Back row, left to right, Eric Jones 09, Curt Robie ’74, Mark St. Jean ’99, Chris Hirtle ’90, Matthew Lechter ’10, President, Westfield State Alumni Association, Ryan Oconnell ’07. Middle row, left to right, Aaron Childs ’99, Janet Garcia ’83, Laurie Simpson ’92, Nanci Salvidio ’73, Azanda Seymour ’92, Nicole West ’07, Lisa Kriesak ’08, Joan Fuller ’77, Michael Mazeika ’07. Front Row, Ken Magarian ’71, Carolyn Schwartz ’02, Evie Soucie ’05, Karen Canary ’95, Deb Brodie ’89, Omar Clarke ’07 and Jo Ann Churchill ’96



Advancement and College Relations Westfield State University Westfield, MA 01086-1630

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See more photos from Homecoming 2010 on pages 4 and 5, and read about Homecoming events for 2011.

FOCUS Spring 2011  

Westfield State University Alumni Magazine