The end of the academic year at Westfield State University is always busy with events, but with two official openings, in addition to the other annual celebrations, the spring 2017 semester was constantly buzzing with activity.
Opening the Military Excellence Center
In April, Westfield State celebrated the opening of its Military Community Excellence Center, located on the ground level of Bates Hall. Made possible by $50,000 of funding in the Massachusetts state budget for the 2017 fiscal year, the center allows veterans, active military members, and their families to meet and connect with outside service agencies as well as peer veterans and military members. Westfield State serves as many as 250 military-connected students at any given time. Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco A. Ureña and Massachusetts legislators spoke at the official opening of the Westfield State University Military Community Excellence Center.
Cutting the Ribbon
The University celebrated the end of its first academic year in the new science building with a ribbon-cutting and naming ceremony. The Dr. Nettie M. Stevens Science and Innovation Center is named after one of Westfield State’s most distinguished alumni, who is credited with the genetic discovery of sex determination by chromosomes. The ceremony was celebrated by University faculty, staff, students, and administrators as well as representatives from the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and several science professionals. Westfield State hopes that by recognizing Dr. Stevens’ groundbreaking work, more students will be inspired to pursue the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Collaborating as part of the CURCA Symposium
The University held its second annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. A total of 262 students submitted 134 abstracts to be considered for inclusion in the symposium, representing 22 of Westfield State’s 24 academic departments, and collaborating with 45 different faculty members. Topics included addiction education, food security, gender representation, invasive species, and poetry. With an increase of more than 100 student participants, the University looks forward to growing the event, as undergraduate research and creative activity are firmly integrated into the curriculum and become a pivotal component of The Westfield
Nursing students’ academic careers were wrapped up at the fourth annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony, at which 31 students were officially welcomed into the profession. Students were pinned by family members, spouses, or mentors. Lisa Fugiel, director of the Nursing Program at Springfield Technical Community College, served as the keynote speaker. The ceremony concluded with a candle lighting, as students recited the International Council of Nurses Pledge.
Nearly 1,000 students attended Westfield State’s 178th Undergraduate Commencement ceremony held at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Students were addressed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who urged students to treat every life experience as a learning opportunity. Class of 2017 President Andrew Morin had high hopes for his peers, ending his speech with a motivational message: “There is no stopping the positive change that we, as Westfield State graduates, can implement in the world.”