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Westfield State University awards 1,310 degrees to its Class of 2019

Westfield State University celebrated its 2019 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 18 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. A total of 1,310 students completed graduation requirements during the academic year (413 Bachelor of Arts, 661 Bachelor of Science, 134 Bachelor of Science in Education, 63 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 39 Bachelor of Social Work).

Westfield State alumna Jennifer Lafleur ’01, an award-winning actress, delivered the Commencement address. She advised the graduates to be cautious with their actions. “You have one reputation,” said Lafleur. “Make sure it’s the one you want. Don’t put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want the whole world to read. Don’t send photos that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see. Be fair. Be thoughtful. Be compassionate. Be empathetic.”

President Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D., urged the graduates to make things happen. “Apply and act on the intuition gained over four years here,” he said. “Embrace and use change to your advantage.”

The valedictorian was Megan Gentile, a computer information systems major from Southampton with a 4.0 GPA. Meghan Tessitore, a criminal justice and sociology major from Westwood, was the class salutatorian with a GPA of 3.992562.

There were four recipients of the 2019 Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in recognition of finishing with the highest institutional GPA among undergraduate students in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education, each completing studies with a 4.0 GPA. They include Taunya Jasperson, a psychology major from Agawam; William McGrath, a psychology major from West Springfield; Marcus Payne, a movement science major from Fogo, Newfoundland; and Catherine White, a history major from Southampton.

A posthumous Bachelor of Arts in communications was awarded to Achim Bailey of Springfield, who passed away earlier this year. It was accepted by his parents, Hugh and Dorothy.