Gary Enright '79, G'87, Honored to be Selected as Baccalaureate Speaker | Springfield College

Gary Enright '79, G'87, Honored to be Selected as Baccalaureate Speaker


Gary R. Enright '79, G'87, was honored to serve as the Class of 2024 Baccalaureate keynote speaker.


By: Damon Markiewicz

In recognition of more than 30 years of dedication to Springfield College as the associate director of the Counseling Center, Gary R. Enright '79, G'87, was chosen by the graduating Class of 2024 to serve as this year’s Baccalaureate keynote speaker. In addition to his role with the Counseling Center, Enright has also served as an adjunct instructor within the Department of Psychology for 34 years, credentials that made Enright more than deserving to provide this year’s send-off address to the graduating class.

“Gary’s dedication to the students at Springfield College is inspiring,” said recent graduate Riley Robinson ’24. “Gary’s approach can best be described as ‘positive psychology,’ always looking at the strengths of the students he works with. He views the students he works with as resilient, capable, able to cope, and wanting to change, grow and heal. It was unanimous that the Class of 2024 believed that Gary was the perfect choice to serve as this year’s Baccalaureate speaker.”

Enright has been a pillar of the Springfield College community for more than three decades, starting as a student, and continuing on as a staff member, and adjunct faculty member. It was only fitting that as Enright prepares to retire from his full-time responsibilities on the campus, he was recognized by the student body on a very special day for the graduating class, and their families. 

“I honor your resilience, and to the graduating Class of 2024, be sure to take a moment to thank yourself,” expressed Enright during the Baccalaureate ceremony. “This was indeed your journey, and when life knocked you down, you got up. Take the time to appreciate that you persevered. You made it. Enjoy it.”

Enright has always been able to build strong connections with students, and his message to this year’s graduating class was delivered with a special bond, because he too knows what it’s like to be a proud Springfield College graduate. Earning his bachelor’s degree from the College in 1979, he worked as a teacher with troubled teens immediately following graduation. It was during this time in his life where he observed the therapeutic value that counseling provided for his students. This experience inspired him to earn his master’s degree in mental health counseling at the College.

“Springfield College is a special place with many very special people,” expressed Enright. “The culture is about helping others, and I have always been inspired by our mission. The College has always been about supporting each other, and that’s a special environment that we all enjoy and thrive in.” 

When thinking about his work with the students, Enright has a unique viewpoint on the way he approaches his job. “I like to use the word, ‘coach,’ because at some level I’m coaching people,” Enright said. “Like any coach knows, you have to have the right game plan. And then go out and have their team execute it. The success stories walking out of here are incredible.”

Enright’s commitment to the College and the students has always been evident. In September 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Springfield College Cheney Award, honoring him for his dedication and service to the College. It’s Enright’s authenticity, care, and compassion, that has endeared him to generations of students on campus.

As Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper has described about walking into Enright’s office, “It’s like a temple of student appreciation, you find artwork, cards, tokens of appreciation, quotes, and an immediate undeniable understanding that this individual is deeply cared for by others, and the feeling is mutual.”

To say Enright is respected and appreciated by his peers at the counseling center would be an understatement. Not only is Enright’s work respected, but the quality of the person is cherished by everyone even more.

“Whether it’s talking with a student, a staff member, or anyone that crosses his path, Gary always displays that he’s a phenomenal human being,” said Director of the Counseling Center Brian Krylowicz. “How he treats others is genuinely who he is as a person. He always shows compassion, kindness, and truly cares about helping others.”

Enright has enjoyed his job a great deal, and he truly has loved watching students grow over their time on Alden Street.

“There are times when I’ve seen someone for maybe a year and then realize they’re about to graduate,” Enright said. “And I feel like I’ve known them for 10 years based on the changes in growth that they’ve made. All students should feel proud about the growth they have made, and they should feel proud to be a Springfield College graduate.”

The pride that Enright displays as a Springfield College alumnus is impossible to miss. Recently, he had the opportunity to reconnect with his 1979 classmates at Reunion Weekend, celebrating their 45th anniversary. During the weekend, Enright was able to reminisce about all of the special times they all enjoyed together on campus.

“One of the first people I met on campus was Gary,” expressed classmate Harris Foster ’79, who had the pleasure of spending time with Enright during Reunion Weekend. “Gary is a special person, and he has shown that many times during our friendship. He’s always ready to help others, and we lucky to have a friend like Gary in our lives.”