SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Springfield College inauguration ceremony for Mary-Beth A. Cooper as the 13th president of Springfield College took place on Friday, Nov. 15, in Blake Arena.
President Cooper spoke about the special place that is Springfield College. "It's a place where tradition meets progress. Where first-year students still wear beanies during orientation. Where people greet each other as they walk the campus, and where service to others is our daily mantra. And where we maintain our traditions even as we focus on the future — to be sure that our students are ready to become the best possible citizens in their communities across the nation,” said Cooper.
Cooper went on to add, “It is almost overwhelming to a newcomer like me. I have never seen a campus such as this one! Words like “special” and “unique” seem not to do it justice. To truly know this campus and its culture of caring, one must experience it.”
Cooper concluded her speech explaining, "It will be through the collaborative efforts of everyone who calls Springfield College home to help Springfield College prosper in the future. I will need your help; we will work together. As we embark on this collaboration, you can and should expect to hear what is being discussed and where we are thinking of going. We need to talk about our opportunities and consider our hardest challenges. This is a conversation we all need to have together."
In addition to remarks by President Cooper, Springfield College Student Trustee Ariel Zaleski added, “Over the past few months, Dr. Cooper has been a shining light on this campus. Her light has cast rays of possibility for Springfield. She immediately created a strong bond with the students and it was evident very quickly that the students were and will be of the highest priority to her.”
Zaleski concluded by saying, “I stand before you, as Student Trustee. As a representative for my peers. As a voice for my fellow students. I stand before you all to give you the student’s message. With that being said, their message is simple. On behalf of the undergraduate, graduate, and School of Human Services students I would like to Welcome you home and welcome to our family Dr. Cooper. We are lucky to have you.”
The ceremony included a keynote address from Gregory C. Toczydlowski ‘89, president of Personal Insurance at The Travelers Companies, Inc. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and President Emeritus of Rochester Institute of Technology Albert J. Simone also offered their greetings during the event.
Convening the festivities was the chair of the Springfield College Board of Trustees Douglass L. Coupe and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee John A. Odierna leading the Investiture of the President and Presentation of Symbols of Office.
The theme of President Cooper’s Inauguration was A Celebration of Springfield College, and the festivities included student service events, a showcase of faculty and students scholarly work, a 5K fun/run, a theatre performance and a football game.