Nunes Family Remains Committed to Springfield College and Humanics Philosophy | Springfield College

Nunes Family Remains Committed to Springfield College and Humanics Philosophy

nunes family

The Springfield College experience continues to have a positive impact on the Nunes family.


By: Damon Markiewicz

For Chris ’94, G’95, and Robin ’96, Nunes, Springfield College represents the connection between a young man from Arizona meeting a young woman from New Hampshire, who have built a successful life and family together, while always staying committed to the Humanics philosophy.

For the last 18 years, Chris and Robin have called Texas their home, with Chris serving as chief operating officer for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. Robin remains committed to working with youth as a successful educator at the kindergarten level. Together, they have supported their two kids, daughter Mackenzie ’21, and son Matthew, in exploring their dreams. The family continues to be rooted in so many of the guiding principles that Springfield College has to offer.

“As a family, we talk about Springfield College a lot and express all of the great qualities the College has to offer,” explained Chris. “Springfield College makes a good student, a better person. The culture on campus is special, it’s filled with faculty and staff guiding students, and mentoring them on academic, professional and personal levels.”

Both Chris and Robin have witnessed the positive impact that Springfield College can have on young adults. Mackenzie attended the College as a student-athlete, competing on the women’s volleyball team, while earning her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. Since graduating, Mackenzie earned her master's degree at the University of Virginia and has started her professional career there as the assistant director of academics at the University of Virginia's Athletic Department.

“Mackenzie started attending volleyball camps at Springfield College with coaches Joel Dearing ’79 and Moira Long, G’97, when she was in fifth grade, so she had many connections to the campus before she enrolled,” explained Robin. “For Mackenzie, the love of Springfield College fell into place naturally, as she was familiar with the campus at an early age, and she enjoyed the smaller campus feel. The College just felt like home for her.”

For their son Matthew, he is continuing a successful career as a student-athlete at the University of Virginia, developing as a leader as the starting goaltender on the men’s lacrosse team. The impact that Springfield College has had on the Nunes family hasn’t been lost on Matthew as well, as he plans on exploring career opportunities after his college career that are directly influenced by the impact of Springfield College.

“Matthew’s goal is to be a college lacrosse coach, a career path that is directly influenced by our discussions about the Springfield College experience,” explained Chris. “We have talked about how coaching is such an impactful profession, and we completely support his career goals as parents. When you talk about being part of an instant community throughout the world, in the world of sports, you will always find a Springfield College graduate.”

To truly understand the impact that Springfield College has had on the Nunes family, one has to travel back in time 30 years, and understand the connection that was made between Chris and Robin as students on Alden Street.

For Robin, she was a transfer student, who wanted to have a college experience with the New England feel. She wanted to be involved in athletics at the intramural level, which did lead to her being a part of the Springfield College women’s tennis team. For Chris, he arrived in Springfield from Arizona with an initial focus of enrolling as a Physical Education major.

“My dad was in the Coast Guard, and we have family roots in Rhode Island, so it was my dad that had me check out Springfield College due to their roots in physical education and recreation,” explained Chris.

For both Chris and Robin, they fell in love with the constant physical activity culture that the campus has to offer. As Recreation Management majors, they would discover they had many of the same friends in their social circles.

“Because it’s a smaller campus, you get to know so many people, and you almost feel like you know just about everyone,” explained Robin. “There were students that hung out in certain spots, and it was the benches outside the Beverage Center, which is now the Campus Union, where I would bump into Chris. It was the popular place for people to hang out.”

In the spring of 1994, Chris earned his bachelor’s degree, and at that time, Robin thought it would be the last time she saw Chris. But Robin received a pleasant surprise when she returned for her junior year in the fall of 1994.

“I didn’t realize Chris was coming back for graduate school, so I left him a note after he graduated, basically saying have a great life,” explained Robin. “But, when classes started that following fall semester, I bumped into Chris, and asked, ‘what are you doing here?’ He explained that he was back for graduate school, and that led to us being together still 30 years later.”

And when looking back over the last three decades, Chris and Robin have a shared gratitude and appreciation for how their journey at Springfield College has shaped them as people, professionals, and parents.

“Looking back, there was such a strong community for us on campus,” explained Chris. “It’s fun to think back and remember the many dates Robin and I had walking the trails at East Campus, and just reminiscing about all of the relationships we developed.”

Robin echoes those sentiments about cherishing the friendships that were established at Springfield College, relationships that remain strong to this very day.

“We are part of a group of friends that includes five different couples, who all got married within 14 months of each other,” described Robin. “Couples that met at Springfield College, and started lives together at Springfield. It’s a group of 10 of us that are the best of friends, and it all started at Springfield College.”

It’s these examples of life-long friendships that make it easy for Chris and Robin to remain committed to giving back to the College in many different ways. One way the couple pays it forward is through an Alumni Relations initiative that assists alumni in connecting with current students, who are in need of housing arrangements while traveling away from campus to fulfill internship opportunities.

For alumnus Kyle DeBlasiis ’23, he experienced first-hand the hospitality that Chris and Robin are dedicated to providing. When DeBlasiis had the opportunity to do an internship with the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority in Houston, Texas, assisting in marketing efforts for the NCAA Men's Final Four, it was Chris and Robin who made sure he had the support he needed, because they appreciate the importance of a quality internship.

“Without the help of the Nunes family, it would have been very difficult for me to take advantage of the internship opportunity in Houston,” explained DeBlasiis. “I am so grateful, because getting that experience has led me to a great start to my professional career. Chris and Robin are wonderful people who were there for me with anything I needed. It’s just a great example of Springfield College people helping others.”

And having the pleasure of experiencing life in multiple states before nestling in Texas, the Nunes family has come to value the impact new experiences can have on the growth of students.

“We had people in our lives help us, and we want to do the same for others,” explained Robin. “We have lived in Maine, New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado, and now Texas, so we value the importance of students having the chance to experience different perspectives throughout the world. We want to give Springfield College students the opportunity to experience that special internship without any additional challenges.”

Chris and Robin’s passion for giving back is authentic, because they have experienced the impact of a Springfield College education, and how it has only enhanced their lives together as a family.

For Robin, as a teacher, she values the importance of movement when working with her kids at school, and she appreciates the understanding that all kids learn a little bit differently. For Chris, he developed group leadership skills at Springfield College that he has highlighted in more than 700 presentations to professional associations at the state, national, and international level, reaching more than 50,000 people, throughout his career.

“We learned and developed our skills at Springfield College,” explained Chris. “Skills that we use every day. Springfield College is a special place, and we are thankful for our journey.”