Former Springfield College Associate Protestant Chaplain Gregory Dyson and members of the 1934 American Legion Post 21 Baseball Team will be the recipients of the 2014 Springfield College Humanics Achievement Award. Tony King, captain of the 1934 American Legion Post 21 Baseball Team, will accept the award on his team’s behalf at the undergraduate ceremony on Sunday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m., at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield. Dyson will be recognized during the graduate commencement on Saturday, May 17, at 9:30 a.m., on the College’s Naismith Green on the main campus.
The Springfield College Humanics Achievement Award recognizes an individual or group who has exhibited courage in the face of adversity, demonstrated leadership in service to others, advanced diversity and inclusion, served as a champion for the oppressed, furthered education in spirit, mind and body, or contributed significantly to the understanding of the universe.
The 1934 American Legion Post 21 baseball team took a stand against racial discrimination at a regional baseball championship tournament in Gastonia, N.C. After learning that other participating teams would not compete against the American Legion Post 21 squad because they had an African-American player on the roster by the name of Ernest “Bunny” Taliaferro, the American Legion Post 21 youngsters decided to support their teammate, forfeit the tournament, and head back to Springfield.
Dyson served as the associate Protestant chaplain at Springfield College from 2005 through 2012. During his tenure at the College, he participated with City of Springfield leaders and the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance in Project Homeless Connect to help build bridges between homeless individuals and homeless assisting agencies. Dyson’s commitment to help the homeless population included his role as co-leader of the Monday Night Run, a program designed by students who wanted to reach out to homeless individuals during the cold months of the year.
Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. The college is ranked in the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” in the top tier of “Best Regional Universities – North Region” by U.S.News Media Group, and is designated as a premier Leadership Development Center by the YMCA of the USA. More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses across the country.