SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College hosted its 134th commencement ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in the Field House, located inside the Physical Education Complex, celebrating the Class of 2020. The long-awaited ceremony was part of the 2021 Homecoming Weekend festivities and recognized a very special class that will always have a unique place in the history of Springfield College.
There is an old saying that anything worth having is worth waiting for, and nearly 17 months after their originally scheduled commencement ceremony, the Class of 2020 came together as a unified group, and enjoyed their well-deserved commencement ceremony.
Convening the event was Springfield College Board of Trustees Chair William A. Burke III, who introduced the 13th president of Springfield College, Mary-Beth A. Cooper.
“In many ways, I view today as a promise fulfilled,” said Cooper, who utilized student feedback over the last 17 months to help finalize the best options for a Class of 2020 ceremony. “More than a year ago, we promised the Class of 2020 they would have their day, they will walk across the stage in their robes, they will be with their families, and they will hear their name called. Today is that day, and I am so happy for each and every member of the Class of 2020.”
Cooper went on to describe how this commencement ceremony is unprecedented in the rich history of the College, and it’s a day that will always be remembered by everyone attending.
“This day is about the Class of 2020, and this is historic for Springfield College because we have never had a commencement ceremony during Homecoming Weekend,” added Cooper. “I congratulate each of you, it’s finally here. This is your homecoming, and Class of 2020, you are always welcome at Springfield College and you will always have a special place in our hearts at Springfield College. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend today, and it’s so special to be with all of you today.”
Springfield College alumna Terry Powe ’96, principal of the Elias Brookings School, was the keynote commencement speaker. Powe spoke about how Springfield College was so instrumental in helping shape her life as a strong community leader.
“I remember getting dropped off for New Student Orientation, and how special of a time that was for me,” said Powe. “Springfield College is great, it’s a wonderful institution where lifetime friendships are made, memories are created, and experiences are had that will last a lifetime.”
Powe has remained connected with Springfield College over the years while working at a school just a short walk from the campus. Powe is very active in the Springfield school system where she enjoys giving freely of her time as a mentor principal and who has provided leadership and mentoring to aspiring administrators. Powe referenced how she continues to utilize Springfield College student groups to assist with mentoring problems in the Springfield school system.
“Many of you have entered the workforce, and are already making a difference,” added Powe. “We continue to have Springfield College students make a difference with our community at Brookings, and I can’t thank you all enough. Whether it’s been working with students in our youth mentoring programs, and volunteering hours, the Springfield College Class of 2020 was always there to help our community.”
Both the Springfield College graduate students and undergraduate students were represented during the ceremony. Sarah Wooley was the student speaker representing the graduate students, while Emily Van Horn represented the undergraduate students on stage.
Following the ceremony, the Class of 2020 was treated to a food truck festival outside of the Field House, compliments of the Alumni Association, and hosted by Cooper and members of the Alumni Council.