On Friday, Feb. 12, Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper was joined by Springfield College students senior Lindsey Stevenson (health sciences) and sophomore Danielle Morrill (communications and science disorders) in visiting Concord High School Principal and Springfield College alumnus Gene Connolly '79.
Both Stevenson and Morrill are natives of Concord, N.H., and attended Concord High School prior to enrolling at Springfield College. It was Connolly who recommended Springfield College to both Stevenson and Connolly while they were students at Concord High School.
During the visit, Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper proclaimed Feb. 12, 2016, "Gene Connolly Day" at both Concord High School and Springfield College in recognition of Connolly's devotion to educational leadership that promotes the development of healthy, well-minded students.
Cooper, along with Stevenson and Morrill, also presented Connolly with an assortment of Springfield College gifts in recognition of his commitment to the College.
Quote from Senior Lindsey Stevenson
"It was a small idea I had about a month ago because I know how much Springfield College has meant to Mr. Connolly. I thought it would be a nice idea if the College could recognize him for his efforts in some way. The timing seemed right due to his battle with ALS. I was able to get in touch with President Cooper about a week before the visit, and the trip just happened from there. What President Cooper was able to do for Mr. Connolly went above my expectations.
Mr. Connolly displays what Springfield College is all about. He would always make sure he is up early to greet all the staff, the students, and faculty at Concord High School to start the school day. He really cares about the people at Concord High School a lot. He has always been there to support everyone at the school each and every day/year. He has always put the well-being of others first, and he was the person who introduced me to Springfield College. He's a very modest and humble man. I am so appreciative that President Cooper was able to make the drive to Concord; it just shows the type of character she has to make the time to be a part of this special ceremony."
Quote from President Cooper
"This situation originally came to my attention when I read about Gene's story in the Concord Monitor, and my husband, Dave, was kind enough to print the article and stress we really need to go see Gene. I was very touched when I read Gene's story and I quickly asked myself 'how can we do this?' About 2-3 days after reading the story, I was able to connect with one of our students, Lindsey Stevenson, at a men's basketball game, and she was kind enough to tell me about Gene and asked me if I would be willing to do something to honor Gene.
We are always looking for ways to honor our alumni and I thought this would be a great opportunity. We wanted to honor Gene for his constant devotion in supporting Springfield College. I learned that Gene has always been known as a person of great influence, and his message is about truth, it's about telling people that you love them, and just his overall authenticity reminded me that the College had to honor these qualities. To have an educator, who became an administrator, who has been able to touch the lives of so many people is very special. The ceremony was truly awesome and, to be honest, a bit overwhelming. I was able to meet so many people at Concord High School who shared a story about just how much Gene has meant to them. During the visit, there were so many people who shared stories of just much Gene has impacted both Concord High School, but also the Concord community.
It was truly an honor to be part of the ceremony and to honor Gene. Concord High School reminds me a lot of Springfield College in the sense that the school follows the Humanics philosophy—it's about people, helping and serving others."