Springfield College hosted the 91st Annual Stepping Up Day Ceremony on Monday, April 17, with the ceremony returning to MacLean Terrace behind Alumni Hall. With Stepping Up Day, the first-year students take a step up, sophomores become juniors, juniors become seniors, and seniors become alumni.
The spring of 1926 saw the first Stepping Up Day, which replaced the old "Decapitation Day" exercises, when the freshmen were allowed to remove their green beanies.
This year's ceremony started with remarks from Student Government Association President Kyle Andolina '17, and Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper. President Cooper also led the swearing in of Student Trustee Donavin Andrews '18.
The Springfield College Student Leadership Awards are also presented at Stepping Up Day with Vice President for Student Affairs Shannon Finning and Student Government Association Vice President for Student Affairs Sydney Fournier '19 leading the presentations.
At this year's ceremony, the presentation of the following awards were handed out:
Outstanding first-year student - Kali Barnhardt (This award honors a first-year student who has embraced campus life and volunteer opportunities, has demonstrated a commitment to the Humanics philosophy, and shown the potential to succeed as a leader in service to humanity.)
Outstanding sophomore - Elias Kokalis (This award recognizes a sophomore who has taken an active leadership role on campus and, through this role, has affected positive change on campus or in the larger community.)
Outstanding junior - Cameron Labelle (This award is presented to a junior who has consistently been involved in activities demonstrating leadership in service to humanity, and who has the ability to think critically and assess personal strengths and weaknesses in reflective and interactive practice.)
Outstanding senior - Dina Pitsas (The recipient of this award is a senior who embodies the true-meaning of leadership in service to others. They have experience as both a member and leader of clubs/organizations and are recognized by their peers and the campus community as a student who embraces their role as a change agent for themselves, their class and their community. A leader both in and out of the classroom, this student has excellent communication skills and an ability to effectively use their position for the greater good.)
Class of '57 Outstanding Senior Leadership Chair - Amanda Palladino (This award honors a senior who has demonstrated the ability to work as an effective group member and group leader, has made significant contributions to the community, and has an understanding and appreciation of the opportunities and challenges in a world that is increasingly diverse, multicultural, and international. This award was established in 2002 with generous contributions from the Class of 1957.)
Outstanding Graduate Student - Ashley Santos (This award recognizes a graduate student who has made significant contributions to the betterment of the campus and the community, and who has focused on positive change or improvement of conditions for those beyond the immediate community.)