Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

For more than 35 years, Westfield State Foundation has ensured excellence


As the Westfield State University Foundation celebrates its 35th anniversary, the organization continues to grow stronger, with a 40 percent increase in fundraising and 140 percent increase in donor participation within the last year alone. Foundation Board Chair Robin Jensen said the organization’s continued success is due to a strong collaboration amongst a dedicated team.

The Foundation held its annual meeting earlier this month and announced that last year was a record high for student support with more than $220,000 awarded in scholarships to Westfield State students. In addition, the Foundation matched the Commonwealth’s Internship Fundraising challenge, which has made more than $450,000 available to students for paid internships since the program’s inception three years ago.

Three students who have received scholarships through the Foundation were recognized at the meeting: Tara Budrewicz ’17 of Southampton, Keri Jung ’16 of Westfield, and Samantha Mangano ’15 of Rowley, Mass. Budrewicz is a nursing major who works at the university’s Banacos Academic Center tutoring students in science and providing services to students with disabilities. Jung works full-time as an emergency room veterinary technician and is conducting research on campus under the guidance of Dr. Robin White of the biology department. Over the summer, Mangano completed a full-time, ten week internship in the Sexual Assault Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C.

The 2015 Foundation Stewardship Award was given to Robert Goyette. One of the first directors of the Westfield State Foundation, Goyette and his company Heritage Homes of Westfield built the Albert and Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center, the Foundation’s first project. Goyette and Heritage Homes recently completed renovations to the Interfaith Center, which has allowed for more interfaith programming.

New donor initiatives launched this year include the establishment of the Horace Mann Legacy Society and the 35 for 35 Campaign. The Horace Mann Legacy Society was established to honor Mann’s spirit of scholarship and service. Individuals who honor Westfield State University with a planned gift will be granted membership., Membership includes invitations to the Horace Mann Legacy Society dinner with the president of the university and to “Sweet Success,” the Foundation’s annual donor appreciation event, a commemorative Horace Mann Legacy Society pin, and regular updates and reports noting advancements at the university and how donor intentions are being met.

In honor of its 35th anniversary, the Foundation also launched the 35 for 35 Campaign, which seeks to find 35 individuals during the Foundation’s anniversary year who will enrich Westfield State through planned giving.

During the meeting, the Foundation introduced the newly established Lifetime Owls scholarship. Created in 2012, Lifetime Owls lifetime membership program in which alumni, students, or parents pay a one-time fee of either $75 or $100 to remain connected to the university. Membership benefits include discounted or free entry to valid campus, local, and state-wide events, 20 percent off at the Alumni Store, and the invitation to participate in special campus events. Ten percent of each membership fee is placed into the endowed scholarship fund, which now totals $116,000. The scholarships will be awarded starting in the spring and to be eligible, students must have a Lifetime Owls membership.

The Foundation announced 10 new coporators who will serve during the 2015-2018 term: Atty. Gina M. Barry ’96, attorney at Bacon Wilson, P.C.; Joshua T. Clark ’15, student teacher at Chicopee Public Schools; Jennifer L. DeBarge ’97, assistant vice president of marketing and community relations at United Bank; Joshua M. Frank, recruitment and marketing manager at New England Geriatrics; Kenneth R. Haar, associate professor of education technology;  Leslie J. Lambert ’92, sales associate at Park Square Realty; Mary E. Larrivee ’70, founder of Children’s House Incorporated; John P. Morizio ’75, owner of Century 21 Hometown Associates; Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez ’85, special education bureau chief for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education; and Jennifer D. Willard ’94, human resources director of Westfield Public Schools.  

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