Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University awards nearly 1,300 degrees to its Class of 2018


CONTACT: Tricia M. Oliver

May 19, 2018

Westfield State University awards nearly 1,300 degrees to its Class of 2018

Westfield State University celebrated its 179th Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. A total of 1,268 students have either completed graduation requirements during this academic year (399 Bachelor of Arts, 622 Bachelor of Science, 154 Bachelor of Science in Education, 46 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 47 Bachelor of Social Work). A total of 1,090 were expected to participate in the ceremony.

Daphne Felten-Green, Esq.’87, deputy director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, delivered the Commencement address. She shared three principles that have guided her: challenge, conscientiousness and counsel.

“Challenge yourself to recognize opportunity and act,” said Felten-Green. “Conscientiousness, that is, always retain a desire to do a task well, and work at things diligently. And finally, counsel, that is, be willing to be mentored and to mentor … recognize the true gift of learning from someone with experience, and in turn, be willing to share counsel with those who follow you.”

President Ramon S. Torrecilha, Ph.D., urged the graduates to make things happen. “Get out there and get busy,” he said. “Make bold choices, learn from your mistakes along the way, but always stay true to the education and life lessons you gained during your time at Westfield State.”

Three students shared valedictorian honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA: Keziah Behlke an economics major from Southampton; Lauren Chrabascz, an elementary education major from Belchertown, and Brian Kochanowski, a psychology major from West Boylston.

Bethany MeMeekin, a mathematics major from Lakeville is the class salutatorian, completing her studies with the second-highest cumulative GPA, and Chealsie St. Pierre, a business management major from Attleboro, received the 2018 Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in recognition of finishing with the highest institutional GPA among undergraduate students in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

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