Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University receives $50,000 donation to Ferst Interfaith Center to honor Fr. Warren Savage and support programming endowment

Challenge established by donor to match gift

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523


Challenge established by donor to match gift

Westfield—The Albert & Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center at Westfield State University recently received a sizable donation of $50,000 in honor of Fr. Warren Savage, director of the Center. The donation was made to recognize Fr. Savage’s work with Catholic Campus Ministry and his approach to bringing people of all faith traditions and religious affiliations together through meaningful dialogue and collaborative, impactful initiatives.

The Center’s Chaplains Council, under the leadership of Fr. Savage, is focused on fulfilling the challenge of the donor to match the $50,000 gift to establish a permanently restricted fund to support interfaith dialogue and initiatives which cultivate a culture of unity, peace, and collaboration.

“Fr. Savage’s exemplary work and the Interfaith Center’s purpose on our campus and for our campus community deserves and will prudently use this significant financial support,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Erica Broman, who also serves as executive director for the Westfield State Foundation. “When matched, this endowment will make a difference in the likelihood of a vast cross-section of our community.”

The Westfield State Foundation is coordinating the fundraising drive for the Interfaith Program Endowment Match. To donate, visit, complete the form and type Interfaith Program Endowment Match under “Other.”

The Interfaith Center recently hosted an inaugural Interfaith Campus Ministry summit meeting on October 24, where leaders of various faith traditions throughout Western Massachusetts met to discuss strategies about how to support students who face religious prejudice and how to cultivate a compassionate community among students from diverse backgrounds.

Among those in attendance for the summit were Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield and Dr. Imam Wissam Abdel Baki of the Islamic Society of Western Mass., as well as spiritual leaders from 10 Western Mass. colleges and universities.

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. For more information on Westfield State University, visit us at, follow us on Twitter at, or on Facebook at


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