|By Erin O'Connor |
WESTFIELD "What is a senior convocation?" asked Robert Bristow, associate vice president for academic affairs at Westfield State College (WSC) to a crowd of students and faculty in Scanlon Banquet Hall September 5 at 4:15 p.m. "A convocation is a chance for seniors and faculty to come together to mingle and meet."
In a change from previous years, Senior Convocation was included in the College's opening day events. Events that were scheduled to welcome students, faculty and staff to the new academic year included a barbecue for the seniors and college staff that followed the convocation.
Suzanne Hendery, vice president of marketing and communications at Baystate Health, was the featured alumni speaker at the Convocation.
Marsha Marotta, associate professor of political science gave the faculty address.
Hendery is a 1985 graduate of WSC who earned a bachelor's degree in media systems and management. Hendery has earned a master's degree in marketing communications from the University of Connecticut.
Hendery currently works at Baystate Health, where she oversees an in-house marketing and communications agency of 32 professionals, many of whom graduated from Westfield State College.
A speech was also included in the ceremony performed by Stephen Maher, the president for the class of 2007.
"We are combining two key events on opening day: Senior Convocation and the traditional opening week barbecue for faculty and staff," Bristow said. "It is our hope that merging these two events will provide a connection between the campus personnel and the Class of 2007 that will build throughout the academic year."
Bristow that that the College is expecting to continue the tradition of having Convocation on Opening Day.
"I am pleased with the turnout and the response from the campus has been positive. We can expect to build on this enthusiasm next year," Bristow said to Reminder Publications last week. "The rest of the day was filled with informational workshops and department meetings. Students had a chance to meet with their faculty advisors in the afternoon."