Message from the President


As we reflect on the theme of “to give and to receive” in this edition of WNE Magazine, it is an opportune moment to celebrate the profound connections that bind us together as a community. These connections extend not only within the walls of our institution but also reach out to touch the lives of individuals and communities beyond our campus borders.

At Western New England University, we are committed to instilling in our students the values of generosity, compassion, and civic responsibility. We encourage our students to contribute their talents, time, and resources to causes that matter to them. Through these experiences, they learn the transformative power of giving and the ripple effect it can have on the lives of others.

Simultaneously, our University community is also a recipient of the generosity of many—alumni, parents, friends, and benefactors who invest in the future of Western New England. Their contributions support scholarships, facilities, and innovative programs that enhance the educational journey of our students. In the spirit of “to receive,” we express our gratitude for the trust and confidence placed in us by those who believe in the transformative power of education.

Furthermore, the impact of Western New England University extends far beyond our campus. We recognize the symbiotic relationship between our institution and the greater community. Through collaborative partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, and government entities, we actively contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of our region. Our students, faculty, and alumni serve as catalysts for positive change, addressing societal challenges and making a meaningful difference.

Just recently, I had the pleasure of acting as honorary chairman for the Spirit of Springfield Bright Nights Ball. Founded in 1989, the Spirit of Springfield is charged with “promoting community events and encouraging civic pride.” It truly is an organization that gives back to the Greater Springfield community with events like the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, Star Spangled Springfield, and the Military Concert. The Bright Nights Ball is its cornerstone event aimed at raising funds to defray admission costs to Bright Nights in Forest Park. I was thrilled that Western New England University could play a role in providing visitors with holiday magic through this time-honored tradition.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the theme of “to give and to receive” serves as a guiding principle for our community. It encapsulates the reciprocity inherent in our relationships—with our students, our supporters, and the broader community. Together, we form a dynamic network of individuals who understand that the act of giving enriches not only the recipient but also the giver. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: it is not enough for us to be present in our community; we aim to have a strong, impactful presence within it.

In closing, I am immensely proud of the culture of generosity and collaboration that defines Western New England University. It is a testament to the strength of our community and the enduring impact we can have when we embrace the values of giving and receiving. Thank you for being an integral part of this extraordinary journey.

With gratitude,

Robert E. Johnson, PhD