Annual Festival of Lights Ceremony Embraces a Broader Spirit

Posted November 23, 2014

By Sean T. McGuire, senior


The Festival of Lights Ceremony will return to the campus of Western New England University this fall on December 4, starting at 5:00 p.m. in Rivers Memorial Hall. The program will include two ceremonies; the first will embrace the seasonal faith traditions of Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Three Kings Day. University students, staff, and faculty will all participate. The second portion of the program will include students from other faiths and beliefs presenting a Peace Collective. They will light a Unity Candle and express aspirations of peace on earth. This event is free and open to the public.

The University’s Coordinator of Spiritual Life, Sheila Hanifin, explained, “It is important to come together as a community and reflect the wonderful diversity we have on the University campus. The need for peace and harmony is a universal theme in all faith traditions, and as our University family grows and changes, the festival should grow with it.”

Students attending the ceremony will represent many university groups including the International Student Club, Spiritual Life, Student Senate, Student-Athletes. The University Sax Quartet, Campus Chorus and The Bear Tones will all perform at the event. The Festival of Lights event is funded by the Student Senate and coordinated by the Office for Spiritual Life.


Danish Artist Louise Kohrman Exhibits Work

Posted November 21, 2014

By Jeff Roche, junior

The Western New England University Art Gallery opened its latest show on November 16, featuring acclaimed artist Louise Kohrman. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kohrman now lives and works in Western Massachusetts. The show runs through December 12, 2014.


"My work aims to harmonize the lines between aesthetics and transcendent experience through repetitive actions and serial formats. Delicacy, intricacy, and attention to detail serve as foundations of the work." Louise Kohrman explained. "Through meditative processes, subtle colors and luminous materials, I create images that explore pattern, repetition, multiplicity, interconnectedness and the present moment." she added. 

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is collected in corporate, private, and public collections.art_show_31jpg

She is on the faculty at Zea Mays Printmaking, a studio, workshop, gallery, educational facility and research center dedicated to sustainable and less toxic printmaking practices.

For information about artist Louise Kohrman click here.  For information and directions to the gallery visit or call the University at 413-782-1567.


Dial-A-Lawyer Program Serves Community

Posted November 20, 2014


On October 22, Western New England University School of Law hosted the Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) monthly Dial-A-Lawyer call-in program. Residents with legal concerns and questions are encouraged to call for free legal advice. Volunteer lawyers from the MBA answered dozens of phone calls between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

“This is a great service for anyone who has a legal concern, but they don’t know where to start,” explained Michael Vigneux, media and communication manager with the MBA. “It’s completely confidential, the attorney doesn’t know the identity of the caller and the caller does know who the attorney is. That gives people a sense of comfort, especially when asking questions about criminal matters." Vigneux added.


Since March 1991, the MBA has sponsored the monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the program is hosted at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield and also sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Bar Association. This program was created to assist people who have fallen through the cracks of the legal and criminal justice system.

Attorney Stephanie Fitzgerald, (seen below in blue) with Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law in East Longmeadow, was among the volunteers. “We get a substantial number of domestic relations questions, some questions about past criminal records and how to expunge them, and then some landlord issues and real estate questions. We often can’t solve the caller's problem over the phone, but we can guide them to the right resources where they can get the answers or services they need.”


To learn when the monthly program will be held, visit the MBA event calendar.

To use Dial-A-Lawyer when held in Boston call 617-338-0610.  To use Dial-A-Lawyer when held in Springfield call 413-782-1659.

If you are an attorney who would like to volunteer for Dial-A-Lawyer, contact the MBA's Boston Office at (617) 338-0556 or the Springfield Office at 413-731-5134.


University ROTC Cadets Hold Tribute Ceremony to Honor Nation's Veterans

Posted November 19, 2014

The Western New England University ROTC program (Reserve Officer Training Corps), hosted its annual Veterans Day Tribute Ceremony on November 10, in the Lyman and Leslie Wood Auditorium, (formerly Sleith 100), in honor of those who currently serve in the military and those who have served in the past.


Barbara Moffat, vice president for Marketing and External Affairs delivered the welcome remarks after the Army/Air Force ROTC Cadets posted the Colors, and the Campus Chorus led the attendees in singing the National Anthem. 

The event featured a keynote speech delivered by Lieutenant Colonel Mark E. Kalin, Massachusetts State Training Officer, G3. During the event, junior Peter Spotts gave a moving performance of Taps on his trumpet. 


Two Western New England University employee veterans were recognized during the event, labountyjpgJoseph LaBounty `10, and Anthony Mutti G`05. Joseph LaBounty, a public safety officer and Western New England alum, graduating cum laude in 2010 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He served in the United States Air Force and was a Security Forces and Military Police specialist.

He served six months at the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait as a member of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Squadron. LaBounty completed off base missions as a member of the Security Escort Team along with the MSR Tampa in support of Operation New Dawn.


Also recognized was Anthony Mutti G`05, director, Administrative Information Systems. In 1999, then Staff Sgt. Mutti was deployed to Sicily during Operation Allied Force where he maintained the intranet and provided multimedia support to the NATO operation. In 2003 he was deployed to western Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.There he performed imagery analysis for the 387th Air Expeditionary Squadron.

In May 2012, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt., and is now a public affairs officer at the 104th Fighter Wing at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, MA.

The ceremony concluded with a 21-Gun Salute by Cadets Henry J. McKenna, Robert D. Jenkins, Joseph T. Reder, John M. Farrell, Jonathan B. Staruk, Christopher L. Cotto, Christopher D. Perkins, and William J. Tremblay.



Physician Author Encourages Students and Faculty

Posted November 18, 2014

On Thursday, November 6, Western New England stollman_authorjpgUniversity College of Arts and Sciences hosted Dr. Aryeh L. Stollman, who was invited to discuss his new book “The Dialogues of Time and Entropy.” Dr. Stollmans’s book is a collection of short stories that he has written throughout his career as a writer.

“I’m a full-time physician, a radiologist, and I work three days a week at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, which leaves me four days a week to devote to writing,” explained Dr. Stollman. “These short stories were written over time, after publishing two novels, The Far Euphrates, in 1997, and The Illuminated Soul in 2003.”  

The Master of Fine Arts program in cooperation with the English Department invited Dr. Stollman to come and read to students and faculty excerpts from his book that has been praised in reviews by Kirkus Reviews and The Washington Post.

This presentation was the last in the fall author series, with the next author event scheduled on March 27, 2015, when the English Department will host author Emer Martin to speak at the University. Ms. Martin is a renouned Irish novelist, painter and film maker.

For more information about the English Department and Master of Fine Arts program, click here.



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