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Blast from the Past Provides an Online Photographic History of the College

Posted December 10, 2007

beanies12307.gif How about a Blast from the Past? Those were the days, when freshmen were required to wear beanies through their first week of school. In this photo from September of 1972, Director of Student Activities Ted Zern, who is now dean of freshmen and transfer students, gleefully displays Class of 1976 beanies with senior Linda (Hill) Vitalo '73/G'76, who served as chair of Fall Orientation.

Alumni who want to enjoy more blasts from the past can visit this new feature at the bottom of the Alumni Website or by perusing our developing collection from the College Archives on the Blast from the Past online gallery. Watch the cupola being lowered onto Deliso Hall in 1960. Marvel at the turtle races of the 1960s and donkey basketball, a must-see in the 1980s.

Blast From the Past began as an exhibition in D’Amour Library’s Clarke Reading Room featuring photos from the College Archives. “Visitors during Homecoming Weekend and Family and Friends Weekend were spotted comparing notes and sharing fond memories,” says College Archivist Rosemary O’Donoghue. “But many of those photos, as well as the online photos, are lacking information, including names.” Readers who can help the College identify subjects of the photos can email

The early snapshots of faculty, and staff, student activities, sports, and dorm life in Blast from the Past includes views of the campus starting in 1956, when the College purchased 34 acres of wooded property. The campus now consists of 215 acres.

Blast from the Past also has older photos of the YMCA Building on Chestnut Street in downtown Springfield, the original home of Western New England College, when the institution was known as Springfield-Northeastern from 1919 to 1950.

See past presidents and professors, Commencement ceremonies of the 1960s, the traditional rope pull contest between freshmen and sophomores, and aerial views of campus over the years in this permanent and regularly updated feature. View College history in the making!


Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution founded in 1919. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University serves 3,955 students, including 2,575 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and School of Law.


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