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Ken Stratton '19 Brings Impressive Background to WNE School of Law

By Emily McGuinness '20 WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2019 - 12:00 PM WNE100

“I came to Western New England because I knew that I would be more than just a face in the crowd,” said Ken Stratton '19. The still greatly involved, now law student, reflected back on why he chose this University. He thought about how much it has helped him grow, and how he certainly left a lasting impression of himself across campus. 

“I knew my professors would know my name, and I’d be able to build lasting relationships with classmates. I’m happy to say that this is true of my experience” said Stratton.

Before coming to this realization, however, Ken was already connected to the school through a special familial tie. Both his grandfather, Kenneth M. Stratton, and his father, Russell M. Stratton attended Western New England.

“The school was on my radar to begin with” he said. “I knew everything I needed was right here” Stratton said with a smile.

One of the things that caught Ken’s attention, which he wasn’t aware of when committing to Western New England, was the student newspaper The Westerner. After joining his freshman year, Stratton became more and more active until being appointed Secretary. By the end of his junior year, Ken was the Editor-in-Chief, responsible for it all, and it’s one of the experiences he will always remember and be indebted to. 

“Hitting deadlines, holding meetings, trying to balance responsible reporting with edgy opinion pieces,” Stratton said. “It was a tough job!”

His position held at The Westerner opened so many doors for Ken during his time at Western New England. It broke him out of his comfort zone, made him develop more goals of being involved on campus, and eventually led him to obtaining his position as a First Year Seminar Assistant. During his final semester of undergraduate studies, Ken walked away from this position with a surprising knew potential career in his future – working with students.

“I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did,” said Ken. “But I came away having learned that I enjoy working with students, and that’s something I might want to return to in the future.”

The impressive graduate also spent much of his time working outside of campus. A few summers ago, Stratton worked in State Senator, Don Humason’s, district office in Westfield, MA. Ken worked on examining 2016 election results, studying hot button issues across Massachusetts, and speaking to the proponents and opponents, as well as simply getting to observe local Republicans and Democrats work together for their community.

“The whole experience was so inspiring and piqued my interested in learning more about the law, and about serving the community” said Stratton. 

Ken’s political experience didn’t end there, however. In May of 2018, Stratton worked with the Massachusetts Republican Party on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. Ken volunteered at events, called local voters, and knocked doors across Massachusetts.

 Currently, Ken remains a part of the political world through an online platform known as The Lone Conservative as a political cartoonist and writer. Stratton believes that having a voice and emphasizing what still unites the country in a time where we are feeling very divided is extremely important.

“I think it’s important for students to be able to do that, no matter their political viewpoints. We have to remember that there is so much more that unites us than divides us and we need to work together for the better of the country” Stratton said.

As Stratton made his way through undergraduate life taking courses in Journalism, English, and Political Science, law stayed in his mind as he approached graduation. He decided to apply to law school and was accepted to Western New England’s School of Law. Stratton is currently taking law courses and remains optimistic about where it will lead him.

“I walked out of Western New England feeling prepared to take on law school,” said Stratton. “I am grateful that my undergraduate experience gave me the tools to do so.”

Perhaps one of the largest accomplishments for Stratton before heading off to his new life as a law student, was serving as the student speaker at his Commencement ceremony this past May. Stratton was hand selected from a largely competitive pool of students to speak in front of hundreds of Western New England graduate families and friends.

“What an honor it was, to be selected from the group of students who put themselves up for consideration, to sit on stage with President Caprio and others for such a historic day. I am so grateful for that experience.” said Stratton.

Continuing on at a school that was in his family’s history, and creating his own history there turned out to be a huge success for Ken Stratton. As he carries on to obtain a law degree, he remains involved, focused, and extremely notable. Stratton certainly has a very bright future ahead of him, which was something that could be seen the minute he stepped foot on campus as a freshman.

His growth as a student, as a professional, and as a person was largely influenced by his time spent at Western New England and is something he will forever be grateful for. Stratton feels nothing but pride when looking back at his college experience, and forward to his life after school.