University News

Commemorative Events in Memory of Dave Stawasz

Published: February 10, 2021 | Categories: All News

Blue Jeans for a Cause and Steps for Stawasz

Steps for Stawasz logo

Western New England University faculty, colleagues, family members, and students are invited to participate in commemorative events in memory of Assistant Vice President of Marketing Communications Dave Stawasz (51) who peacefully passed away on January 28 surrounded by his family after a courageous two-year battle with Stage IV colorectal cancer.

Dave was a graduate of South Hadley High School and Syracuse University. His early career was as a news producer at WWLP and then later at WFSB. He joined the University in 2004, where he most recently acted as the Assistant Vice President for Marketing Communications at the University.

"During his cancer battle, Dave taught us so much about courage, perseverance, and love, all of which were pinnacles of who Dave was," said Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Bryan Gross. "As a beloved member of our University family, we want to honor his distinguished memory as well as support his wife and daughters, who meant everything to him."

Dave was a loving family man and committed husband to his wife of 25 years, Lisa, and the proud father of his two daughters, Paige and Kristen. Both of his daughters are currently enrolled as undergraduate students at colleges in the New England region and there was nothing that Dave valued more than being a part of their small and large life milestones.

Dress in Blue Day and Jeans for a Cause Fridays in March
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Friday, March 5 is "Dress in Blue Day." Wearing blue on this day, brings awareness to this disease as well as honors all who are impacted by colorectal cancer. In 2021, an estimated 149,500 people will be diagnosed with this highly preventable disease. They will join more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients and survivors living today. Dressing in blue is in support of them, their families, and their community.
Dress in Blue Day will kick off Jeans for a Cause in Dave's memory. Each Friday during the month of March the campus community is invited to wear bluejeans on Fridays by donating $5 per Friday.

Steps for Stawasz
Steps for Stawasz is a virtual walk taking place throughout the month of April in honor of Dave. Participants will log as many virtual steps as they can during the month by either walking or running while collecting donations along the way through friends and family sponsorships. By signing up, participants will receive a link to share on social media. From there, participants can create a personal giving page to collect donations and update progress. Details and instructions can be found here.

Interested individuals can also make a direct donation on the website without participating in the walk. All proceeds will go directly to the Stawasz family.

In addition to the month of walking, the thought of an on-campus walk is being discussed and details will be announced as they become available.

In true Golden Bear spirit, Dave's friends from the Western New England University Enrollment Management and Marketing Division invite you to participate in these events. For more information email