Lucille M. Deans, Tekoa (Westfield State Yearbook), 1948
Throughout its history the institution enrolled a small number of African American students. At the time of her graduation in 1948, Lucille Deans (married name Lucille Deans Gibbs) was the only African American student enrolled at Westfield State Teacher’s College. She went on to earn a Masters degree (1960) and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (1978) from Springfield College. Her career in education spanned four decades starting in the Boston School District in 1951. She served on the Westfield State College Board of Trustees, Westfield State College Alumni Association, and Westfield State Foundation. She received the James F. Hennessey Award from the Springfield branch of the NAACP (2001), the Pioneer Valley Women of Distinction from the Pioneer Valley Girl Scout Council (2001), the Door Openers Award from the Black Leadership Alliance (2008), and the Living Legends Community Service Award from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (2009). The Lucille Deans Gibbs Scholarship Fund was established in her honor.