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Collection Guides: Westfield State University Alumni Association, 1847 - Present

All College Committee, 1980 - 1994

Westfield State College Archives

Collection Guide

Westfield State University Alumni Association

1847 - Present


Historical Sketch 

The Westfield Normal School Alumni held triennials that began on September 1, 1847. These events were held every three years and included alumni, faculty, administrators, and community members. The early triennials also included the examinations and graduation ceremony for the graduating class that year. 

The alumni gatherings were called triennials until 1957. The gathering name changed to Homecoming on May 25, 1957 and the meetings were held annually. 

The Eastern Alumni Association began on May 6, 1905. Samuel E. Courtney, Class of 1855 was instrumental in organizing this chapter of the Alumni Association. They met every year at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston. The group stopped their meetings in 1926. They began the process of disbanding in 1939. 

In the 1930’s the college was threatened with closure. Anne Halfpenny was President of the Alumni Association from 1936 – 1939. She played a key role in the lobbying efforts to keep the college open. 

Helen L. Cowing became the Alumni Association President from 1952 - 1957. Mrs. Cowing was present when the ground breaking ceremony took place for the new campus in 1956. 

The first paid position for the Alumni Association belonged to Jane Ourand. Ms. Orand was hired as an Executive Secretary for the association in 1974. She concentrated on raising money by organizing fund raisers. Some of the money raised went toward the construction of the Amelia Ferst Interfaith Center on campus. 

In 1980, the college hired Maureen Fitzgerald as the first paid Director in the Alumni office.  Ms. Fitzgerald began the Homecoming program and also raised money for various campus projects. Other past Directors include Kurt Gunther, Dr. Kimberly Trudeau, and currently, Katheryn Bradford. The Office of Alumni Relations is housed under the Office of Institutional Advancement, currently led by Dr. Erica Broman.


This collection contains Alumni Association financial records, auditors statements, annual reports, bylaws, library funding for the Charles Russell Library Fund, library gift proposals and the Books for Bytes Campaign, mailings for triennials and homecoming meetings, programs, necrology reports, and some information about individual alumni who have donated their materials to the archives. The bulk of the photograph collection was donated by several campus photographers. The photographs were taken for Tekoa, the college yearbook and Focus, the current alumni publication, as well as other older alumni publications. Campus photographers, John Morytko and David Harris Fried, created the more recent photographs documenting the events that the alumni organized and took part in. These photographs are available to users. The bulk of this collection is undated and unidentified at this time. There are also small collections from material donated by individual alumni members. 

Also in this collection is a photograph of the dinner meeting of the Westfield Normal Alumni Association of Eastern Massachusetts at Copley Square Hotel, April 20, 1907. Please note: Samuel Courtney is in this photograph; and the Program for the fourth annual reunion and dinner of the Westfield Normal Alumni Association of Eastern Massachusetts. April 23, 1908. 

Scrapbooks are a rich source of information for this collection. 

Commencement programs are available. Ask for the guide to this collection. 

Focus is a publication sent to alumni two times per year. This publication has information about alumni included as well as historical information about the University. There are also earlier alumni publications available. Ask for the guide to the Alumni Publications collection. 

There are unidentified photographs of many campus events. Ask the librarian for more information about these photographs. 


The bulk of this material is arranged by date. 

Access Restrictions 

Access must be in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 

Access to this collection must comply with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. code). Photocopying of this material is governed under this law and one of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” Westfield State University reserves the right to reject a copying order, if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of copyright law. 

Related Collections 

Westfield State College Tekoa, 1909 – 2001; Commencement Programs, 1856 – Present; Westfield State College Student Government Association, 1925 – Present; Westfield State Normal School/College Catalogs and Bulletins, 1844 – Present; Westfield State University Student Handbooks, 1904 – Present. 

Subject Headings 

Westfield Normal School; Westfield Normal School – Anniversaries; Westfield Normal School – History; Westfield State College; Westfield State College -- Alumni and alumnae. 


K. Canary

Updated December 16, 2011

577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086

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