Iconic Alumni

As we celebrate Black History Month as a community, Springfield College honors and recognizes the contributions of its notable alumni.

The editors from the New York Times called him a  ”Pacesetter Among Blacks in Academia.” Born in New Jersey, Harold Amos ‘41, PhD, attended school in a two-room segregated schoolhouse in Pennsauken, N. J., but went on to become a microbiologist at Harvard Medical School, and a mentor who worked to open doors for other Black students.

Harold Amos in 1941 portrait
Harold Amos in 1941

He graduated first in his class from Camden (N.J.) High School in 1936 and came to Springfield College on an academic scholarship during a time when scholarships for African American students were rare.  As an undergraduate, Amos was a leader in athletics and in student organizations. He served as editor of the Massasoit in his junior year and of the college newspaper during his senior year. He played baseball, tennis, and golf, and was a popular piano accompanist for college singing groups.

He majored in biology and minored in chemistry, graduating summa cum laude in 1941. The following year he worked as a graduate assistant in the College Biology Department, the first person of color to do so.

In 1942, Amos was drafted into the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, spending two years in England, and entering France six days after the Normandy invasion. Discharged in 1946, he enrolled in the biological sciences graduate program in the Division of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School, earning a master’s degree in 1947, and a PhD in 1952. In another of many firsts, Amos was the first African American to earn a doctoral degree from that division.

A Fulbright Fellowship brought him back to France to the Pasteur Institute, during which time his love of all things French, as well as of art and literature, developed and flourished.

Harold Amos working in the laboratory
Harold Amos working in the laboratory

He left France and returned to Harvard Medical School, now as a faculty member, where he served for almost 50 years, rising through the ranks to become full professor in 1969. According to his obituary, he was well known for his work in animal cell culture, bacterial metabolism and virology, specializing in cell metabolism, including its effects on gene expression. He also helped explain the workings of DNA and RNA. 

He was named the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 1975. In 1988, he became professor emeritus. The first African American to head a department at Harvard Medical School, he served as chair of the department of microbiology and molecular genetics from 1968-1971 and 1975-78. He twice served as chair of the Division of Medical Sciences, from 1971-75 and 1978-1988.

Amos held numerous leadership positions on national boards and committees, the efforts of which were committed to the advancement of science and the interests of minority students. He was on the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Board of Directors, the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and was appointed in 1971 by President Nixon to the National Cancer Advisory Board. He served as president of the Massachusetts Division of the American Cancer Society.

Harold Amos portrait
Harold Amos

As an advocate for underrepresented populations, Amos actively promoted National Institutes of Health programs for minority college students. He helped establish the Hinton-Wright Biomedical Society, an association for minority scientists in the Boston area. 

Amos was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1996. He received the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2000, the inaugural Howard University Charles Drew World Medical Prize in 1989, and the Public Welfare Medal in 1995 from the National Academy of Sciences. In 1974, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and, in 1991, Amos was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

After retirement, he became the first national director of the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, serving until 1994. The program was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine, dentistry, or nursing, and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians, dentists, and nurse-scientists. In 2004, the program was renamed the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program.

Harold Amos, PhD, died in 2003, but through a bequest, he continues to support promising young biology students at Springfield College.

New York Times
Harvard Gazette
San Diego Tribune
Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program

Iconic Alumni

As we celebrate Black History Month as a community, Springfield College honors and recognizes the contributions of its notable alumni.

Roscoe C. Brown Jr. ’43  PhD, was born in Washington, D.C., on March 9, 1922. The younger of two children, Brown’s father worked as a public health specialist and his mother as a teacher.

Roscoe Brown with the 1941-1942 Junior Varsity Basketball Team.
Roscoe Brown, top right, served as the manager of the Springfield College men’s basketball team, and is pictured here with the 1941-1942 Junior Varsity Basketball Team.

Brown served as the valedictorian and treasurer of his 1943 graduating class at Springfield College. Brown lettered in football all four of his years at Springfield College where he played both offensive and defensive end. Brown also played three years of lacrosse at the College and served as the manager of the Springfield College men’s basketball team.

Following graduation from Springfield College, Brown responded to the call of military service and was trained to fly World War II combat missions starting in 1944 as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. Brown led more than 68 missions as a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332 Fighter Group, which consisted of African-American pilots flying P-51 Mustangs. The accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen played a major role in defeating racial stereotypes and integrating the U.S. military in 1948.

Roscoe Brown played three years of lacrosse at the College.
Roscoe Brown, at left, played three years of lacrosse at the College.

At the conclusion of World War II, Brown taught physical education at West Virginia State College. Brown next headed to New York City to earn his master’s degree in 1949 and doctorate in 1951, both from New York University (NYU). Following 25 years as a professor at NYU, Brown served as president of Bronx Community College from 1977 through 1993. He also created the Center for Urban Education Policy at the Graduate School and University Center at the City University of New York in 1993, where he served almost until his death.

Brown served Springfield College as a Trustee. In 1973, he was presented the Springfield College Distinguished Alumni Award for professional excellence and service to community, state, and nation. In recognition of his strong character and accomplishments, Brown received an honorary Doctor of Humanics degree from Springfield College in 1992. In 2012, he received the National Football Foundation (NFF) highest award, the Gold Medal, which recognizes an outstanding American who has demonstrated integrity and honesty, achieved significant career success, and has reflected the basic values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football. That same year, he was featured in Triangle magazine.

Roscoe Brown lettered in football all four of his years at Springfield College
Roscoe Brown lettered in football all four of his years at Springfield College where he played both offensive and defensive end.

Brown served as a volunteer director or chair of more than 25 organizations throughout his life, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Arthur Ashe Athletic Association, Metropolitan YMCA, Libraries for the Future, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Brown also has served on the New York State Governor’s Advisory Committee for Black Affairs, the Human Rights Advisory Council, and the United States Attorney General Ethical Standards Committee.He was a founding member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Roscoe Brown's honorary Doctor of Humanics citation
Roscoe Brown’s honorary Doctor of Humanics citation, May 24, 1992

Active in the media as well, Brown hosted the television program, African American Legends, and he won the 1973 Emmy Award for Distinguished Program with his weekly series Black Arts. He published numerous articles and contributed to several books, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York City Treasure Centennial Honor from the Museum of the City of New York and the Humanitarian Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Brown also completed nine New York City marathons, his last one at age 80. Brown passed away on July 2, 2016, at age 94.

In 2006, when I was studying at New Hampton School, I was approached by Coach Katie Hawke about the opportunity to attend Springfield College and play women’s lacrosse. After my visit to the campus and learning about the Humanics philosophy that Springfield College embodied, I undoubtedly knew that this was the place I should spend the next four years developing the skills I would need to be successful in life. What I didn’t know was that Springfield College would be the foundation for me as a woman leader in the male-dominated diamond industry. Springfield College taught me the true meaning of perseverance.

Kaleigh Testwuide

I graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in health science. At that time, I was interested in pursuing a career as a nurse, but wanted to take some time to make sure that was what I truly wanted. Following graduation, I spent three years in Lake Tahoe working in the restaurant industry. This was a very pivotal time in my life; I certainly found what I wanted and did not want in life. Although skiing in the Sierras couldn’t possibly be a bad life, I knew there was something more for me. In 2014 I decided to move to the great city of Denver.

When I first arrived in Denver, I had no job. What I did know was that I wanted to transition out of the restaurant industry. Denver was filled with so many exciting opportunities and I took the route of searching for a job as an executive assistant. I landed a role as the executive assistant to a CEO, CFO, and COO in a startup company that was led by a team of women. This was an incredible opportunity to soak up leadership skills in business, and that is exactly what I did. After one year, the startup went under and I found myself back in the job market. I went to more than 35 interviews. Not settling, I was looking for something that I could grow in. As I was about to take a position in a property management role, I came across a Craigslist ad to work for a jewelry marketing company called The Diamond Reserve. The position was to manage the marketing company and report to the owner and entrepreneur in private equity. It just seemed so cool and interesting. I got offered the position and little did I know that taking on this role would define my professional life forever.

The Diamond Reserve at the time was a marketing company, generating leads for people searching on Google for all things diamonds. I was to manage those leads and turn them over to a jeweler who would pay a percentage of each profit for the lead generation. I worked directly out of the jeweler’s office. It was so exciting: the safe, the diamonds, the industry as a whole. I found myself becoming more interested in diamonds by the day. This jeweler, in particular, sold EGL certified diamonds. This diamond grading laboratory has been D listed from the world’s largest diamond trading network for falsely grading diamonds. Essentially, it was an unethical sale. I just found it sad that young gentlemen were making one of the biggest purchases in their life and trusting someone who was selling them something it truly wasn’t.

Examining a diamond

After about six months, I went to my fiancé and told him I wanted to buy the marketing company and find a jeweler who would fulfill the leads and sell diamonds certified by GIA, the only non-profit grading laboratory that grades diamonds to benefit the buyer, not the seller. To my surprise, he didn’t think I was crazy. He believed in me! We contacted my boss, the owner of The Diamond Reserve, and began the acquisition. My husband and I scraped together money and reached out to our closest confidantes to invest. Yet again, to my surprise, people were believing in me. In September of 2015 we became the owners of The Diamond Reserve. Just a website and a phone number, holding a significant amount of SEO power in the Denver diamond and jewelry market.

It was GO time. I found a private jeweler who had been in the diamond and jewelry industry for over 40 years to fulfill the leads. We were off running; it was diamond time! I first rebranded. Rebuilding the website and building my mission, we would educate each and every client so they would understand the purchase they were making, with a focus on selling GIA-certified diamonds. It all was happening very fast, and I was in charge. It was an incredibly exciting time in my life, I was working harder than ever. This was my newfound dream. I worked alongside the jeweler learning everything there was to know about diamonds; buying them, selling them, negotiating, and learning how to manage an extremely fast-paced business with a large cash flow. It was then that I found my love for jewelry design, and began to learn about the manufacturing of jewelry. I truly felt like I was exactly where I belonged. I loved building relationships with clients, learning who they were, what they did, where they came from, and I had the incredible opportunity to learn from some outstanding professionals in Denver.

The Diamond Reserve

As time passed, I knew if I was to grow, I would need to fulfill the leads myself. I would need to take the risk of investing in my own diamond inventory and building my own personal relationships across the jewelry industry. In 2018, I founded DR Capital, which buys, sells, and trades diamonds and gold, and manufactures jewelry. I opened my first own office located in Cherry Creek, one of Denver’s most upscale neighborhoods. It was then that I didn’t just own a jewelry marketing business, I was a real player in the diamond industry, fulfilling my own leads. This was when the magic truly began. This is when I, as a woman, would begin to be respected in the male-dominated diamond industry. I rebranded yet again, began growing my team, working tirelessly to be the greatest jeweler Denver would ever know.

I originally had this idea that I would sell one diamond a day. Today WE are selling three to four diamonds a day and creating lasting memories and relationships with the most amazing clients. Me, a small-town girl from New Hampshire, running a multi-million-dollar diamond and jewelry company. WOW, pinch me. Last year, in September 2019, we opened our second location in downtown Denver, and just recently expanded our Cherry Creek office. All of our jewelry is handmade, right here in Denver, of the finest quality. Each day, my team and I continue to work incredibly hard. I am working harder than the day I hit the ground running. Day to day is filled with buying diamonds from dealers, from the public, trading amongst the industry, selling diamonds to the public, and designing jewelry. It truly is more than I could have ever imagined.

I have had so many people ask me, “when is it all enough?” The truth is I am not sure. We recently launched ecommerce testing and we are designing a line of jewelry with about 100 pieces. What am I if I’m not growing and challenging myself? The year 2020 also is when we began giving back. Philanthropy has always been something important to me. This community has given more to me than I could have ever imagined, and now I can begin to start giving back. This means giving opportunities to those who work for me beyond their dreams, building relationships with contractors that are founded on trust and growth, and coming up with our own meaningful ways to give back to our community.

As a woman in business and leadership, my spirit, mind, and body philosophy that Springfield College instilled in me, is what carries me each and every day. I wasn’t a 4.0 scholar. I remember taking Dr. Palone’s infamous exercise physiology course thinking “can I pass this?” I leaned on Dr. Palone and my tutor Greg McMahon, and I did it! I relied on my community at Springfield College, the people who uplifted me, the people who believed in me, and without them, without the fundamental beliefs of Springfield College, I could have never passed that class. Passing a class may not seem like a big deal in life, but it is. It paved the way for me to believe I could do anything I put enough heart and soul into. Now it’s my turn to give back. It is my time now to show someone they can be someone, just like Springfield College did for me.

Meet Marvelous Marcus, the most marvelous child you will ever know. Marcus’s imagination is like no other and it is out of this world. He will take you from watching TV in the living room to sailing the high seas as a fierce pirate, but there is only one problem with Marcus’s wild imagination! As marvelous as Marcus is, sometimes he is unaware of how his imagination can affect others around him. Throughout his marvelous adventures, he learns some good values and life lessons that build his character along the way. The Adventures of Marvelous Marcus by Stephen Lewis ’20 was independently published (ISBN-13: 979-8654493309) in July 2020 and is available at Amazon.com. Read on for Lewis’s story in his own words and a video interview with the author.

The development of The Adventures of Marvelous Marcus began as a small, little one-month project that took off for the best. I came up with the idea of creating a children’s picture book during intersession in January. The challenge I had for myself was to see if I could create a children’s book within a span of one month, but plans changed the more I got into it. The story all began with a simple Idea, which was a child with an overactive imagination learning how his actions affect others. Once I had the idea down, I began to storyboard how the story would play out. The storyboarding process consists of me sketching how each page is going to look, and how the events in the book smoothly comes together. The storyboarding process took me about a month or two to complete, but once that was done the next step was to illustrate everything. The style of art used to illustrate this book is called ‘Stoodlez’, which is my authentic style of drawing for all the characters and objects. The illustration process took me about another two to three months to finalize, and that is with consistent weekly illustrations. Once the illustrations were done, the last step was to add the words, and the story is basically complete from that point on.

Stephen Lewis ’20

On July 30, 2020, President Mary-Beth Cooper, PhD, DM, conducted an open forum for students and parents regarding the return to campus for fall semester under COVID-19 guidelines and best practices. The following is an excerpt from that forum.

Dr. Cooper:  This is our first ever open forum with students and parents and family …  I am Zooming to you tonight from my kitchen on Alden Street.  A very quiet campus.  It’s been a quiet campus for a number of months. I can’t tell you how excited I am to welcome our community back to campus.  Living on the street all alone makes for a quiet place. I thought this would be helpful, as we sent out our planning information last week — we sent that out on July 23.  We knew it was dense.  And the COVID website is dense and there are lots of questions.  And, so, as we sent that information out, I suggested to my terrific leadership team … Why don’t we do an open forum?  Our work force is about 50 percent on campus.  We’re getting back to everyone we can as quickly as possible, but I thought this might be the most efficient way for us to go ahead and reach out to you and make it a little bit more personal….

Are we confident that Springfield College will be able to open this fall as planned?  And we are as confident as we can be today.  The circumstances around COVID are changing regularly.  I will tell you in the last four months every day brings new information.  We are closely monitoring what we’re learning from the CDC, what we’re learning from the Governor’s Office in Massachusetts.  Every morning we get information.  And our leadership team is meeting and planning.  And, again, making sure that all this information is informing us.  It’s as science‑based as we can be.

Will there be a discount on tuition on room and board this fall?  The answer to that is no.  At least right now it is no.  Even though we are not 100% in person, our faculty and staff have been working really long hours in the spring and this fall, getting ready to make sure that the Springfield College experience is what you expect it to be. The student services are supporting that ‑‑ whether it be online support, the advising, counseling center ‑‑ all the programs are being provided.  And so at this point all fees will remain as is.

Can you talk a little bit about what the plan is as it relates to club sports?  The access to the wellness center?  Some of recreational activities on campus? Many of you may know that we reluctantly, last Friday, canceled our sports season for the fall semester.  And that was done in concert with the NEWMAC league.  We looked at everything available to us that was safe.  Really, our guiding light has been the safety and welfare of our students.  That doesn’t mean our sports teams and intramurals will stop.  We will be having strength and conditioning, there will be inter-squad competition.  They will be prepared to play in the spring, if all goes as planned.

There will be activities.  We have been working on the environment on campus.  Very similar to the world you are living in right now.  There will be 6‑feet separators.  We’ve been putting up barriers.  We will be asking students and faculty and staff to wear masks.  Putting up shields.  There will be social distancing that will be required.  Students will live on campus in residence halls.  We’ll talk about testing in a minute.  But in terms of the campus, you will find it similar to the environment you’re living in right now. 

A first-year student at New Student Orientation

Knowing the lively level of activity that is not only on our campus but the lives that our students have off campus as well, can you talk a little bit more about any restrictions that might be in place for students coming to and from campus?  Will they be allowed to go home on a weekend?  Can they leave campus to go to a job in the local community or at home?  How are we planning to control traffic in and out of campus? That’s probably the most difficult piece … about 93% of our students are on campus.  We are staggering the move onto campus …  We are going to do our very best to restrict guests from coming to campus.  All of this is really going to be up to the community.  We won’t know exactly who is a guest or a student during the first couple weeks … But we’ll restrict that and encourage students to stay here once they come here.  

We’ve changed the academic schedule.  We’ve moved it forward a week.  Students will be moving in a week earlier ‑‑ actually 10 to 14 days earlier than otherwise — and we’re going to have students be on campus.  They will be leaving the week of Thanksgiving.

What classes will be conducted face‑to‑face?  What classes will be held remotely?  How are we helping to prevent students from having a 100% online experience? We’re not preventing students from having a 100% online experience.  If there are students who want to have a 100% online experience, they need to talk with their academic adviser.  A number of students have said they want to stay home and take courses online.  That is not the majority.  The majority — I think we have about 622 incoming students — want an in‑person experience.  About a third of the courses will be online. 

What about testing?  I would point you to the website on the Massachusetts governor’s office … If you’re coming from a state that the governor has deemed to be unsafe, you’re going to need to present a negative test 72 hours in advance of coming to campus. We will be testing all students once they arrive on campus. 

Students check in for COVID-19 testing at the Health Center.

What about the dining hall?  We are working with our very new food service partner, Harvest Table.  And they have refigured — again, what you’re experiencing if you happen to go to restaurants, if your state allows in dining, there will be opportunities for the students to pick up food and carry out … You’ll see lot of tents we’ve put up and will be putting up.  Those spaces will be used for a variety of not only teaching and instruction, but also other activities like dining.  Students will be able to eat outside.

How are faculty and staff being prepared?  Faculty Senate and I have had lots of conversation as well as all faculty talking about what their classrooms are going to look like.  We’ve gone in and de‑densified the classrooms.  Again, putting up tents.  Making sure the classes are safe.  You can imagine our faculty has concerns as well.  Although I’m deeply concerned about our students.  But I also want our faculty to feel safe enough to return to campus and teach.  Again, those who have ADA compliance issues, we’ll be teaching you remotely.  Again, I’m optimistic.  I believe we’ll be able to get through this fall and get on the other side of it.  Again, depending on what happens with the virus and what we see in terms of spikes 

Do you have a threshold of number of cases before you will decide to close the campus? We don’t … There’s not a trigger or a number that tells us that it is unsafe to continue.  But we’ll know …  We hope we can make it to Thanksgiving.  If we do not, we’ll communicate it as quickly and effectively as we can to not only our students but also faculty and families.

What about the library?  How will we manage traffic flow in and out of the learning commons? That is going to be set up as well with a 6‑foot distance requirement.  Luckily, … it’s a very large space with lots of seating … A number of years ago when the learning commons wasn’t open, we opened up other spaces for students to gather and study in small groups.  We’ll need to take a look at that again to see if we can make some of those spaces available so students have adequate space to study, especially after hours.  We want to make sure they have a safe place to go to and is well lit. 

Will there be a fee for students to be [COVID-10] tested through the Broad Institute program? No.  We will be covering that … We’ve set aside funds from an endowment so students come back safely.  We’ve made a commitment to doing not only the testing but a great deal of equipment.  PPE.  Masks.  We will have masks on campus, so if a student is going into the learning commons or goes into a classroom and has forgotten their mask. 

Will the surveillance testing and the incoming student testing apply to students who are living off campus?  Graduate students who may be living on campus?  Commuter students? Yes.  We’ll be doing testing of commuter students as well.  They are an important part of our community.  They will be tested as well.

Part of the Springfield College experience, especially for new students, is meeting other students.  How will that happen in our new COVID environment?  What are the organized activities going to be like for new students during the beginning of the academic year? They’ll be very similar to the past.  Annie and her student leadership team, they do a wonderful job in making that experience with heightened activity, high touch — well, that’s going to now look a little different.  But it looks different in everything we do.  But I assure you even over the summer, Annie and her team have been working on it.

Those of you who were in orientation — the sessions with BINGO and things that can be done safely — we will be do our very best to make sure that a Humanics philosophy will be embedded in our students.  You understand the mission of Springfield College.  And we will get past this.  Understand that we are very aware cognizant of the risks involved and we’re doing everything we can to keep students safe. 

Additional information is available on our COVID-19 Information page at springfield.edu/covid.

An MBA or a MS with a concentration in Organizational Leadership? Here’s how to decide which one fits you. 

By Shannan Fields, Advertising and Research Manager

As you elevate in your career, you may wonder which degree will prepare you to become a leader in an organization. Perhaps you considered earning an MBA or a master’s in organizational leadership. Though they both assist students in acquiring the tools they need to lead and manage, there are distinct differences between the two. 

Master of Business Association (MBA)

The MBA at Springfield College is quantitative and prepares you for leadership and managerial roles within organizations. You delve into the functionality of an organization. While there is a class available on leadership, the courses are focused on the broad functions that can be applied to any business, like marketing, finance, law and ethics, and economics.

Organizational Leadership (Master of Science in Human Services)

Organizational Leadership (OL) is more qualitative and allows for a more exploratory view of leadership. You will reflect and evaluate your skills to create high performing organizations. Janine Spinola Taylor, EdD, assistant professor in the organizational leadership program, explains more:

“A Master of Science in human service with a concentration in organizational leadership provides an understanding of the many diverse aspects of leadership and how one can lead in an evolving business environment.  Yet, OL incorporates social justice and is interdisciplinary in its design. Therefore, it can serve students enrolled and/or who have an interest in business management, social work and education, advocacy, and human services, to name a few.”

Both programs apply theory and practice. The MBA allows you to apply your knowledge through internships at various organizations. Organizational leadership allows you to work with varied organizations to identify and address actual issues through a capstone research project. 

Plus, both programs can be completed within a year. 

An Olympic athlete, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, a paratrooper in the US army, an LGBTQ activist. Tom Waddell ’59 was many things, including the founder of the Gay Games.

By Jeffrey Monseau

Beneath the center photograph is a list of Waddell’s athletic records from between 1958 and 1959. After the original poster was created, additional information was taped into the upper left and right corners listing his accomplishments at the 1960 National Decathlon and the 1968 Olympics.

It would be difficult to find a better example of the Humanics philosophy.

A graduate of Springfield College, Class of 1959, Tom was one of the greatest athletes to ever grace Springfield College’s athletic fields. As Gymnastics coach Frank Wolcott said, “Springfield College’s Jim Thorpe of Athletics … scored more points in several Springfield Track and Field dual meets than the whole visiting track team. He caught the winning touchdown pass in the last football game that Springfield College played against U. Conn.” And that is in addition to his gymnastic skills!

After graduation, Waddell went on to place 6th in the Decathlon in the 1968 Olympics. But as with many Springfield College Alums, it is more than his post-collegiate athletic accomplishments that made him truly amazing. Waddel was a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, a paratrooper in the US army, a Sport and Olympic educator and a spokesperson, an LGBTQ+ activist (and beyond).

Following the sudden death of his best friend, Don Marshman, during their junior year, Waddell decided to pursue medicine. After graduation, he attended the New Jersey College of Medicine, Georgetown University, and Stanford University. While completing his studies, he traveled on a track and field tour of Africa sponsored by the US State Department, during which time he competed in the 1968 Olympics. Waddell established his private practice in San Francisco in 1974, shortly after which he began serving as medical director of the Whittaker Corporation and as a physician for the Saudi Arabian Olympic team. 

Tom Waddell next to the original Gay Olympic Games poster, showing Olympic covered due to the lawsuit over the name. Read more.

In 1982, Waddell founded the Gay Olympic Games based on the inspiration of participating in a gay bowling league. The Gay Games, as it is known now, was designed to shatter stereotypes and foster gay pride, but it was also designed to be inclusive to all, regardless of ability, sexual orientation, gender, race, physical ability, or anything else one can think of. A philosophy they maintain today! Started in 1982 and held every four years since, the Gay Games welcomes more than 8,000 athletes from 47 countries to compete in an inclusive environment. Can you hear it? In Spirit, Mind, and Body in service to others…

In 1985, Waddell was diagnosed with AIDS but he lived to see the enormous success of the second Gay Games in 1986 and to win the gold medal in the javelin event.

Waddell will be remembered for several contributions, but his work as an LGBTQ+ activist has been memorialized time and time again, including as one of the inaugural honorees in the Rainbow Honor Walk in San Francisco which honors LGBTQ+ people who have made contributions in their fields. Visitors to San Francisco can also find Dr. Tom Waddell Place, the same street that is home to the Tom Waddell Health Center. 

The Springfield College archives host a large collection of materials related to Waddell, many thanks to a donation by Jim Genasci and the late Jean Genasci, pioneers and activists in their own right. End of article

By Kris Rhim ’21, Student Trustee

As the Student Trustee, my role is to represent the student body, but I understand that I don’t speak for everyone. Instead of just hearing from me, I talked to students about the Black and people of color experience at Springfield College, what they want to see change, and their current feelings.

For many Black and Brown students, this is a conflicting time. Many of us have hosted events, programming, and conversations focused on diversity and inclusion on campus with little to no attendance or support. Now, we are being asked by our white peers what they can do to combat racism in America and at our campus. 

These questions are incredibly frustrating because we’ve been trying to tell you for so long.

Since I have been at Springfield, I’ve written articles for The Springfield Student about the Black Springfield College experience, held conversations around race and social justice through my club Men of Excellence, and created the Diversity and Inclusion task force for student-athletes.

Unfortunately, it took unjust killings of Black people and worldwide protests for the world, and most of our campus to begin to pay serious attention to the injustices Black people face in America. The college’s response so far, however, has been impressive. 

Two weeks ago, I hosted and moderated a campus conversation with President Cooper, which provided a space for students, professors, and staff to reflect and announced the school’s plan to have conversations focused on race. On Tuesday night, I hosted the first conversation, along with Student trustee elect Sabrina Williams. For two hours, students were honest and candid about their experience at Springfield with Trustees, the president, and her leadership team present.

While I am thankful for President Cooper and Vice President Calvin Hill for being eager and willing to listen and converse with students, because many other schools aren’t, we need to couple our conversations with action and tangible change. 

Racism is woven into America’s fabric, and Springfield College has a history of its own racial unrest. To truly live our mission statement, which emphasizes leadership and service to others, we must lead the way by becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable and making structural and institutional change. 

As the Student Trustee, my role is to represent the student body, but I understand that I don’t speak for everyone. Instead of just hearing from me, I talked to students about the Black and people of color experience at Springfield College, what they want to see change, and their current feelings. 

Here’s what they had to say:

Lena Morant ’21

Being Black at Springfield is exhausting. I feel like I have to change the way I talk and act, so people don’t ask questions that make me feel uncomfortable or think of me as a stereotypical Black woman. As one of the very few Black female athletes, I feel alone. I don’t have anyone to relate to; I don’t have anyone to share my experiences, frustrations, and worries with. It is upsetting to see that after years of these incidents occurring now, white people are beginning to care. I hope that understanding racism and caring about black lives is not a trend, and people take action and promote change. One thing I want to see from the school is an effort to diversify from the top down. If there are more Black coaches, administrators, and professors, it will attract more Black students and students of color — representation matters. 

Dereck Webb ’21 

Being a Black man on campus is very stressful and unwelcoming. Teachers are always asking you questions about issues going on, and you have to represent an entire race. With public safety, we worry about getting asked if we even go to Springfield when we’re walking to the gym late at night, or when we’re playing basketball and public safety walks-in and asks us for IDs, but not our white peers. I think the two biggest changes I want to see are more faculty of color and better relationships with public safety. I would love to have a connection with and trust them where we don’t have to tense up when we walk past them. 

Marcel Diaz ’20, G’21

Being a person of color, I’ve witnessed how students of color do not get the same support as their white counterparts. A lot of the time, we have to work harder and excel drastically more than our peers just to get that recognition, and it feels as if we are not valued. There are very few spaces where we can go on campus and feel welcomed and can call home. The one place that some of us do call home is the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the office never gets the same recognition as others on campus. There is no reason why the Office of Multicultural Affairs should not be included in tours. It’s a space where students of color can feel valued, welcomed, and know that we matter, but not all students know about that space because it’s not promoted on campus. 

Sabrina Williams ’22

The most frustrating thing about this entire situation is the fact that it takes these brutal publicized murders for people to see it and get it finally. Why does it take brutal murders and protests for people to start listening? Before these situations, I’ve never had a person come up to me and say, “I see you. I hear you. How can I help?” My question is, are you going to hear me next month or next year when all of this dies down?

Kevaughn Hayle ’21

Being Black and not an athlete is one of loneliest feelings. I feel excluded and not like a regular person. I hope we can be more inclusive for our Black students in the future.

Jasmine Hastings ’21

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been treated differently in the classroom setting because I was the only one of my race in the classroom. Teachers have questioned my abilities or intelligence, and that always made me feel uncomfortable going into these classrooms. We’d be in a lab, for example, and I’d be the only one left without a partner, and I’m also the only Black person in the classroom. That is a lonely feeling. Staff and faculty should be more sensitive and empathetic to all the students, especially if they realize students are outnumbered, or lack of Black people or people of color in the classroom.

Kendall Baldwin ’21

Being a person of color on this campus is already challenging, and it’s even more challenging being an athlete as a person of color. There are few people of color on the athletic staff, and not seeing a person that looks like you can be very frustrating for me. As a Springfield native, people will often ask me, “Why would you pick that school if you don’t have any Black coaches?” or “They don’t play Black kids and don’t even recruit kids from their city.” Seeing more representation in the coaching staff can make a big difference.

Nia Greenidge ’22

I want the campus to stop saying we have the nicest people, that we are here for each other, accept everyone, and actually do it. We need to start being true to our words with our actions instead of just saying things. I hate the way people look at me; people are surprised that I’m smart. People see the differences, but they don’t accept and help us. There have been times where I see racial slurs written on people’s whiteboards on their doors. And when something, like George Floyd’s death, happens, everyone hops on the bandwagon as we see, but then it gets swept under the rug when it’s not a trend.

AJ Smith ’21

Being a Black student-athlete has its challenges. Throughout my four years here within the football team, we have not had any coaches of color. The lack of diversity is evident not only on the football team but throughout the entire campus with professors, coaches, and administrators. And the fight for equality for people of color has always been a significant issue; it shouldn’t take another senseless death for people to realize the injustices against people of color finally.

Ege Koehn ’21

My experience has been decent at Springfield; what could’ve made it better is less ignorance and more understanding from some of my peers. Little things like saying, “Springfield isn’t safe to run in at night,” “or we go to school in the ghetto,” frustrated me. I wish there were more accountability for certain actions. I can only hope for more people that look like me on campus. But more importantly, I want to be taught by those who look more like me. 

Springfield College clubs, organizations, and offices that are focused on diversity and inclusion on the campus

Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement

The Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement promotes and maintains a campus culture of inclusive excellence while simultaneously providing the community with a central point of contact for those wishing to explore ways they can connect with and support the College’s outreach efforts. Connect with the Division on Facebook and Instagram

Office of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs focuses on initiatives, implements, and supports comprehensive educational, cultural and social programming, as well as critical service-learning opportunities and advocacy. The Office seeks to empower and support students while focusing on enhancing the retention and persistence of the students involved. Follow the Office on Instagram.

Student Society for Bridging Diversity

A student-run club focused on family, diversity, and legacy. Follow SSBD on Instagram to learn about their initiatives and events. 

Men of Excellence Club

A student-run group open to all that aspires to empower college-age men through leadership skills, pride, and humility. Follow the club on social media to learn more about their initiatives and hosted events. 

Counseling Center

It’s a confusing time in our world for a number of reasons. Focusing on bettering yourself and sharing your story is a great place to start. The Springfield College Counseling Center offers free, professional, and confidential counseling services to undergraduate and graduate students. The Center also has a webpage of resources for students.

Keep the conversation going by emailing sclistens@springfield.eduEnd of article