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Centennial Update January/February 2003

Birthday celebration to include companies

Clearly, WestConn’s 100th birthday is cause for a big party. On Monday, March 3, WestConn officially will celebrate its birthday with a citywide celebration.

This event will honor the many organizations that employ WestConn alumni. The event’s success lies in the strength of the tremendous Danbury-WestConn “town-gown” relationship.

With the help of the Danbury Chamber of Commerce, WestConn sent a letter to area organizations encouraging them to participate in this program. These organizations will receive a birthday cake and commemorative Centennial pins for the celebration. In addition, many organizations have chosen to present Herb Janick’s book, “A People’s University: The Centennial History of Western Connecticut State University,” as a token of appreciation to their employees.

WestConn, which employs almost 300 alumni, will celebrate with its own cake at noon. Employees, students and emeriti are welcome to join the festivities.

Centennial Gala slated for May

The Inn at Ethan Allen, in Danbury, once again will host one of WestConn’s finer events, the Centennial Ball, on Saturday, May 3. This year’s event theme is “Celebrating Our Past, Imagining Our Future.” The event will feature a silent auction, dinner and entertainment provided by “Higher and Higher.”

The black-tie event raises funds annually for the university. Tickets for the event are $200 per person and can be purchased by calling Junis Nicholson in the Office of Institutional Advancement at (203) 837-8279.

ECSU to WCSU on a bicycle

Are you looking for a physical challenge this year? Then bicycle 100 miles across Connecticut to help celebrate WestConn’s 100th anniversary!

WestConn faculty members Richard Jones and Darla Shaw have organized the WestConn Centennial Century Bike Ride for Sunday, May 4.

Starting at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, the 100-mile ride will wind through picturesque towns in Connecticut and end on the WestConn Midtown campus. Participants can spend the night on the ECSU campus before the 7 a.m. Sunday start. Team participation is encouraged. Shorter race routes also are planned.

Committee members have set-up an e-mail address for feedback, ideas and questions concerning the event. Interested cyclists can e-mail Richard Jones or Darla Shaw at You can also log on to Formal registration begins on Saturday, March 1.

Janick’s book sales increase

In circulation for only four months, Herb Janick’s book, “A People’s University: The Centennial History of Western Connecticut State University,” continues to be a popular seller in our bookstore. Close to 200 copies were sold for the March 3 birthday celebration, which brings the total to 500 copies since its debut on September 14.

Get your copy at the WestConn Bookstore or log on to

Registration opens for April 5K event

Registration begins this month for the Centennial Campus-to-Campus 5K road race scheduled for Sunday, April 27.

The event is open to all runners and fitness walkers for a fee of $15 (pre-registration deadline April 18, $18 after the deadline). WestConn students can participate for free. Only pre-registered participants will receive a commemorative race T-shirt and goodie bag. Fitness walkers are encouraged to participate with their families. Strollers are welcome.

The 3.1-mile course from the Westside campus to the Midtown campus will feature live music and water stations. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: overall male/female, top WestConn employee male/female, top WestConn alumni male/female, top WestConn student male/female, top corporate team (4 members), 65+ male/female and “most creative use of WestConn colors” (1 winner).

Volunteers are needed to help with the finish line, and shuttle bus coordination and to serve as course marshals.

Registration forms are available in the Student Center, O’Neill Center and Office of Public Relations/Centennial Office in Old Main. Proceeds will benefit wellness programs for students. To volunteer or register, call Mary Figueroa in the Office of Public Relations/Centennial Office at (203) 837-8832 or log on to

Spotlight on a Centennial Committee member

Mary V. Figueroa, Assistant to the Director, Public Relations

Hired for Centennial-related activities, what impresses you most about WestConn?
Honestly, the people! I was hired to help recruit and “rally the troops” for Centennial activities, and no one has said “no.” The committees have worked very hard all year, employees call to volunteer for Centennial activities, and attendance at all the events has been tremendous. It’s obvious the university has employees who care.

What have you learned about the university?
It is a vital force in the community. As we plan for the March 3 Birthday Celebration, I’m impressed by the number of graduates who have stayed in the Greater Danbury community to pursue their careers. I’m also impressed with the community involvement in everyday campus life. I’ve spoken to the Jaycees, Lions and Rotary clubs, who all take an interest in the university because they themselves, or someone they know, have been students here.

The Centennial events officially will end in July. What do you hope will continue?
The enthusiasm and excitement this past year has brought to the campus and community. I hope the alumni will continue to come back and see the new changes at the university. I hope the community groups support our campus facilities for their activities, and I hope people will appreciate what a special time it was in their own lives to have been part of the university’s Centennial celebration.

Don’t miss these upcoming events!

The Kick-Off Celebration on Sept. 14 was just the start of a yearlong calendar of events to commemorate the Centennial.

March 3
Citywide Birthday Celebration

April 27
Campus-to-Campus 5K

May 3
Centennial Ball

May 4
Centennial Century Bike Ride

For more information, call the Office of Public Relations/Centennial Office at (203) 837-8486.

Centennial Steering Committee Members

General Chair Committee Members
James R. Roach
G. Koryoe Anim-Wright
Henry Tritter
Mark Boughton
Anthony Caraluzzi
Edward Farrington
Isabelle Farrington
Mary V. Figueroa
Carol Hawkes
John Leopold
Caroline Norelius
Ronald Pugliese
Wayne Shepperd
Theresa Canada
Theresa Eberhard
Gene Eriquez
Shirley C. Ferris
Richard Gerber
Herbert Janick
Helen Masterson
James Pegolotti
Bernard Reidy
Richard Sullivan

For more information, call the Office of Public Relations at (203) 837-8486

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