State Legislators Speak with Eastern Community

Legislators

State Sen. Dan Champagne, SGA President Francesco Ricigliano, State Rep. Doug Dubitsky, President Nunez, State Rep. Susan Johnson, Leigh Appleby, CSCU communication director, and Alexandra Beaudoin, CSCU government relations director

State Sen. Dan Champagne ’94, State Rep. Susan Johnson ’77 and State Rep. Doug Dubitsky took time from their busy schedules to visit Eastern Connecticut State University on April 23 for a breakfast in the Art Gallery of the Fine Arts Instructional Center. Eastern President Elsa Núñez thanked the legislators for their support and pointed to the fine arts center, as well as other new or remodeled facilities, as examples of how legislators have helped create a positive environment for Eastern students. She also indicated that Eastern’s academic reputation continues to improve—citing U.S. News and World Report rankings—and said the institution’s retention rate of 80 percent was at an all-time high.

Dubitsky said he was amazed at the growth that has occurred at Eastern, while State Sen. Champagne said he and his wife, a 1990 graduate, were forever grateful for the education they had received at Eastern. 

Alumnus Shawn Meaike ’95 was also on hand to greet the legislators. Meaike is founder of Family First Life, a national financial services company headquartered in Connecticut with more than $200 million in sales. He said “Eastern changed my life” and indicated he hires a fair share of Eastern graduates because he trusts what they have learned. “I am proud to say that my daughter will be attending Eastern this coming fall!” Meaike has also endowed the Family First Life Endowed Scholarship to support students with financial need from New London County.

SGA President Francesco Ricigliano thanked Provost William Salka, former professor of political science, and his colleagues for “challenging me academically,” especially in learning to write professionally. Ricigliano said Eastern’s faculty and staff were very supportive of students: “Because of them, Eastern feels like home!”