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EASTERN Magazine

Summer 2020, Issue 33

magazine issue 33 cover imageRead about the alumni who are serving on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19; see how Eastern students and personnel adapted to the virtual world brought on by the pandemic; learn about alumni who are finding success in the non-profit sector; meet some of Eastern's 'faculty of the future'; and much more. To experience EASTERN in its entirety, click on the magazine cover at the bottom of this page and have a digital look at the print version.

President NunezPresident's Message


I write to our alumni and friends at a unique time in human history. While the immediate future is full of uncertainty, I can share with you how Eastern has been meeting the challenge of COVID-19. I could not be prouder of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of our Eastern community during this pandemic.

Thank you, first responders Unsung Heroes on the COVID-19 Front Lines


As we watch people across America struggle with the tragic effects of COVID-19, the bravery of countless doctors, nurses, researchers and other people working on the front lines of this battle have offered us hope and inspiration as they work tirelessly and selflessly to save lives. Among these unsung heroes are many Eastern alumni, who, at great personal risk, are working to protect their communities.

Virtual meeting Eastern Adapts to Pandemic with Virtual Semester


Eastern responded to the looming threat of COVID-19 on March 17 by announcing students would be learning remotely for the balance of the semester and employees would be working from home. As a liberal arts university that thrives on face-to-face interaction between faculty and students, Eastern suddenly found itself in uncharted territory.

virtual commencement1,200 Graduate in Virtual Commencement Ceremony


More than 1,250 undergraduate and graduate students watched from home as Eastern Connecticut State University conducted its 130th annual Commencement Exercises via YouTube on May 19. Commencement speaker Mark Boxer of Cigna joined President Elsa Núñez and other university officials on the same day the University had originally planned to hold its graduation ceremony at Hartford’s XL Center.


First Class of Dreamers Graduates


Four years ago, Eastern was one of only two universities nationwide selected to pilot a groundbreaking scholarship program in support of undocumented college students. In partnership with TheDream.US, Eastern enrolled its first cohort of “Dreamers.” Of the 47 students who started in fall 2016, 43 graduated this past May.

CCE Makes 1,800 Masks in Pandemic Relief Effort


Looking for ways to help during the onset of the pandemic, a team of volunteer “seamstresses” from Eastern collaborated to produce face masks for organizations facing PPE shortages on the front lines of the health care crisis.


2 Seniors Win Henry Barnard Awards


Eastern students Stefanos Stravoravdis '20 and Evelyn Lemus Silva '20 were recipients of the 2020 Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, the premier academic recognition program of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU).

Nonprofit sectorA Priceless Career: Alumni Put Their Values to Work in the Non-Profit Sector


Professionals with liberal arts degrees hold any number of roles and occupations, sometimes unexpected and unrelated to the pursuits of their college years. Whether they were called early on or found their way later in their careers, many Eastern graduates now fight for a range of causes by working in the non-profit sector.

Young facultyFaculty of the Future


Eastern is fortunate to have many junior faculty who bring passion and innovation to their classrooms. We asked six of them about their thoughts on working at Eastern.


Matches Made at Eastern


Read about two love stories that began at Eastern for four alumni — Eric ’08 and Sarah (Barber) ’08 Grundfast and Kevin ’10 and Casey (Mugavero) ’10 Harris.

Back in the Day

Back in the Day


Join alumni Bunny (Nowakowski) Lescoe '64 and Deborah (Delamater) McCrackan '78 as they remember their days on campus, from a broken foot and scrambles up the hill to make curfew, to being an introvert and finding refuge in the library.

Back in the Day

Catching Up with Greg DeVeau


Greg DeVeau ’87 has made his career in Kansas City, now working as a senior vice president for Swiss Re. He shared with us his life in Kansas, thoughts on his career in reinsurance, and the long-lasting impact of his time at Eastern.

Willi the Warrior with cups Eastern Dominates LEC On and Off the Field


Despite a spring athletics season cut short by COVID-19, the Warriors continued their dominance in the Little East Conference (LEC) this past 2019-20 academic year. Student-athletes won the LEC’s Presidents’ Cup for top academic performance, the Commissioner’s Cup for top overall athletic performance and captured seven of 19 Team Academic Awards.

decorative edge

Class Notes and In Memoriam

decorative edge
Back in the Day

Eastern and the Colvins: A Family Affair


Larry Colvin ’64 and Carol Weber ’65 dated while undergraduates at Eastern and married in 1966 in Rockville, CT. The connection their families have with Eastern started three decades prior and has continued for six decades since their graduation.

Back in the Day

Athletes Receive University and National Honors


Among last year's student-athlete success stories are track-and-field runner Rahman Oteng, soccer player Justin Jensen and track/cross country runner Samantha McKosky, whose accolades extend from University honors to All-America recognition.

Back in the Day

New Coaches to Lead Women's Lacrosse and Men's Golf


Eastern Athletics welcomes two new head coaches to lead the women's lacrosse team and men's golf team--Dee Stephan and Chris Wojick '11.

Retirees 86 Years of Service to Eastern


Three highly respected Eastern professors representing 86 years of service to the University are retiring this year. Without the opportunity to say farewell during on-campus receptions, we share their adieus with our extended campus community.

Final Thoughts with VP Ken DeLisa Ken DeLisa


The past few months have truly demonstrated the resilience and strength of the Eastern community. In March our faculty stepped up to adjust their teaching to an entirely online modality, readying 1,500 courses for their students in one week. Our students moved home without complaint and attended online classes for the balance of the spring semester. We held a safe, yet moving Commencement on May 19, with thousands of graduates and their families attending from the safety of their homes.