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EASTERN Magazine

Fall 2021, Issue 35

magazine issue 35 cover imageRead about a pioneering Eastern partnership that blends social work with police work; uncover the mysteries and memories of Burr Hall; learn about a legendary dean's correspondence with WWII soldiers; remember the beloved Betty R. Tipton; read about four couples whose love stories began at Eastern; and 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 NunezFrom the President's Desk


Brighter days ahead! The words on the cover of this issue of EASTERN Magazine are inspired by our students, excited by the prospects of being back on campus this fall. Their exuberance reflects our hopes for new beginnings as we begin our 133rd fall semester at Eastern. 



Commencement Returns to Campus


On May 15 and May 16, Eastern returned to its Willimantic campus for the first time in 13 years to hold graduation exercises. Held for the first time on campus since 2009, the University's 131st Commencement was held outdoors due to COVID restrictions.



Easten Celebrates! Virtually


Eastern glowed on desktops, laptops and mobile devices across the country on May 14 and 15 as the Office of Alumni Affairs presented a virtual version of Eastern Celebrates!, connecting alumni with some of the very best that Eastern has to offer.



Campus Briefs


The National Science Foundation awards Eastern $650,000 for Success Scholars program; Eastern reaffirms commitment to climate; 3 faculty receive Board of Regents awards; Gomez-Stafford and Beazoglou named Barnard Scholars; and more.

Burstermann observingAn Experiment in Police Social Work


In a time when law enforcement faces heightened scrutiny, the Social Work Program partnered with the Willimantic Police Department on a groundbreaking internship that embedded social work students into the department’s police work.



Innovation During COVID


BIS students create vaccine scheduling website; Data analytics institute tracks COVID-19 data; Minority Health Conference looks at COVID-19 disparities; Students close spring 2021 with virtual show(s) of research; Theatre program bounces back with 3 adaptations; and more.



Spring Athletics Recap


Softball defends Little East Conference (LEC) title; men's golf wins inaugural LEC golf championship; men's track and field wins LEC title; baseball sets LEC win record; five student athletes named All-Americans; and more.



Gifts and Grants


Eastern receives generous estate gift; Nellie Mae grant designated for scholarships; Eastern receives National Endowment for the Arts 'Big Read' grant.

Burr Hall A Treasure Chest of Mystery and Memories 


Eastern’s oldest building, Burr Hall will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. But it's not just its seniority that makes the longstanding residence hall such an iconic edifice on campus. It has many stories to tell!

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Class Notes and In Memoriam

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Tipton A Champion of All


Over the decades, faculty and staff members at Eastern have impacted students’ lives well beyond their coursework, teaching self-esteem, motivation, life skills and service to others. Few individuals have had more impact on the Eastern community than Betty R. Tipton.



The Helena Miller Collection


During World War II, a number of students attending what was then the Willimantic State Teachers College (WSTC) left campus to join the Armed Forces. While the students were away at war, professor Helena Miller decided to do something to help bring smiles to the students who were now soldiers.



Matches Made at Eastern


Read about the origin stories of alumni couples Robert '69 and Antoinette '70 Brzozowski, Paul and Gloria (Petrucelli) Drouin ‘71, and Garrett and Kristina (Riccio) Dukette ’07.



Final Thoughts


Vice President Ken DeLisa reflects on the impact of COVID during the 2020-21 academic year, the joy experienced this past May during the Commencement Excercies, and the enduring value of an Eastern liberal arts eduction.