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EASTERN Magazine

Winter 2021, Issue 34

magazine issue 34 cover imageRead about the passing of two venerable Eastern centenarians; hear from alumni who've been teaching throughout the pandemic; remember Eastern's first African American professor; meet some of Eastern's student entrepreneurs; 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


The cover of this issue of EASTERN Magazine is a beautiful winter scene intended to inspire peaceful reflection for our readers. Winter is typically a time when each of us finds quiet moments to think about the New Year and what lies in the months ahead. At Eastern, we hope 2021 brings much needed relief from COVID-19 and the promise of new beginnings for our entire extended family.

Teacher disinfecting Alumni Teach with Caring and Dedication During Pandemic


Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, more than three million schoolteachers across the nation pivoted to online learning in the spring of 2020 and then returned to classes in the fall to teach in person. Several alumni told EASTERN Magazine of their teaching experiences.

Webb portrait'A Marvelously Rewarding Life'

Charles Webb was preparing to settle back into his career as a history professor in California when he received a call that would forever change his life and the trajectory of what is now Eastern Connecticut State University... Serving as Eastern's fourth president from 1970-88, Webb passed away peacefully in his sleep this past October days after his 101st birthday, but his legacy lives on.



Matches Made at Eastern


From an off-campus party to a class trip to Washington D.C., read about the love stories that began at Eastern for four alumni: Tasheenah (Brown) ’12 and Jordan Kallenbach ’13 and Christina (Martinez) ’04 and Kevin Brown ’04.



Happy Together While Apart


“Happy Together,” The Turtle’s classic 1967 hit, opened a slide show of yearbook memories for 20 members of the Eastern Connecticut State College Class of 1970, who celebrated virtually their 50th Jubilee Reunion on Nov. 20.



Back in the Day


On a warm summer morning in September 1966, approximately 150 people gathered on the lawn outside of Shafer Hall for the first day of freshman orientation. June Roma '70 and Beverly Sanford '70 found themselves next to each other in a long line heading into Shafer Auditorium, and they introduced themselves. They've been best friends ever since.

Burstermann observingA Pioneer and a Standard Bearer


With a handkerchief in hand, Juliette Burstermann cut a striking figure in front of the classroom. Tall and exacting, she expected a lot of her students... Read about Burstermann's groundbreaking career, Eastern's--and New England's--first African American professor. 

Virtual music class The Beat Goes On


No industry has adapted to COVID-19 quite like the performing arts. With venues shuttered and musicians quarantined, an experience once universally live and in-person now streams virtually to a dispersed audience. As Eastern's Music Program has demonstrated, the new performance “space” has tested the character of musicians and come with developments that will leave the industry changed forever.

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Class Notes and In Memoriam

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CommunicationsCommunication Alumni Tell It Like It Is


In the age of social media and 'fake news,' the need for competent and ethical professionals in the public relations and advertising fields has never been greater.  A number of alumni in the mass communications field are using their Eastern education to keep the public informed of daily life in America while also promoting their clients’ goods and services in the marketplace.



A Legacy of Peace


The Eastern community lost one of its most ardent supporters on Jan. 8, when professor emeritus Charles Prewitt passed away at the age of 102. A member of the faculty for more than 60 years and one of the University’s most loyal donors, Prewitt’s long life was defined by his commitment to peace and human rights and the love for his wife, Virginia.



Athletics Recap


Men's soccer wins Team Pinnacle Award two years in a row; Men's and women's cross country win Little East Conference's 2020 Virtual Cross-Country Invitational; Men's golf wins LEC's virtual golf invitational after 38-year hiatus; Director of Athletics Lori Runksmeier assumes national role; and more.



Dziubas Make Major Gift to EES


Shortly after Eastern launched the Founders of Environmental Earth Science (EES) Endowed Fund to assist EES majors, Jim Dziuba ’79 made a generous four-year commitment to the new fund. He has continued to support the fund, and over the past two and a half years has become its top donor.

Willi the Warrior with cups It's Personal and It's Business


Facebook, Dell, Google, Dropbox and Reddit were all started by college students in their dorm rooms. College students have also formed their own businesses in fields ranging from gyms to coffee shops, custom cookies, jewelry, glow-in-the-dark bicycles and landscaping companies. Eastern is home to many students who are channeling their talents and entrepreneurial initiative to create and operate their own businesses.

Student volunteersLending A Socially Distanced Helping Hand


The global pandemic has decimated many industries, including the nonprofit and social services sectors that provide essential support to local communities. In today’s socially distanced world, how do traditional service-based institutions continue to lend a helping hand? The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) tackled this dilemma last fall by creating new ways to meet the needs of the Windham community.

Final Thoughts with VP Ken DeLisa Ken DeLisa


As I hope you have seen in this issue of EASTERN Magazine, the University community has responded to the global pandemic over the past year with ingenuity, grit and tenacity — traits Eastern has often demonstrated over the decades. It has been heartwarming to see the determination and perseverance demonstrated by students, faculty, staff and alumni in responding to a world crisis not seen before in our lifetimes.