Westfield State plans to resume its traditional, on-campus schedule for fall 2020. Given the ongoing uncertainties related to COVID-19, we believe it is also prudent to develop contingency plans. Updates will be communicated as they become available.×
1. Originally opened: September 4, 1839
2. Town where the University began: Barre, Massachusetts
3. Barre's population in 1839: 2,700
4. Barre's recent population: 5,113
5. Westfield State alumni currently living in Barre: 18
6. Chief industry in Barre in 1839: manufacture of palm leaf hats
7. Name of the University when it opened: the Normal School at Barre
8. Why it was called a Normal School?: "The adjective normal is derived from the Latin word normal, which signifies a carpenter's square, a rule, a pattern or model' [teachers'] schools are called normal, because they have connected with them a model school in which pupils apply theory to practice."
9. Students enrolled in 1839: 12 women and 8 men
10. Author of the Ode sung by the choir at the 1839 opening exercises: B.F. Thomas, Esquire, of Worcester, Mass.
11. What were the head leaders of the Normal Schools called?:Principals
12. Who was the only Reverend to become a principal?: Rev. Emerson Davis (1798-1866)
13. Who was the first principal to die and not come back to work?: Dr. Samuel P. Newman, the first principal 1839-1841
14. Who took the train to Boston to influence the legislature to vote yes to move the school to Westfield in 1844?: Attorney William Gelston Bates
15. Year the college moved to Westfield: 1844
16. What were the three manufactured items that made the city of Westfield prosper and were influential in the school being moved to Westfield in 1844?: cigars, whips and bricks
17. What a Westfield student, circa 1866, might expect for supper at a boardinghouse: hard clammy, tough rye griddlecakes fried in lard and eaten with molasses and raw pumpkin pie
18. What was the cost to attend school during 1868-70?: five hundred dollars for tuition, books, room and food
19. What was in the basement of the first boarding hall built in 1873-74?: a stream
20. Years that John W. Dickinson was principal at the Normal School: 21 (1856- 1877)
21. Who was the second principal to die and not return to campus?: Joseph Gould Scott (1877-1887) contracted pneumonia which caused his death
22. How did some students arrive at the old school on Court Street?: By trolley
23. Amount of money allocated by the state legislature for the college's 50th anniversary: $250
24. No males were enrolled from 1898 to 1902
25. Year that Normal Schools became State Teachers Colleges: 1932
26. During the 1930s and '40s when the college didn't have enough money for heat, students and faculty kept their overcoats on in class in the wintertime
27. The college used to have classes on how to teach in a one-room schoolhouse, typical first job for many graduates
28. The mysterious 1940 shooting of Louis B. Allyn, a chemistry professor and pure food expert for McClure's magazines, is the only unsolved murder in the history of the city of Westfield
29. In the late '40s, a student that took flying lessons at Barnes Airport was romanced by her instructor by him buzzing the campus maypole dances in his Piper Cub. They did marry.
30. In the traditional campus hoop rolling game, the girl whose hoop reached the bottom first would be the first to marry.
31. An early college initiation required freshmen to wear a costume that included goggles, a bathing cap, mismatched shoes and a sign.
32. Playing basketball in the old gym in the original Westfield State building downtown provided a special challenge. If you wanted to shoot a basket from past the key, you had to shoot over a big beam that went across the gym.
33. What president was known world- wide for his work investigating parasitic copepods found in common fish?: Dr. Charles B. Wilson
34. What governor on August 10, 1951 recommended the bond issue for building a new State Teachers College at Westfield?: Governor Paul A. Dever.
35. Date the current campus was dedicated: December 13, 1956
36. The old school building on Court Street was turned over to the city of Westfield as a Municipal Building when the new Western Avenue school was built in what year: 1956
37. Small pox victims (1842-1881) were once buried on land near the current apartment complexes: Welch, Conlin, Seymour and also Dickinson Hall.
38. Juniper Park Elementary School was once a park named Juniper Park in 1934.
39. Year the Teachers College became Westfield State College: 1959
40. Year that Westfield State College became Westfield State University: 2010
41. Principals and presidents of the college since 1839: 19
42. First woman selected as president: Vicky L. Carwein in 2004
43. Michael Flynn, Class of 1997, Mass State Teacher of the Year, 2007
44. Paula C. Meara, Class of 1975 first woman chief of police in a major New England city (Springfield, Mass.)
45. Tammy Kaleta, a Class of 2002 criminal justice major was the first woman firefighter in Southampton.
46. Mass. Biologist Nettie Marie Stevens, Class of 1883, proved that X and Y chromosomes were responsible for determining the sex of individuals- one of the 20th century's major scientific breakthroughs.
47. Don DelNegro, Class of 1984, Athletic Trainer, Boston Bruins, 2011 Stanley Cup Winners
48. Peter Laviolette, Class of 1996, coach, Olympic hockey and Philadelphia Flyers, winners of the Stanley Cup, 2006
49. Christine Zajac, Class of 1973, is the fifth-grade teacher on whose experiences Tracy Kidder's best-selling book Among Schoolchildren is based
50. The nation's first Cuban-American federal judge: Eduardo Robreno, Class of 1967
51. Alumni: 37,000
52. Alumni living in Massachusetts: 75%
53. Westfield State employees who are alumni: 81
54. Authors of college alma mater: M. Ruth Reavey, Class of 1935, and Louise Hagan Lane, Class of 1933
55. The Westfield State Alumni travel program has visited 3 countries with over 150 participants.
56. The alumni office has grown the email data base from the original 4,000 alums to over 15,000 in the past 4 years.
57. The on-line alumni store opened in fall, 2009 with hoodie sweatshirts as the first item on sale.
58. Color of squirrels on campus: black
59. Origin of Westfield's black squirrels: Michigan
60. Animals that frequent the campus: black squirrels, red-tailed hawks, fox, grey squirrels, skunks, bats and bears
61. Dinosaur who made the footprints fossilized in the rock in Scanlon Grove: ancahisauropus coelophysis
62. Performances by the Westfield State College Chorale at Carnegie Hall: 8
63. Solo by a Westfield State College music student at Carnegie Hall: 1 (June 8, 2003)
64. First musical performed at Westfield State: South Pacific
65. Westfield State became part of the downtown when the Downtown Art Gallery opened in 2008 and Lansdowne Place opened in 2011, housing over 200 students
66. Dever Stage hosted 473 performances to audiences exceeding 69,581 from 2008-2013
67. Dr. Robert L. Randolph, president of Westfield State College from 1973-1978, was the first African-American to head a four-year college in New England.
68. The Warner Brother movie The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese featured Westfield State paraphernalia.
69. What famous African American leader utilized the normal schools as a place of instruction for the most promising pupils at Tuskegee Institute: Booker T. Washington
70. What year was there a tremendous influx of African American students attending the Normal School?: 1873
71. Residence halls named after former principals and presidents: 3
72. The Woodward Center is named after former president Frederick Woodward
73. The Interfaith Center pipe organ, built by the Wicks Organ Company of Highland, Illinois, has 2 manuals, and 3 1/2 ranks of pipes
74. Name of former campus pub: Owl's Nest
75. Campus hub which replaced the campus pub: the Wellness Center fitness facility
76. Number of members of the Wellness Center in 2012: 3,500
77. Fortune 500 company Stanhome, Inc. donates massive globe sculpture to University: 1993
78. College purchases Stanhome, Inc. headquarters: 1999
79. Day the Globe was moved to the center of the green: August 18, 2008
80. A new 400 bed residence hall is scheduled to open in fall 2013, the start of our 175th year.
81. When were 182 solar panels installed on Bates Hall and 352 on Wilson Hall?: September 2011
82. Year of the first Global Women's History Project conference on campus: 1999
83. Where first conference representatives came from: Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Israel, and Palestine
84. Undergraduate student enrollment, 2011-2012: 5400
85. Graduate student enrollment, 2011-2012: 700
86. 88% of our full time faculty have doctorates or the highest equivalent degrees in their field
87. Professors who have been a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire: one
88. Professors who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa: one
89. Professors who have been on Jeopardy: one
90. Most famous actor ever to show up at Homecoming 1995: Alec Baldwin
91. Famous rock star who participated in the college's 2002 annual golf tournament: Jon Wysocki from 'Staind'
92. Arlo Guthrie sang and told stories on campus in 2008
93. Dr. Ruth Westheimer has spoken on campus twice, in 2008 and 2011.
94. The Simpson's producer Mike Scully was the commencement speaker in 2008 at the 169th Commencement.
95. The day Governor Duval Patrick spoke to an overflow crowd in the Woodward Center: Feb. 27, 2008
96. First Diversity Day with students, faculty and staff: Nov. 13, 2002
97. 2013 celebrated the 30th graduating class of the only undergraduate degree in regional planning at a public institution in New England.
98. 40 pounds of bacon are served at President Evan Dobelle's midnight pancakes breakfasts.
99. How many residents of Westfield were housed, feed and taken care of at WSU during the aftermath of the freak October 2011 snow storm that knocked out power for over a week to the city?: over 400
100. Dunkin Donuts was brought to campus: 2008
101. Student's favorite Dunkin Donut 2013: glazed
102. Student's favorite coffee 2013: Medium iced caramel swirl
103. Westfield State University owns several small islands in the Westfield River
104. Rivers surrounding the college: the Westfield River and Little River
105. Westfield State owns land that was once Tekoa Country Club: Holes 1, 2, 8, & 9
106. The Adirondack chairs arrived on campus in 2008
107. A National Science Foundation grant of $500,000 was awarded to the Mathematics Department in 2012. It is the largest grant in Westfield State history.
108. Closest mountain: Mount Tekoa
109. Name of the school mascot: Nestor (the owl)
110. Year Commencement was moved from the campus green to the Springfield Mass. Mutual Center: 2012
111. Year vending machines arrived on campus offering condoms, soap, shampoo and underwear: 2013
112. The Communication Department has placed interns with MTV, ABC's 20/20, CNN, and The Late Show with David Letterman.
113. Westfield State items exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., for the nation's Bicentennial: two college catalogues from 1876, a map of Massachusetts educational centers, and a print of the college classroom building
114. Among the top 40 public institutions in the North, US News & World Report, 2013
115. First student-run publication at the college: The Normal Casket
116. Year The Normal Casket first appeared in print: 1852
117. Past Westfield State student newspapers: The Normal Exponent, The Commentator, Westek, The Owl
118. Underground student newspapers in Westfield State's past: Scorpion, The Brown Shovel, Armegeddon, Truth, Dirt, Genesis, and Lilith Lives
119. Best education value in Massachusetts, public or private,when measuring quality and success of programs relative to costs of higher education (MassINC, 2010)
120. One of two largest employers in the city of Westfield
121. Among the top 15% of military-friendly schools, GI Jobs Magazine, 2012 and Top Military Friendly College, Advanced Military Education Magazine, 2013
122. Watts of the student-run radio station, WSKB: 100 non-commercial/educational radio station
123. WSU-TV, Westfield's student TV channel, broadcasts to all of the college's residence halls and local public access.
124. Producer of “As Schools Match Wits,” regional high school quiz show
125. Number of times the Westfield State Owls have been the Mass. State Conference Smith Cup Champions: ten
126. Number of varsity sports: 21
127. 10% of students participate in varsity athletics
128. Most famous basketball player to have played in the Parenzo Hall gym in a freshman game: Hall-of-Famer, Julius "Dr. J." Erving.
129. Dr. J. scored 17 points against the Owls (1968)
130. Tennis courts were once located in the space that is now the dining commons
131. 31 undergraduate majors, 8 Master's Degree programs
132. 221 full-time faculty and librarians
133. 350 internship placements per semester
134. 30 Washington Center internships annually
135. More than 1500 student activities are offered outside the classroom annually.
136. Percentage of graduates continuing directly to graduate school: 15%
137. Increase in enrollment during the decade of the 1960s: from 420 to 2250
138. Percentage of Westfield State students receiving financial aid: 78%
139. First legal keg party on campus: 1972
140. Favorite town hangout for students in 1949: the Flamingo Room, Hotel Westfield
141. Favorite town hangout for students in the '80's: The Houndshead
142. Favorite town hangout for students in the '90's: Kelleher's
143. Favorite town hangout for students in 2003: 252
144. Favorite town hangout for students in 2013: Tommy D's
145. 66% of 2010 graduates secured employment less than 6 months after graduation
146. Largest freshman class and highest enrollment in University's history: 2013
147. Over 185 students participate in community service each year including HOOT (Helping Out Our Town) Day
148. More than 50% of the freshmen entering in fall, 2012 earned a 3.0 or above GPA in their first semester on campus.
149. 29% of the 2012 freshman class was in the top 25% of their high school class.
150. First academic building to be built since 1971: Science Center (completion in 2016)
151. As of January 2013, the Global Service Learning Course in Nicaragua raised over $15,000 to build a technology classroom and a community center in Granada
152. The Lifetime Owls program has over 470 participants and has raised more than $38,500 for scholarships, programs and networking with alumni.
153. In 2007, 23 students and 4 WSU employees traveled by “Magic School Bus” to New Orleans, LA to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina hit.
154. Year the Third World Organization was instituted: 1969
155. Year the Latino Association for Empowerment began: 1995
156. Year the college acquired its first computer: 1973
157. Date that Westfield State students were offered college network access from their residence hall rooms: August 1993
158. Date that M.I.T. students were offered college network access from their rooms: January 1994
159. Number of colleges and universities Westfield State students may attend for a semester through Westfield State's membership in the National Student Exchange: 200
160. We have international exchange in more than 35 countries
161. Number of countries students have studied in: over 50
162. Farthest country a student came from to study through international exchange: China
163. 2012 - 35 studied abroad, 60 students studied in short-term courses and 20 studied under NSE. Also, 160 international students studied on campus.
164. 36 tons on average of mixed paper gets recycle each year
165. Campus has 49 beverage vending machines; 23 snack machines and 3 Momba machines
166. The Westfield State College Library used the Dewey Decimal System until 1968.
167. The library was first located in Parenzo Hall and moved to Ely in June 1971.
168. The first library located in the Normal School on Washington Street was called the Sherman Adams Library.
169. The first formal graduation was held at the Normal School in 1855.
170. Music has been a part of the curriculum since 1839.
171. The TRiO Student Support Services Program is a federally-funded grant that, for over 30 years, has continuously supported Westfield students who are first-generation college, low income, and/or have a disability.
172. Year the Dining Commons was built: 1988
173. The campus consumes 85 (3 gallon) tubs of hard ice cream per week
174. Customers consume 600 gallons of milk per week.
175. The dining commons prepares 400 pounds of dry pasta per week.