Catalogue 2016 - 2017

A Brief History

The Springfield Division of Northeastern College, known as Springfield-Northeastern, was established in 1919. Evening classes, held in the YMCA building on Chestnut Street in Springfield for students studying part-time, were offered in law, business, and accounting. The first 13 graduates were recognized in 1922 with the degree of Bachelor of Commercial Science. In 1923, the first seven law graduates were recognized.

On July 17, 1951, the Springfield Division of Northeastern University was chartered and became Western New England College.

On April 26, 1956, 34 acres for the current Wilbraham Road campus were purchased. The first building, originally known as East Building, and later renamed Emerson Hall in recognition of the University’s first trustee chairman, Robert R. Emerson, opened in 1959.

The School of Arts and Sciences was established in 1967, and Western New England received accreditation as a general purpose institution in 1972.

The University flourished on its new campus. The decades of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties saw Western New England’s academic programs expanding, its student body growing, and the addition of a number of buildings including the D’Amour Library, the Blake Law Center, the St. Germain Campus Center, the Alumni Healthful Living Center, and the LaRiviere Living and Learning Center. In 2001, the Evergreen Village townhouses opened for seniors. In 2002, the Kevin S. Delbridge Welcome Center opened, housing the admissions offices. Commonwealth Hall was added in 2003 along with the Golden Bear Stadium. The George Trelease Memorial Baseball Park was completed in 2004. A $1.9 million addition to the D’Amour Library was completed in 2005 and a $5.5 million addition and renovation of the Blake Law Center in 2008.

In 2008, Western New England launched its first Ph.D. program in Behavior Analysis. The following year, the institution opened Southwood Hall, a new eco-friendly residence hall for upper-classmen. The $40 million Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy, opened in 2011.

On July 1, 2011, the institution officially became a university. The Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Engineering became known as “Colleges,” while the School of Law retained its name.

In 2011, the Western New England University College of Pharmacy welcomed its first class to the PharmD program. The College of Engineering added the University’s second doctoral program: the Ph.D. in Engineering Management in 2012.

The period of 2012-2014 saw a major renovation to Arts and Sciences' Herman Hall, and modernization and expansion to Engineering's Sleith Hall designed to elevate our classroom and laboratory environments.

The University enrolls approximately 3,955 students and has 44,600 alumni around the world.