By Aiden Fitzpatrick
The welcoming atmosphere at Springfield College was only heightened this past Saturday, Oct. 2, as the Springfield College Alumni Association held the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Hall of Alumni of Color Achievers Legacy Corridor. Smiling faces and progressive energy surged throughout the top floor of the Campus Union as people gathered and talked with one another, including with the families of the inductees.
The event was held to celebrate the opening of the Legacy Alumni of Color Corridor and honor the induction of the first six inaugural graduates of Springfield College, who as President Mary-Beth Cooper put it, are “trailblazers in their life.”
The six men inducted were John Ma ’20, G ’1926, Harold Amos ’41, Roscoe Brown ’43, Donald Brown ’69, G’78, Arnold Bell ’73, and Carlton Pickron ’79, G ’82. Between Physical Education and Biology, as well as answering the call to serve their country, each man is a true leader in his own right and a pioneer in his own respective field.
The father of China’s modern day Physical Education, John Ma served as the Chairman of the Chinese Sports Federation.
Harold Amos was drafted by the U.S Army in 1942. He then earned his PhD from Harvard Medical School, making him the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard Medical School. Amos also became a full time professor at Harvard, specializing in cells and bacteria.
Another veteran, Roscoe Brown, flew combat missions in World War II. Brown then went to NYU for his PhD, and was a Professor of Physical Education for 25 years.
Donald Brown was the youngest director of Upward Bound in the nation by the age of 23. In 1974, Brown was named Director of Non-Residential Programs for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services.
In true Springfield College fashion, Arnold Bell was a physical therapist for the Olympic Organizing Committee during the 1984 games. Bell published many physical education textbooks, as well as being a professor at Florida A&M University.
Carlton Pickron was the Director of Aquatics and Special Programs at the YMCA in Washington, D.C. Pickron also served as Vice President of Student Affairs at Westfield State.
At the event, Brianna D’Haiti, Co-President of the Student Alumni Association, spoke on her excitement to be in the Campus Union and help lead the tour to the new Alumni Corridor.
“It went very well,” D’Haiti shared.
“Being here with all of you for this moment is the most important thing to me this weekend.”
Speaking at the event, alongside D’Haiti, were Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper, Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement Dr. Calvin Hill, and Alumni Council Subcommittee on Alumni of Color Chair, Nate Harris.
“This Hall of Alumni of Color Achievers, and our acknowledgement of it, is perhaps past due,” Dr. Hill said.
“But I am so glad that we have come together in unity to recognize and support and be a part of an outstanding legacy,” Dr. Hill continued.
The big maroon wall on the second floor of the Union, directly behind the speakers and looming over top of the crowd, inadvertently speaks to the integrity of those honored. It largely displays words like “Accomplish”, “Achieve”, “Lead”, and “Inspired,” which makes it the perfect location for the high honor.
Photo Courtesy Springfield College