This past week, the annual Association of YMCA Retirees Reunion (AYR) was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Springfield College was well represented at the reunion this year with President Emeritus Richard Flynn providing the opening keynote address and Harry Rock, Director of YMCA Relations and the YMCA Hall of Fame, delivering the closing presentation.
Deleney Magoffin, the College’s Associate Director of Alumni Relations, described the AYR Reunion as a chance for retirees to stay updated on the latest happenings within the Y movement.
“Being a part of AYR allows Y retirees to continue making an impact through social, spiritual, service and charitable opportunities,” Magoffin said. “While at the reunion, AYR members and their family and friends tour the local YMCAs as well as places with historical significance in that region. Most importantly, they have a good time.”
Flynn’s speech, entitled “A Rapidly Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities,” was given before a series of other speeches and conferences that made up the reunion’s activities.
“With Flynn retiring in 2013, I think this was a very timely opportunity to have him speak,” Magoffin said. “Under his leadership, the Stizer YMCA Center opened and Springfield College became the international headquarters for the YMCA.”
Springfield College is also home to the Association of YMCA Professionals, which is located on the second floor of Judd Gymnasium. Rock, Magoffin said, represented the Alumni Relations office by hosting the Springfield College Alumni Social at the conference this year.
“Springfield College is deeply rooted in the YMCA and has been a premier educator of YMCA leaders since it was founded in 1885,” said Magoffin. “You will be hard-pressed to walk into almost any Y in the country that does not have employees with Springfield College ties.”
Magoffin said that Rock gladly accepted the invitation to host the alumni social. At the social, Rock made remarks about exciting things that are happening at Springfield College, especially highlighting the work of President, Mary-Beth Cooper, who has long been a strong supporter of the YMCA.
“Before becoming our President,” Magoffin explained, “Cooper had a prestigious volunteer role within the Y as the chair of the board for the YMCA of Greater Rochester.”
This year, Rock also had the opportunity to bring two members of the college’s Y-Club, Chelsea Ammerman and Cody Rodrigues, to participate in the reunion.
“I think it’s really important for retirees to engage with our students who are studying to become YMCA professionals,” Magoffin said, “as well as hear about the incredible opportunities Springfield College and the Y Club has afforded them. Many of Rock’s classes prepare students for leadership roles within the YMCA and I’m sure the retirees are interested to hear what current students are learning.”
Rock’s closing address, “Our Legacy is in Good Hands,” is fitting, Magoffin says, considering the current involvement of so many Springfield students in the Y organization.
“I think by speaking on ‘legacy,’ Rock is reassuring Y retirees that the hard work they did to lay the foundation for YMCA’s across the country is appreciated,” Magoffin said, “and by meeting two of our incredible students, they can trust that Springfield College is preparing future Y professionals to continue to strengthen what they have created.”