By Collin Atwood
When strolling down Alden Street, one would cross paths with all sorts of interesting people, personalities and stories. Each individual on this campus, whether it is a student, staff or faculty has had their own unique journey in life. The one thing they all share is that they landed at Springfield College. Normally, there is a reason for that.
For Brian and Deleney Magoffin, there was a reason. They have both had their own specific journeys that led them to Springfield College, and also to each other.
Deleney, the Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Campus Visits, grew up outside of New England in Pennsylvania and New York, while Brian, the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications, grew up in Cheshire, Conn. They started life hundreds of miles apart from each other and ended up being drawn to the same college.
Brian already had a connection to Springfield College. His grandfather, Robert Pearson, went to Springfield College and graduated in 1949. That transformative experience that served as the foundation for his family was something that Brian wanted to also have and served as a catalyst for him to end up on Alden Street.
Springfield College attracts a particular type of person. It’s hard to pick that person out of a crowd, but when people come to Springfield College, it’s easy to tell that these people were made for the place.
No two people were made for this place more than the Magoffin’s.
On Sept. 21, President Mary-Beth Cooper held the annual All College Meeting. A tradition that occurs at the meeting is the announcement of the recipient of the Cheney Award.
This was the first year that there were two winners and they were Brian and Deleney Magoffin.
“There is no raise or title change that could compare to the community and people within it recognizing you for just doing what you think is the right thing to do,” Deleney said.
The Cheney Award is given to an individual, in this case individuals, who show their commitment to the Humanics philosophy at Springfield College. The award is very prestigious and well known on campus. “More than anything, I think it’s humbling,” Brian said.
The Magoffin’s were very blessed and humbled to have won this award. They know just how important it is to Springfield College.
“There are so many people I would think are as or more deserving,” Deleney said.
It only takes one conversation with the Magoffin’s to know that they bleed Springfield College Pride and that they are genuine, kind-hearted people. They bring joy and energy into every room they enter (or to every zoom meeting they’re in).
“They are overflowing with passion for Springfield,” said Brandon Eckles ‘18, who served as the Coordinator of Athletic Media Relations at the College last year.
If it wasn’t for the famous New Student Orientation (NSO) Weekend, none of this would be possible. In 2001, Brian and Deleney were first year students and luckily for them, they were placed in the same NSO group.
That is the first time they had met each other.
“He had a crush on me,” Deleney said.
Don’t jump to conclusions yet, though. Brian and Deleney never dated in college. They simply exchanged a rose and a cigar, which used to be a tradition on the final day of NSO, and nothing more. For the next four years, they remained friends.
After a successful four years, they each went on their own paths and explored different careers.
Deleney majored in Recreation Management and wanted to jump right into her career and not settle for less. She worked at a resort in Lancaster, Pa. for two years before moving to Manassas, Va. to be the Recreation Coordinator for the city.
During this time, Brian was using his degree in Sport Management to get a job at Stony Brook University where he was able to learn while being a part of an athletic department at a Division I institution.
Somehow, someway, Brian and Deleney were coincidentally sucked back into Springfield College at the same time.
“When you get a taste of Springfield College and you look at a lot of our faculty and staff members, you get drawn back,” Brian said.
In 2007, Brian accepted a position as the Assistant Sports Communications Director, and two years later, Deleney enrolled in a graduate program at Springfield College in Therapeutic Recreation Management.
“It was not even a question that I’d be coming back to Springfield,” Deleney said.
Brian reached out to Deleney not knowing she would be coming back to Alden Street. “Brian happened to reach out to me, completely out of the blue, and called to see how I was doing and I had already applied to Springfield for graduate school,” Deleney said.
After graduate school and working for the YMCA of Greater Springfield, Deleney accepted a position in Alumni Relations and is now the Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Coordinator of Campus Visits at Springfield College.
Eventually, Brian and Deleney got married in 2012, with a fitting location for the engagement.
Right outside of Judd Gymnasia, the meeting place for their NSO group, in the pouring rain with their freshman beanies on, Brian popped the question. Undoubtedly, the answer from Deleney was yes.
As has always been the case, the Magoffin’s are extremely committed to Springfield College.
They are both talented and driven beyond belief to make this school a better place. The energy that surrounds Springfield College and the characteristics that the Magoffin’s have makes this trio inseparable.
It is clear how much the two care about Springfield College by how seriously they take their jobs. They both care deeply about the students that are trying to find themselves here because they were both in that position years ago.
There is no doubt that Brian is dedicated to his role in the students’ lives.
“We have a special kind of student here on this campus and if there’s anything that I can do when I come to work that can aid in their development, then that’s something that is really fulfilling for me and really gratifying,” Brian said.
Deleney has an interesting role with students on campus because she gets to see all of the new students coming in. It is important for the students to see someone who they think is welcoming, friendly and as someone that they could go to in a time of need. Deleney is all of these things.
“You pick up on her genuineness and her warmth from the first time you meet her,” said Mary DeAngelo, Dean of Admissions at Springfield College. “She is highly engaging.”
Deleney loves seeing the growth of the new students over the years. She gets to watch them become the person she knew they could be and there is nothing better than for her than being a part of that.
“We’re so excited that they leave because it means they’re going on to that next chapter, but there’s so many students that we’ve had such special relationships with because they’ve taken the time to get to know us as people and to get to know us as family,” Deleney said.
The Magoffin’s have made Springfield College a big part of their family. Brian and Deleney have two daughters who have been welcomed, with open arms, into the Springfield College community.
They go to sporting events, look up to and love the student-athletes, and more importantly, they get to grow up around the amazing people at Springfield College.
Brian and Deleney have given Springfield College their all. They embody the schools Humanics philosophy and have instilled it in their family.
“Sometimes one decision can change everything, for us, Springfield College was the game changer,” Deleney said.
Photo: Brian and Deleney Magoffin