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Formal Opening of BCC

The Formal Opening Of Berkshire Community College, 1960.

The formal opening of Berkshire Community College was scheduled for Monday, September 12, 1960 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Due to Hurricane Donna and severely inclement weather, the opening was celebrated at the College building on the Commons in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on Thursday, September 15, 1960 at 11:00 o'clock in the morning. Governor Foster Furcolo brought the greetings of the Commonwealth to the newly founded college. Professor Seymour Harris of Harvard University gave the Formal Opening Address marking the initiation of the first state college to be founded in Massachusetts since 1895.

The ceremony began with the pealing of the bells from the Union Federal Savings Bank at 2:30 P.M. Father Carroll, organist at Shadowbrook Seminary, played a number of college songs. An academic procession marched across the Common and into the college auditorium. The procession included Berkshire Community College Faculty members, members of the newly appointed Berkshire Community College Advisory Board, the Governor, the Mayor and several special guests of the college.

The Reverend Harold L. Nevers of the Second Congregational Church and a member of the Berkshire Community College Advisory Board of Pittsfield gave the Invocation. He was introduced by the newest member of the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges, Dr. Edward Russell, long time Superintendent of Schools in Pittsfield, who presided. Mayor Raymond L. Haughey of Pittsfield brought the greetings of the host city.

Raymond Kinsella, BCC '62, played Hayden's Trumpet Concerto. Mrs. Mac Morgan played the organ for the ceremony. Dr. Seymour Harris, Lucius N. Littauer, Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University who gave the Formal Opening address is Vice Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges. He was the author of many articles and books dealing with education and economics, ahd had been very active in advising government economic programs.

Dr. Edward J. Russell, the presiding officer, charged Director Thomas E. O'Connell with the duties of his office. In accepting the charge Director O'Connell noted that the motto of the college "To Travel Hopefully is a Better Thing Than to Arrive" is an earnest statement of the college's hopeful view toward the future. "An institution of higher education must have hope for a better world as the inarticulate major premise of its being", he said.

The recessional from the auditorium was followed by the formation of the reception line which gave an opportunity for guests of the formal opening to greet the Governor, the Mayor, the College Director, program speakers and the full-time members of the college faculty. Mrs. O'Connell was also in the reception line.

Refreshments consisting of punch and cookies were served in the college cafeteria and a tour of the college followed, guided by students of the first year class.

Return to O'Connell Introduction Page


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