Becker College Launches 225th Commencement Anniversary Celebration

Becker College has officially launched an anniversary celebration honoring its 225th Commencement, which will culminate at its Commencement ceremony on May 11, 2013.

“The theme of this significant milestone in the College’s history, Celebrating a History of Changing Lives, focuses on all that has made Becker College a significant institution for more than two centuries,” said Becker College President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D. “We will celebrate our 225th Commencement Anniversary in numerous ways in the weeks and months ahead.”

A number of projects that are now underway to honor the 225th Commencement Anniversary include:

  • Launch of the website: www.becker.edu/225-commencement .
  • A display of artifacts from Becker’s past, in a display case in the newly opened George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Campus Center. The first exhibit is “Student Life,” and some items of interest include yearbooks, photos, a 19th-century course catalog, dance cards, beanies, a letter sweater, a cheerleader skirt, and pages from the Leicester Academy 1894 Entrance Examination. Other historically themed displays will follow throughout the academic year, including one focused on veterans, November 5-16, in honor of Veterans Day.
  • Creating a College Archive, along with a “Preserve Our Pride” campaign and call for artifacts and memorabilia from all eras, to help expand the Archive and increase knowledge about the college’s institutional heritage.
  • A recently published 2012-13 wall calendar with images and facts from the present and the past.
  • A call for nominations for the most influential people in the College’s history.
  • A special Annual Fund appeal.

Since John Hancock and Samuel Adams signed the charter for Leicester Academy and E.C.A. Becker opened Becker’s Business College, Becker College has attained a national reputation. Over the centuries, academic programming has kept pace with the evolving needs of society:

  • Leicester Academy was the third preparatory school in Massachusetts, the first in Central Massachusetts, and the first in the Commonwealth to accept female students, which the Academy did from the very beginning.
  • Becker’s Business College taught students bookkeeping, penmanship, and arithmetic, and also offered the first class in shorthand and typing in Worcester.
  • The College served as the launch pad of several program “firsts”—the first major in journalism offered in the East (1937), the first retail merchandising program in Massachusetts (1950), and the first accredited associate degree in science, in veterinary technology, in Massachusetts (1978).
  • Early human health care programs at the college included a medical secretarial course, which was introduced in 1938 and became a national model that attracted a large number of students.

Present- day Becker College continues to garner recognition. Becker is one of nine institutions selected for the 2012-2013 American Council on Education Internationalization Laboratory cohort to craft strategies to increase global engagement on campus and in communities at large. In 2012, Becker was recognized as “one of the nation’s best undergraduate colleges” by The Princeton Review.

“Academic and campus transformations over the years have created a superior learning and living environment on two distinctive campuses,” says President Johnson. “Our recent achievements and growth are further evidence of our commitment to our students and to ensuring that Becker College provides a first-class collegiate experience.”

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