By Damon Markiewicz

At left, Springfield College Emeritus Professor Peter Polito and 2022 Friends in Humanics Scholarship recipient Panayiotis Kapanedis.

The Distinguished Springfield Professors of Humanics, both past and present, once again came together with current faculty and staff to raise funds that directly benefit deserving Springfield College students as part of the annual ‘A Taste of Humanics’ fundraiser, hosted on Thursday, Nov. 3, inside the Museum at Judd Gymnasia.

The goal of the Friends in Humanics Scholarship is to assist students who demonstrate financial need, academic scholarship, leadership on campus, and concern for community. The support attached to this scholarship allows students to ultimately graduate from the College, and carry on our Humanics philosophy into the world.

“It’s truly an honor to be connected with so many distinguished Springfield College individuals, as this college continues to allow me opportunities that I never thought were possible,” said 2022 Friends in Humanics Scholarship recipient Panayiotis Kapanedis, Class of 2023, who is a student-athlete and vice president of the Minds in Motion student-led club, a group that provides mental health support for students on campus. “The support received from this scholarship allows recipients the opportunities to develop as leaders. Springfield College means so much to me. The faculty, staff, and my peers have helped shape me as a person in so many ways.”

The Friends in Humanics Scholarship is completely funded by Springfield College faculty and staff. The proceeds raised during the “A Taste of Humanics” fundraiser were generously matched by Springfield College President, Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, for a total of more than $11,600 raised.

“This scholarship is all about helping Springfield College students, they are the constant on our campus,” said Springfield College Emeritus Professor Peter Polito, who initiated the Friends in Humanics Scholarship while serving as the 1998-99 Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics. “This scholarship is about the employees of Springfield College making sure we take care of our students and assist them in being able to achieve their academic goals and professional dreams.”

The fall celebration was the first of two annual Distinguished Springfield Professors of Humanics fundraisers planned this academic year. The spring gathering is planned for March 2023, a specific date will be announced soon.

Since 1999, employees of Springfield College have had the opportunity to support this scholarship, with more than 120 students receiving awards. Since fall 2011, present and past Distinguished Springfield Professors of Humanics have helped Professor Polito sponsor fundraisers, through which current and retired faculty and staff have contributed. Annual distributions from the Peter and Claire Polito Friends in Humanics Scholarship Endowed Fund are added to this scholarship.

Each spring, the Office of Financial Aid and a committee comprised of Distinguished Professors, faculty, and staff, solicit nominations from the campus community and select deserving students for this prestigious award. The recipients are announced at the annual Humanics Lecture in April.