75th Anniversary All Class Reunion

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On Saturday, June 6, 2015, more than 300 alumni and guests attended New England Tech’s first All Class Reunion marking the college’s 75th Anniversary. There were many fun-filled activities enjoyed by adults and children alike that included mini-golf, face painting, balloon creations, and sand art.  Also included was a wonderful puppet show presented by NEIT’s own, Erin Flynn. The Hit Your Grad Year Dart Game was developed by Bob Larrabee, New England Tech CTI account executive and grad.  Players who hit their graduation year target won an alumni T-shirt with donated proceeds going to the Alumni Fund.

Music and entertainment encompassed three different music genres: The Vegas Lords, with Information Technology Associate Professor Tim Culhane on guitar; The Electronics featuring Dean Plowman, Department Chair, Electronics, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Technologies on guitar; Electronics System Technology Professor  Mike Recorvitz on the keyboard;  and adjunct faculty member Justin Capaldi on the drums; as well as The Harrison Songolo Band. Great food which was enjoyed by all was provided by Pranzi Catering.

The success of this event is attributed to the many people committed to the establishment of an active Alumni Association. Kudos to those alumni who stepped forward in the spring of 2014 to participate in the initial “conversations” regarding the direction of the Alumni Association. As a result of these “conversations”, the Alumni Association Steering Committee was formed and a new vision for the New England Tech Alumni Association was developed. The committee recommended the college host an All Class Reunion as a family event. Special thanks to the Steering Committee for bringing this event from concept to completion. The All Class Reunion is the first of many alumni events to come.

Michelle Pope, ’90, is an ardent supporter of the college and was instrumental in the planning and execution of the reunion. Michelle shared her post-event thoughts with Tech Talk. “I have been involved in coordinating many events within my career from small to 800 plus attendees, and the NEIT First Annual All Class Reunion was one of the most carefully planned, coordinated, and executed events that I have been involved in to date.  The excitement throughout the day could be felt from the volunteers to the guests and their families. The bands were amazing as was the balloon artist.” As one member of the Steering Committee said, “June 6, 2015, will forever be remembered as a day that New England Tech history was made.”

Many thanks go to the dedicated members of the Alumni Association Steering Committee who made the event such a great success: Gordon Briggs ‘99, Scott Conley ‘12, Courtney Crone ‘12, Tim Danielson ‘08, Lucy Garcia ‘12, Chris Harrington ‘00, Bob Larrabee ‘06, Cheryl MacDonald ’13, Michelle Pope ‘90, Bethany Pratt ‘12, Rebecca Renaud ‘98, Regina Roberts ‘14, Terri Sardelli ‘08, Carole Stiles ‘94, and Rick Tobin ’10.  During the planning and development process, several individuals reached out to the Steering Committee to offer their assistance with the event. Many thanks go to Anna Martinelli, Auxiliary Services; Sherry Clukey and Kathy DaSilva, Business Office; Jason Albuquerque, Atrion Networking Corporation; John Gauthier, Academic Skills Center; Caitlin Beagan, Career Services; adjunct faculty member, Leslie DiManna, as well as the bookstore staff, Michelle Paiva, Sue Tucker, Jayne Kopic, and Michelle Holbrook.

The musical entertainment kept the day lively thanks to our musical experts Nancy Starr, Music Club Advisor, who was instrumental in recruiting the musical talent; Frank Hyde, sound engineer; and DJ Judah, who kept the music flowing and the atmosphere entertaining.

Special thanks to Bob Goulet and the Auxiliary Services staff for their assistance. The following photos provide a snapshot of the day’s activities from set up to breakdown. The All Class Reunion was truly a team effort!

New England Tech Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary

NEIT_Logo_282_136_TAGFor 75 years, New England Institute of Technology has prepared its graduates for a wide range of technical careers.  Founded in 1940 by Ernest G. Earle as the New England Technical Institute, the present college began as a certificate-granting trade school. The school occupied three rented rooms on the sixth floor of an office building in downtown Providence with its first graduating class of 20 students completing a radio repair course.

Mr. Earle provided students with hands-on training leading to jobs that were a cut above traditional factory positions. When soldiers returned from World War II, the trade school had already invested in a lab offering courses in plastics, an infant industry that was about to boom.  Later, electronics, appliance and small engine repair programs were added.  By the late1960s, baby-boomers entered the workforce by the millions. College degrees were now considered a necessity.  In 1966, the school was established as an independent college.

In 1971, current President Richard Gouse, who is noted as America’s second longest serving college president, envisioned a degree-granting institution that would meet industry’s need for technically-trained workers. He knew the school needed to change direction so he quickly developed new programs and invested in equipment. His vision continues today as the college carries on its mission of training its students for today’s highly competitive job market.

In 1977, the Board of Regents of the State of Rhode Island granted the institution the authority to offer associate degrees, and its name was changed to New England Institute of Technology (NEIT). In 1982, NEIT was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.  The College received accreditation to confer bachelor degrees in 1995.  NEIT enrolled students for its first master’s degree program in 2010–a Master of Science degree program in Occupational Therapy. In 2012, the college created an Online Learning division to build more programs.  The fully-online RN to BSN (Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program was launched that same year.

Today, the college enrolls nearly 3,000 students which has grown substantially from the 70 students in 1971.  NEIT now offers more than 57 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and on-line degree programs. The campus that started in a mill building in Providence now encompasses three locations: two in Warwick and one in East Greenwich totaling more than 500,000 square feet. A $120 million expansion project at its East Greenwich campus will include 300,000 square feet of academic space and its first 400-bed residence hall. A new dining area, fitness center, and college green will round out the expansion.

NEIT’s first graduation ceremony lasted less than 15 minutes. Now each spring, more than 5,000 guests attend NEITs commencement honoring the more than 1,000 men and women who have earned their degrees.

These dynamic changes to its program offerings and physical plant symbolize NEIT’s journey into the 21st century and its response to what new technologies have brought to the workplace. The needs of tomorrow’s students demand access to those technological resources to reach their full potential. As it has been since those early years, the success of New England Tech will continue to be measured by its graduates’ accomplishments in the world they are entering both as workers and citizens.

Happy Holidays from NEIT

New England Tech offers our sincerest wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season.