Western New England University is a private university in Springfield, Massachusetts. Academic programs are provided through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Engineering, School of Law, and College of Pharmacy.
In recognition of its master's and doctoral programs, the institution officially changed its name from Western New England College to Western New England University on July 1, 2011. This marked the return of "university" to the school's name, exactly 60 years after separating from Northeastern University.
The University is a member of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield and a partner in the Hartford-Springfield Region's Knowledge Corridor Initiative.
The Springfield Division of Northeastern College, known as Springfield-Northeastern, was established in 1919. Evening classes, held in the YMCA building on Chestnut Street in Springfield for students studying part-time, were offered in law, business, and accounting. In 1922, the school's first 13 students were awarded the degree of Bachelor of Commercial Science. The first seven law graduates were recognized in 1923.
In 1951 the Springfield Division of Northeastern University became Western New England College. The College was chartered on July 17, 1951. On April 26, 1956, 34 acres (140,000 m2) for the current Wilbraham Road campus were purchased. In that same year the first day program was started; it was in engineering, with 53 students enrolled. The first building, originally known as East Building and later renamed Emerson Hall in recognition of the College’s first trustee chairman, opened in 1959.
The College’s charter was expanded in 1959 to permit the College to grant the bachelor’s degree in any field of business administration, science, engineering, education, and law, and certain master’s degrees. The charter was expanded in 2005 to include the LL.M. in Estate Planning and Elder Law and again in 2008 with the inclusion of the Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis.
The School of Arts and Sciences was established in 1967, and the College received accreditation as a general purpose institution in 1972.
The 1960s through the 1990s saw the College’s academic programs expanding, its student body growing, and the addition of a number of buildings, including the D’Amour Library, the Blake Law Center, the St. Germain Campus Center, the Alumni Healthful Living Center, and the LaRiviere Living and Learning Center. In 2001, the Evergreen Village townhouses opened for seniors. The Kevin S. Delbridge Welcome Center, which houses the admissions offices, opened in 2002. In 2003, Commonwealth Hall and the Golden Bear Stadium opened. The George Trelease Memorial Baseball Park was completed in 2004. In 2006, the $1.9 million expansion to the D’Amour Library was completed. In 2008 and 2009, respectively, the College expanded and renovated the Blake Law Center and built Southwood Hall. In 2010, the $40 million Center for the Sciences and Pharmacy was completed. Herman Hall underwent an $8 million renovation in 2012.
The University's beautifully maintained 215-acre (0.87 km2) campus serves as home to undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, pharmaceutical, and law students from throughout the United States and abroad. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Pharmacy, and at the School of Law. In 2010, the College of Pharmacy was established, and the institution was granted a change to its charter that permits it to offer the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy. Western New England University has 43,000 alumni around the world.
On July 1, 2011, Western New England College officially became Western New England University. The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved the name change in March 2011. As President Anthony S. Caprio explained, "The name university better reflects our growth, our diversity, our expanded graduate offerings, and our comprehensive nature. The transition to University status will position Western New England to fulfill our potential as a regional and national leader.” The Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy became the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy. The School of Law retained its name. 
Western New England University's 215-acre (0.9 km2) campus in Springfield consists of 24 major buildings and numerous athletic and recreational fields.
Western New England University is a comprehensive institution that grants degrees across the liberal arts and professional disciplines. The University's academic departments are organized into five academic schools with varying levels of degrees offered:
Undergraduate students choose from nearly 50 majors as they earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A). Certificates and other non-degree programs are also offered.
Undergraduate Business and Engineering students must take certain general education classes through the College of Arts and Sciences. Students enrolled in several Arts and Sciences may choose one of several majors that can be fulfilled entirely within that school. All undergraduates may take classes across schools to achieve an integrated liberal-professional education.
Western New England University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and social work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Teacher education programs have been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Education and are part of the Interstate Certification Compact. Western New England University is also a member of the Association of American Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts.
Established in 2005, the Western New England University Polling Institute conducts research on issues of importance to Massachusetts residents and communities. The Institute provides the University's faculty and students with valuable opportunities to participate in public opinion research.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, enrollment at Western New England University was 3,800 students. Undergraduate enrollment totaled 2,520 students with approximately 61 percent of students being male and 39 percent female. Law enrollment was 440 students, and graduate studies, pharmacy, adult learning, and off-campus enrollment totaled 670.
There are more than 60 clubs and organizations available on campus, including honors societies, professional and departmental cubs, media and publications organizations, special interest groups, the Student Senate, residence hall associations, and campus ministry groups. Honors societies at the college include: Alpha Kappa Delta, Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Phi Sigma, Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Lambda Pi Eta, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Psi Chi, Tau Beta Pi. The Cupola is the yearbook, The Review of Art & Literature is a literary magazine, GB-TV "Golden Bear Television" is a TV station, The Westerner is the newspaper, and WNEK-FM 105.1 FM is the radio station. They also have political groups, most notable the WNE College Republicans and University Democrats.
Western New England University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III. Sports include: baseball, basketball, cross country running, field hockey, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling. Most sports are part of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, while football is part of the New England Football Conference, ice hockey is part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and wrestling is part of the New England College Conference Wrestling Association. Non-NCAA varsity sports include martial arts and bowling. Prior to 2008, the college competed in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) for baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, softball, women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and women's volleyball; in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) for field hockey; and the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) for women's lacrosse. The mascot is the Golden Bear. Athletics facilities the college include the Alumni Healthful Living Center, the Golden Bear Stadium, the George E. Trelease Memorial Baseball Park, the Suprenant Field, the WNE Softball Field, and the tennis courts.
The Golden Bear Pep Band is an instrumental group founded in 1998 by undergraduate students. Consisting of various brass and woodwind instruments accompanied by drums, the band plays at University sporting events.
The University has 10 residence facilities on campus: Berkshire Hall, Commonwealth Hall, Evergreen Village Townhouses, Franklin Hall, Gateway Village Apartments, Hampden Hall, LaRiviere Residential Living and Learning Center, Plymouth Complex, Windham Hall, and Southwood Hall Apartments.
Since 1951, the Golden Bear has been the mascot for Western New England University. A five-ton, nine-foot replica of an Alaskan Kodiak Island Brown Bear was installed next to the Campus Center on November 7, 1986. Former Professor of Management and founder and former Head Coach of the football team Henry Bazan spearheaded an effort starting in 1976 called "Bring the Bear Home Committee" to bring the statue to campus. Bazan affectionately nicknamed the Golden Bear "Spirit."
At 4:30 a.m. on May 16, 1968, 16 seniors lifted a 10-ton rock from a construction site at what would later become the Five Town Plaza and brought it to campus, placing it between Herman Hall and the Campus Center. "Class of 1968" was painted onto The Rock, as it came to be known. This initial painting became a tradition that is upheld to this day. Each year, The Rock is painted numerous times to advertise different student clubs, activities, or events.
The alma mater is called "Theme Song for Western New England University." It was written by Eugene Weaver, a 1954 alumnus, shortly after the founding of the college in 1951.
Western New England University has 43,000 alumni who live and work around the world. The Western New England University School of Law has more than 7,000 alumni, while the MBA and MSA programs have nearly 6,000 alumni. The general University alumni magazine is called The Communicator. The School of Law alumni magazine is called Perspectives.