News & Events
Recipients of this year's Paul E. Tsongas scholarship, including a number of BSU students, were honored during a ceremony held in the Great Hall of Flags of the Massachusetts Statehouse.
As part of a program founded in 1998 in memory of U.S. Sen. Paul E. Tsongas, Massachusetts, who died in 1997, the nine state universities each year award a number of scholarships to top high school graduates in the commonwealth. These scholarships cover all tuition costs and mandatory fees at the institutions. In order to renew the annual scholarship, students must maintain a minimum 3.3 GPA, among other requirements.
Bridgewater State University recipients were: Marybeth Forina of Boston; Luke Hancock of Brockton; and Loryn Moynihan of Lakeville.
Mr. Hancock said he was floored when he received the scholarship in the mail months before beginning his college career. "It was a pleasant surprise," he said. "It certainly helps relieve the financial burden that usually comes with college."
A host of dignitaries spoke at the event, including sister of the late senator, Thaleia Tsongas Schlesinger, who lauded the students' perseverance in academics. "You are such a strong group," she said. "You have to go out in the world and make it better for you, your parents and your children, and set an example for future generations."
Dr. Charles Desmond, chair of the board of higher education, told the students that the scholarship came with great responsibility. "You, the privileged few, need to lead the nation with the power of your ideas," he said, adding, "I believe our greatest days are ahead of us."
After the speakers finished, Mr. Hancock said he had taken their remarks as a call to action. "When they give you a scholarship and tell you that you're going to be an elite student at school, you have to live up to it," he said, adding, "I need to represent Tsongas and all he stood for."
Additional speakers were: State Treasurer Steven Grossman; State Auditor Suzanne Bump; Richard Freeland, commissioner, Department of Higher Education; and Jay Curley, senior vice president for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which sponsored the event. Acting as host of the lunch was Rep. Vincent Pedone (Worcester), executive director of the Council of Presidents of the Massachusetts State University System.
Dr. David Ostroth, vice president of student affairs, joined the Bridgewater students at the ceremony. (Story and photos by Rob Matheson, University Advancement)