Eight students and one alum pose with the governor, lt governor and president of the university

Chamber of Commerce recognizes Worcester State for 150th anniversary

March 11, 2024
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Worcester State University for its 150th anniversary at a packed event March 7 featuring Gov. Maura Healey.

In her remarks, Gov. Healey thanked President Barry Maloney for his leadership. And to cheers and applause from an audience of 420, she recognized the eight Worcester State students seated in the audience. “You are at a fantastic institution,” Healey said to the students. “We are proud of you and can’t wait to see what you will do and become.”

Chamber President and CEO Tim Murray, said, “Worcester State has been an educational and economic development anchor for 150 years. The mission and commitment to the community over that time frame has made both Worcester and Central Massachusetts a better place.”

President Maloney, the longest serving president in the State University System, accepted the award on behalf of the university.

“I am honored to have been recognized on the occasion of Worcester State University’s 150th anniversary, a moment of celebration for the entire community,” he said. “From our beginnings as a normal school in a single building to where we are today with 35+ acres on Worcester’s west side and 30,000 alumni living in Worcester County, Worcester State has been an integral part of the community’s growth, economic development, and success. As the city’s flagship public university, we are committed to educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, scientists, and business leaders in service to the needs of the Commonwealth.”

In presenting the Chamber recognition at AC Hotels, the event’s emcee Dr. Sheri-ann McLean highlighted the university’s long and prestigious history from its founding in 1874 as Worcester Normal School. With the city’s dramatic rise in population between 1866 and 1894, the number of school children grew from 6,750 to 17,073. “Graduates of Worcester Normal School were prepared to teach in the city of Worcester’s ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse classrooms,” McLean said.

Through the subsequent decades, Worcester Normal School became Worcester State Teachers College, then Worcester State College until, in 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature voted to grant university status to all state colleges.

President Maloney became the university’s 11th president in 2011. “Today,” said McLean, “he is leading the charge for its next 150 years.”

Top photo: Worcester State students and alumni pose with Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll (center) and President Barry Maloney at the Worcester Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on March 7. Photo by Matt Wright. Carousel photos by Nancy Sheehan.

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