Springfield College (Massachusetts)

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This article is about the college in Massachusetts. For other uses, see Springfield College (disambiguation).
Springfield College
Established 1885
Type Private College
Endowment $35.6 million[1]
President Mary-Beth A. Cooper, Ph.D., D.M.
Undergraduates 3,621
Postgraduates 1,441
Location Springfield (Main Campus), Massachusetts, USA
Athletics NCAA Division IIINEWMAC
Nickname Pride
Affiliations AICUM
Website www.springfieldcollege.edu

Springfield College is a private, coeducational college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield College is most famous as the site where the sport of basketball was invented: instructor and graduate student James Naismith invented the game in 1891, when Springfield College was known as the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School.

The College is approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) from downtown Springfield, the site of its central business and entertainment districts. In addition to the main campus, Springfield College has 9 satellite campuses for its School of Human Services located throughout the United States. School of Human Services campuses are located in Boston and Springfield, Massachusetts; Charleston, South Carolina; Houston, Texas; Manchester, New Hampshire; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; St. Johnsbury, Vermont; Tampa, Florida; Southern California; and Wilmington, Delaware.

Springfield College is best known for its programs in the allied health sciences, human and social services, sports movement activities, and arts and sciences. The mission of Springfield College is to "educate students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to humanity —" a concept defined by the school as "Humanics".[2] It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Springfield College is a part of the Hartford-Springfield regional alliance for economic and cultural partnership known as New England's Knowledge Corridor.[3]


Founded in 1885, as the Young Men's Christian Association department of the School for Christian Workers in Springfield, the school originally specialized in preparing young men to become General Secretaries of YMCA organizations in a two-year program. In 1887, it added a Physical (i.e. physical education) department. In 1890, it separated from the School for Christian Workers and became the YMCA Training School and in 1891, the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School. In 1895, it became a three-year program.[4]

From the first Monday in January 1885 until April 1, 1886, when its first building opened, the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) used the rooms of the YMCA in Springfield. The School's leaders determined in December 1884 that $22,500 should be raised to fund the construction of its own building at Armory Hill. At the February 23, 1885 Board meeting, trustees voted to purchase the lot of land on the corner of Sherman and State Streets for $5,500, and a building committee was created to propose a plan for the School for Christian Workers building.

By 1895, it owned 30 acres on the outskirts of Springfield, on Lake Massasoit (also known as Water Shops Pond) and had its own gymnasium, plus a dormitory under construction on a high point nearby.[5]

Just a few years after opening its doors to the first 18 students in 1885, the YMCA Training School could boast an international reputation as a pioneer in teaching and scholarship related to physical education class, sports medicine, physical therapy, physiology of exercise, biomechanics, wellness, the training of YMCA executives, and many other fields.[citation needed]

In 1905, the school became a degree-granting institution.[6]

In 1912, it took the name International YMCA College and in 1954, Springfield College.[7]


Springfield College's athletic teams are known as the "Pride" and most compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). Its football team is an affiliate member of the Liberty League, having previously been a member of the Empire 8. The men's soccer, men's golf, cross country and gymnastics teams are affiliate members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The lacrosse and volleyball teams compete in the Pilgrim Lacrosse League and Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) respectively.

Springfield College is known as the "Birthplace of Basketball", a game created by alumnus and faculty member James Naismith under the founding head of the Physical Education department Luther Gulick Jr. in 1891. Gulick is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame,[8] which is named for Naismith.[9][10]

Alumnus William G. Morgan, invented of the game of volleyball.[11]

On February 9, 2008 the Springfield Wrestling team achieved their 900th victory. Springfield College joined Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Oregon State as the only schools to have achieved this milestone.

Stagg Field serves as the College's main athletic field; it was named after former coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg who briefly coached Springfield and went on to play a pivotal role in the development of modern football. The baseball team plays at Berry-Allen Field.

In 1940 Springfield was one of eight teams to make the 1940 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

In 2006 and 2007, the school hosted the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Final Four.

The men's volleyball team has six non-NCAA national titles in the now-defunct Molten Invitational championship, an event for NCAA Division III schools that ran from 1997 through 2011, and also won the first three NCAA Men's Division III Volleyball Championships in 2012 through 2014. All nine championships were won under Head Coach Charlie Sullivan.

The Springfield College Women's Basketball team of 2004–2005, made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division 3 basketball tournament.

Women's basketball, coached by Noami Graves, has won several conference tournament championships, including the season of 2006.

Springfield College graduates Rusty Jones G '86 and Jon Torine '95 participated in Super Bowl XLI as the Head Strength and Conditioning coaches of the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, respectively.[12]

The Springfield College Women's Field Hockey Team has won the NEWMAC (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference) title for five consecutive years (2004–2008).

The men's lacrosse team competes in the Pilgrim League, where it has won the conference championship six years straight, in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

Springfield's Women's Swimming and Diving Team has won the NEWMAC Conference title for ten consecutive years (2001–2010) in the Division III Conference.

Springfield's Men's soccer team were voted National College Champions by the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association in 1946, 1947 and 1957. This was before the NCAA championship soccer tournament in 1959.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Humanics". Springfield College official web site. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  3. ^ "New England's Knowledge Corridor". Hartford-Springfield Economic Partnership web site. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ Abstract of the Secretarial Department Records, 1885-1910, Springfield College Library PDF
  5. ^ "Trains Young Christians: An Institution in Springfield Which Is Doing a Great Work", New York Times, December 29, 1895, p. 20.full text
  6. ^ Glenn T. Miller, Piety and profession: American Protestant theological education, 1870-1970, 2007. ISBN 0-8028-2946-5, p. 289
  7. ^ Springfield College History web page
  8. ^ "Luther H. Gulick". Basketball Hall of Fame profile. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  9. ^ "James Naismith". Basketball Hall of Fame profile. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ see also History of Basketball
  11. ^ "William G. Morgan (1870-1942) inventor of the game of volleyball". Volleyball World Wide web site. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Three Springfield College Grads in Sunday's Super Bowl XLI". Springfield College press release. January 30, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Spagnuolo '82 Named Head Coach of the St. Louis Rams". Springfield College press release. ary 18, 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°6′15.6″N 72°33′18.2″W / 42.104333°N 72.555056°W / 42.104333; -72.555056