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Bay Path’s first Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), entitled “New Ways of Doing Business: Conversations with Women of Influence,” is held in Springfield, MA on March 29, 1996, and attended by over 800 attendees. The keynote speaker is Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. Labor and Transportation Secretary and senator from the state of North Carolina, and past president of the American Red Cross.

From left: Caron Hobin, Vice President for Strategic Alliances and the creative spirit and coordinator of the WLC for 25 years; Elizabeth Dole; and President Carol Leary.

The first Capitals of the World Trip embarks to Rome, Italy. Over the years, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends will accompany President Leary and her husband, Noel, to cities around the globe, including Paris, Dublin, Madrid, London, Athens, Berlin, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, and Beijing.

3While broadening their perspectives on the culture and history of unique cities, Capitals of the World introduced hundreds of students to the joys of traveling abroad and instilled in them a newfound appreciation as citizens of the world.


Bay Path celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1897. Professor Emerita Muriel Mitchell pens the definitive 100-year history of Bay Path, and in recognition of the themes of Vision 2001, three Americans of distinction are recognized: U.S. Congresswoman Lindy Boggs for leadership; engineer, NASA astronaut, and first African American woman in space, Mae Jemison for technology; and co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project, Roger Fisher, for communications.


Margaret Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain, delivers a lecture at Springfield Symphony Hall, arranged and sponsored by Bay Path, and attends a fundraising dinner to support fellowships for students traveling abroad.

53It was a once in a lifetime event when former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher came to Springfield. Alumna Racquel Labrie Fisher ’00 chats with Mrs. Thatcher.


The One-Day-A-Week Saturday College, an accelerated degree program for adult women, is launched on the Longmeadow campus. The first class of almost 100 students begins in October of that year.

It is a proud moment for Dr. Leary and the University when the first class of One Day women, known as “The Pioneers,” earn their college degrees.