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Inaugurate | Congratulate | Celebrate

History was made on April 8, 2022, as Bay Path celebrated the inauguration of Sandra J. Doran, J.D., the sixth president of Bay Path University.

The event was unlike any other Bay Path inauguration, taking place many months after President Doran began her tenure at the University in July of 2020.  Delayed by the global pandemic, it was all the more special as the Bay Path community, friends and family were finally able to gather to be part of this memorable moment in time.

President Doran’s official inauguration took place in Springfield Symphony Hall, only a block away from the corner of State and Dwight streets, where Bay Path Institute first opened its doors to students. The historical significance was incredibly profound, as in 2022, Bay Path University celebrates its 125th anniversary.

“At Bay Path, every learner’s dreams of a better career, a richer life and a brighter future will be realized. This is our shared vision. As president of Bay Path, I promise you my unwavering commitment and tireless effort in fulfillment of this vision. Acting on this vision is our responsibility and our joy. Let us move forward together with the courage to do what is right, even when it is not easy; with faith in ourselves, each other and our future; and with unbridled hope and joy for ourselves, our communities and our students.” 

As the inauguration acknowledged the past and traditions, it was also a testament to the enduring legacy of Bay Path, while looking to the future under President Doran. Our University motto captured the spirit of the day: Carpe Diem. And in the words of President Doran: “Carpe Futurum.”

Over 30 representatives from colleges and universities joined the academic parade including, from left to right, Howard Horton, executive director of Cambridge College Global; Dr. Harry Dumay, president of Our Lady of the Elms; and Bay Path trustee Wayne Webster.
Before the inauguration, Bay Path trustees take a selfie for history in the robing room. From left to right: Brian Tuohey, Rodger Metzger, Mary Ann Spencer, and Michelle Wirth.
President Sandra Doran and Jonathan F. Besse, chair of the Bay Path Board of Trustees.
The Expandable Brass Band, a second line New Orleans-style jazz group, added to the celebratory atmosphere.
Mayor Domenic Sarno provided welcome remarks from the city of Springfield.
The Honorable Richard Neal, U.S. Congressman from the First Congressional District of Massachusetts, offers congratulations to President Doran.
Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. of the Valley, spoke of the shared mission of educating girls and women.
Dr. Thomas Mennella, chair of the faculty, offered greetings.
Julia Dudek ’23, president of the Student Government Association, represented the Traditional Undergraduate College.
Christina Carpenter ’23 spoke on behalf of The American Women’s College.
Nikki Burnett ’18. G’21, G’24, offered words of welcome from the Graduate College.
Ashley Pereira G’19, G’21, senior human resources operations manager, brought greetings from the staff at Bay Path.
Alumni Association President Stephanie O’Leary ’05, G’16, G’17, provided words of welcome on behalf of the more than 16,000 alumni.
Bay Path students from the Performing Arts Department perform the Alma Mater. A special third stanza was written and premiered at the inauguration.
The inaugural address was given by Margaret McKenna, J.D., president emerita, Lesley University.
Chair Jonathan Besse presents the oath and symbols of office to President Doran who is joined by Dr. Carol Leary, president emerita of Bay Path University, and Stephen Doran, the presidential spouse.
Bay Path faculty take a group selfie as they don their academic regalia for the procession.

Visit to watch the complete inauguration, highlights, view the photo gallery of the day and more.

All Photos Courtesy of Matt Wright Studios