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Bay Path Celebrates its 26th Annual Campus Awakening with a Virtual Twist

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Longmeadow, MA — Although flickering computer screens replaced the glow of candles at this year’s Campus Awakening at Bay Path University, COVID could not stop the university’s time-honored tradition of the community gathering pre-dawn to “wake up” buildings on campus on the first day of classes.

The tradition, started when students woke up former president Dr. Carol A. Leary at dawn on the first day of classes, has continued on each year, with students, faculty, and staff gathering before sunrise on the steps of Blake Student Commons for a morning of community and celebration before embarking on a candlelight campus tour, lighting lanterns at each campus building to awaken them for the beginning school year.

While COVID-19 and campus safety restrictions prevented Campus Awakening from happening in person this year, the event was filmed and live-streamed bright and early, with members of the Bay Path community joining together, virtually, for a 6 am live stream viewing party. Students in residence on campus were delivered a special early morning snack directly to their dorm room to aid in their celebration.

Students were reminded to embrace the University Theme of Own Your Now, and were encouraged to be bold, to be brave, and to push themselves out of their comfort zone. “You’ve made it here because of who you are, and the community you’re a part of. And you’ll continue to succeed for just those reasons,” shared Peter Testori, Bay Path’s Dean of Academic Support Services & Assistant Coordinator, Title IX, as he lit the candle in front of Bay Path’s Hatch Learning Commons. President Sandra Doran echoed the sentiment, sharing that she was happy to be a part of each Bay Path student’s community, and to have each student be a part of her’s.

The Campus Awakening 2020 video is located at; media is welcome to share snippets or stills from the footage.



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 About Bay Path University

Bay Path University was founded in 1897. With locations in Longmeadow (main), East Longmeadow (Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center), Springfield (MA), Sturbridge (MA), and Concord (MA), Bay Path’s innovative program offerings include traditional undergraduate degrees for women, The American Women's College on-ground and online, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree programs in the country; over 30 graduate programs for women and men, including doctoral degrees; and Strategic Alliances, offering professional development courses for individuals and organizations.  Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.