Short Takes

Support from Our Parents — Richard and Theresa Lawson

Richard and Theresa Lawson are the parents of Danielle ’14 and Michael ’17 Lawson. Their gift to the Springfield College Fund during Danielle’s commencement was in honor of the athletic training department faculty.
Richard and Theresa Lawson are the parents of Danielle ’14 and Michael ’17 Lawson. Their gift to the Springfield College Fund during Danielle’s commencement was in honor of the athletic training department faculty.

My son, Michael, has been involved with the YMCA since he was eight. Now, as a YMCA professional studies minor at Springfield College, I’ve watched him become more managerial, more of a leader, more of a volunteer, and more compassionate.

While a high school student attending the Springfield College athletic training camp, the faculty inspired my daughter, Danielle, and gave her the passion to become an athletic trainer. She even passed the board of certification on her first try. We are proud to say her dream has come true!

By supporting the school my children go to, I am supporting their choice. I love Springfield College. I love its size, its Humanics philosophy, the professors, and the fact that the College reaches out to the parents and makes them a part of the community.
— Theresa Lawson

1885 Society — Gail and Robert Haldeman

It’s a bit of a paradox. Ask Gail Haldeman ‘64 why she and her husband, Robert, are members of the 1885 Society, and why Springfield College is in their estate plan, and she will talk about change; the ongoing need for new facilities, new academic programs, and financial aid. And yet, she cares deeply about what doesn’t change; the ineffable transcendent spirit that has been a part of the institution since it was called the YMCA School for Christian Workers in the nineteenth century.

“Springfield College has an underlying element to it. And I have strong feelings that the College will endure,” she says.

Gail’s history with Springfield College is a series of firsts. To the best of her knowledge, her father, Gordon MacGregor ‘31, was the first and one of only two male gymnasts to be a captain for two years. The other: Gail’s husband Bob Haldeman ‘63.

Gail and Bob Haldeman
After years of giving to their communities, Gail and Bob give back to their alma mater.

Gail met Bob when she tried out to be the pianist for the men’s gymnastics team where she accompanied the team by playing for the home show and when the team traveled for exhibitions. On the bus, they would sit together and go over any last minute changes to the program. In 1962, Gail was the first female to travel as part of the exhibition team. The following year, when women joined the men on those trips, she remembers traveling with the balance beam lying down in the aisle of the bus, the gymnasts stepping over it on the way to their seats. Teams didn’t stay in hotels during these years. Instead they would spend the night after the show with a sponsoring YMCA or high school families who were awed by the antics and performances of their gymnast guests.

After graduation, Bob earned his Master of Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and worked in the Wilmington, Del., YMCA as a community service worker where he created several programs aimed at reducing urban gang activity and violence. Meanwhile, he studied at Villanova University School of Law and later practiced business law during the turbulent late 60s. Bob made an arrangement with his firm that part of his time would be pro-bono work in order to keep working on finding solutions for urban problems.

Bob’s passion moved from young people to the elderly. He developed the financing and built eight new Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) along the east coast. Today he is president and founder of Coventry Resources, which provides unique long-term care insurance policies that include at-home service programs for active elders.

Gail worked in the Baltimore city public school system for twenty years. “The best part of teaching was setting up a demonstration classroom using British infant school techniques, adopted as a training platform for the city system as well as area universities,” Gail said.

Including all their relatives, Gail estimates that there are at least 11 Springfield College degrees in their family — the most recent being her niece Lindsay Slater ’10, G’11. That number also includes Gail and Bob’s son Gordon Haldeman ’87, G’88, a member of the first class of physical therapy graduates.

Considering the 80 years since the graduation of her father, Gail sees evidence of both remarkable change and familiar consistency. Her father was coached by Leslie Judd ‘20, who is credited for developing the exhibition team and artistic gymnastics at Springfield College. That same program competes today in meets across the country. The physical therapy program her son graduated from is now one of the most competitive majors at Springfield College. Both the class of 1931 and 1964 scholarship funds continue to grow.

Why do Gail and Bob support Springfield College? Maybe it’s because they have seen an athletics program that has continued to remain competitive for more than 100 years. Maybe it’s because they know future generations of Haldemans may don maroon attire. Maybe it’s because of memories connected with vision and action of the College’s current and past presidents. Maybe it is all of these things and the preservation of their personal relationship with Springfield College.

“Springfield’s values have influenced both Bob and me throughout our lives.” Gail said. “It was our school. It is absolutely our school.”

David Allen Reed Society — Paul and Joanne Campanelli

Paul and Joanne ‘85 Campanelli
Paul and Joanne ‘85 Campanelli

Springfield College really instilled in us the sense of spirit, mind, and body, which I apply to work every day. It helped me understand how to treat people professionally and socially. When I started working at Par Pharmaceutical it had 350 employees. Today it has 1,800 employees and over $1 billion in sales. It was my experience at Springfield College that helped me to successfully bring together people with different views. It shaped my life as a young professional and prepared me for managing people.

I support Springfield College because it’s important to remember your roots, and the College is a big part of my life and my wife Joanne’s life to this day. It taught us about fairness and treating people well; something we’d like to instill in our children.
— Paul Campanelli ‘84

Paul and Joanne ‘85, members of the David Allen Reed Society, have been consistent supporters of the Springfield College Fund for more than a decade. Paul is chief executive officer and president of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc., which manufactures and markets generic and branded specialty pharmaceuticals. The couple has two daughters and one son.

The David Allen Reed Society recognizes gifts from individuals ranging from $1,000 to $4,999 in a single fiscal year.