SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Former Springfield Mayor Charlie Ryan is being remembered for his impact in the community, including his role in the founding of Springfield Technical Community College.
While serving as mayor in the 1960s, Charlie Ryan was one of four key players who supported the transformation of the Springfield Armory into a community college. More than half a century later, the initiatives of Ryan and others, still carries significance within the campus.
“To be able to walk back to a group who sat there and put their heads together and thought about ‘what are we investing in?’ They invested in education.” John B. Cook – President, STCC
The Armory had been used to manufacture military firearms since the birth of the United States nearly 200 years earlier. Ryan was one of the four founders of STCC back in 1967 during his first tenure as mayor of Springfield.
“From the beginning, we felt that Armory Square was really kind of special – resembling a New England college campus, overlooking the Connecticut River Valley,” said Ryan as the 50th anniversary of the college was approaching, in remarks archived on the Springfield Technical Community College website.
“There was an opportunity here, if we could get the state behind us, because it was regional, not just a city resource,” Ryan said. Ryan’s many efforts and support from key officials advanced the proposal and provided it with the momentum needed to come to fruition.
“From then on, it was kind of easy,” Ryan said, recalling his work with Scibelli in the 1960s. “When you have the CEO of the commonwealth and the Chair of Ways and Means working together, it’s pretty much a certainty, so it passed out of city hands and into state hands.”
As of today, STCC is “the only technical community college in the Commonwealth, STCC offers highly regarded programs in manufacturing, healthcare, business, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), social services and liberal arts.”