Our Founders

Edmond P. Garvey

The story of STCC starts in 1950 with Edmond P. Garvey, who was then principal of Trade High School, now Putnam. Faye-Marie Bartlett, one of our nursing faculty, remembered the day when Ed Garvey was driving her up the hill from the School Department to her new position at Trade. As they passed Springfield Armory, Dr. Garvey said to her, “Some day that will be a college.” When the city's effort to save the Armory had clearly failed, Mayor Ryan convened a blue ribbon commission, including Dr. Garvey, to determine the best use for the site in the center of Springfield. In 1964, Dr. Garvey had established the Springfield Technical Institute, a two-year post-high school program, in an annex of Trade, to prepare students for careers in specific medical, business, and engineering fields. STI quickly enrolled 400 students, and had no room to accommodate additional applicants, so the Armory site would be a perfect solution. Representative Anthony Scibelli described Ed Garvey as “talented, skilled and highly motivated, a very down-to-earth kind of guy.” Dr. Garvey was known as a role model for creating a kind and caring atmosphere among faculty and administration and students. His dream was to create a technical school that would be affordable for all; that vision became the largest and most comprehensive community college in Massachusetts.

 

Joseph J. Deliso, Sr.

Industrialist Joseph J. Deliso, Sr. was crucial in paving the way for the new college at the state and federal levels. Before coming to Springfield, Joe Deliso had been a developer of the Merritt Parkway, and built the water system for the 1949 World's Fair on Long Island. In Springfield, he took over HBA Cast Products and built it into a major industry, which then played an important role in production for WWII. In the fight to save the Armory, Joe Deliso remembered, “People tried to convince Secretary of Defense McNamara that he shouldn't close the Armory, but he had made up his mind. I approached Governor Volpe, who I was close to, and suggested making it a community college because of its location and the needs of the people. Volpe suggested talking to McNamara, and made an appointment, so I went to Washington and talked with him. I reported back to the governor, and Volpe agreed that an educational institution would be very good for Springfield.” Governor Volpe appointed Joe Deliso as the first chairman of the STCC Advisory Board, from 1967 to 1981. He then became the first chairman of the STCC Board of Trustees, serving through 1985. In 1992, our humanities building, 13, was dedicated as Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Hall. And in 1993, the Deliso family established the Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair at STCC.

 

Charles V. Ryan Mayor of Springfield 1962-1967, 2004-2008

Charles V. Ryan realized that the ideal use of the Armory facility would be as a college. He said, “From the beginning, we felt that Armory Square was really kind of special – resembling a New England college campus, overlooking the Connecticut river valley. It was one of the most striking pieces of real estate in the city and beyond. The success of STI at Trade school should be brought down to Armory Square where we could use the other buildings, and have this thing grow to a larger size, be even more valuable to the people of the region. “From the financial point of view, Springfield had been underwriting STI, and had about reached the limit of what the city could do. There was an opportunity here, if we could get the state behind us, because it was regional, not just a city resource. Tony Scibelli was very quick to recognize that. “From then on, it was kind of easy – 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. I really have to say that Ed Garvey was the creator of this school. “The benefits to the Greater Springfield community from STCC have been incalculable. It’s created jobs and businesses. With technology becoming more complex, to have a technical community college to help people equip themselves for jobs and growth in technical areas more than we ever anticipated - I was looking at technology in the mid-1960s, but growth in the last 50 years has been just stunning, and will continue to be.”

 

Anthony M. Scibelli “Dean” of the House of Representatives

Representative Anthony Scibelli, always known as Tony, was a member of the Springfield City Council for 12 years before he moved to the state house. Serving in the state legislature for 48 years, he was the longest continuously-elected representative in Massachusetts, and in fact, in America. Tony sponsored and quickly pushed through the legislation approving funding and authorizing the transfer of 35 acres of Springfield Armory to the state, for this college. He helped found STCC so that thousands of young people could get the higher education he never had. Years later, Tony also fought in Boston for the funding for a biological sciences building on campus, and in gratitude the college dedicated the building in April 1988 as Anthony M. Scibelli Hall. The college held a tribute event for Tony, which created student scholarships, and established the Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair, STCC's first endowed chair, to recognize and foster faculty excellence. House speaker George Keverian said, “His vision, his endurance, and his dogged perseverance in the pursuit of his ideals stand as a beacon for all those who aspire to public office... he is an institution.” Rep. Scibelli remembered, “People always say ‘Hi Tony, thanks for STCC.’ What more reward can one have in public life than that?”