By Claire Burns

"When I tell people that I'm a Springfield College graduate, two things always happen," says Dr. Stephen Piserchia. "First, they give me a big smile. Secondly, they're happy to say that they know somebody who went there, and I can see it was a good experience."

"Springfield graduates exude a balanced approach to life, and they're proud of the College," says Piserchia. "Whatever their occupation or profession, they usually also have a sport or other physical activity in their lifestyle, and they have an attitude that reflects a healthy spirit."

Piserchia believes strongly that the spirit-mind-body balance is key to a person's ability to apply knowledge practically in the real world. It's been important in his career path from YMCA professional, through medical school, and to today as a chiropractic physician. "When I treat a patient, I see more than just the pathology. I know that what they're experiencing physically also affects their mind and spirit, and treating the whole person improves the outcome."

Piserchia earned his bachelor's degree in exercise physiology with a concentration in cardiac rehabilitation at Springfield College, and then became a YMCA program director and worked in hospital cardiac rehabilitation. He went on to receive his chiropractic doctorate with honors from Logan University. He is also certified in rehabilitation and has advanced certification in acupuncture, hand therapy, and pain management related to muscle and joint injuries. He was part of the medical team at Schick Razors and Baer Pharmaceuticals, and now is in private practice in New Haven, Conn., is an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport, and teaches occupational health at the New Haven Police Academy.

His strong academic preparation at Springfield College was his launching pad, Piserchia says. But the value added to his undergraduate experience was the special character of Springfield College. "I'm proud to be Springfield College alum," he says.

"There's a great sense of family among Springfield College people, and a real friendliness," Piserchia adds. I noticed it on my first visit to the campus as a high school student. I couldn't count the number of people who said 'hi.' The same spirit was there when I attended my 25th reunion, and is in the friendships that I maintain – now more easily through social media."

So important is it to Piserchia that future of generations of Springfield College graduates continue to touch the lives of others as wholly developed, well balanced individuals that he has endowed a scholarship. "It's important to leave a legacy that continues to do well beyond one lifetime," he says. "Building the College's endowment is so important. Colleges can't educate students through tuition dollars alone. As tuition rises, some students are financially excluded.

"This scholarship will be for students who exemplify the spirit-mind-body lifestyle in their everyday activities, and not just academia – those who really understand what it means to be a Springfield College student and graduate" he says. "It will help students who, throughout their lifetimes, give others reason to smile at the mention of Springfield College."

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