Celia Smith, Assistant Editor-In-Chief
Cheers echoed through the Kelly Atrium this past Thursday as Larry Lucchino, current Chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox and former President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox, spoke the words: “Today I am proud to announce, at 3:57 p.m., that we are all Hounds.”
Students lined the double staircase and balcony of the atrium in the Tsotsis Family Academic Center on the afternoon of October 25th, waiting for President Francesco Cesareo to make the first official announcement that would expose the meaning of all those Red Sox logo stickers that had been plastered around campus a few hours before.
A hush roared over the crowd as President Cesareo finally stepped up to the podium to announce that Assumption had entered into a partnership with the Worcester Red Sox. According to President Cesareo, Assumption is the “exclusive higher education sponsor and one of the 21 founding partners” for the organization.
President Cesareo recalled fond memories of baseball from his childhood and shared his hopes for this partnership to provide students similar fond memories of their college years and relevant experience that will extend far past graduation.
“This relationship is much more than hanging a banner on the outfield wall of the new Polar Park,” said President Cesareo.
The new partnership will guarantee internships to Assumption students in the academic programs of Business Studies, Data Analytics, Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies and English: Writing and Mass Communications.
The event, which went on for about an hour and a half, included speeches from Lucchino, President of the Pawtucket Red Sox, longtime Boston Red Sox executive Dr. Charles Steinberg, Assumption College graduate of the class of 2018, Jean-Manuel Martinez, Libby O’Hara, an Assistant Professor in the Business Studies Department and of course, President Cesareo.
Dr. Steinberg emphasized the importance of building personal relationships within the community and destroying any barriers between fans and the organization. He further corroborated President Cesereo’s point that the relationship between the Worcester Red Sox and Assumption College would be unlike any other, revealing just how inclusive the partnership would be:
“Let’s have a conversation, you’ll tell us what marketing themes emerge, because you’ll tell us what you want. We’re going to have a fan plan meeting here, one day soon. Call it 20, 25 of you sitting around the table, you’ll tell us what you want,” said Dr. Steinberg.
Dr. Becky Dibiasio, a professor in the department of English and the internship coordinator for the department revealed what opportunities the partnership would offer to students in the English: Writing and Mass Communications field:
“We’re hoping for more opportunities to do experimental internships, in other words, working in the community, [going] to live in the community [where the organization] is located for the summer…That would mean in two years, [students would stay] in Worcester over the summer, working directly with the community in different ways,” said Dr. Dibiasio.
According to DiBiasio, Assumption already has had some students that have had internships with baseball organizations.
She noted Assumption English: Writing and Mass Communications graduate, Ed McMahon ‘17, former sports editor and Assistant Editor-In-Chief of Le Provocateur, as one of these students. McMahon interned with the Connecticut Tigers and was offered a position after graduation.
Jean-Manuel Martinez is another student who interned with a baseball organization, the Pawtucket Red Sox, during his time at Assumption. Martinez continued to work for the PawSox after graduation.
“I stand here as proof of the value and effectiveness of an Assumption education,” said Martinez in his speech.
Leslie Roda, a senior English: Writing and Mass Communications major with a sports management minor said that the partnership is “really going to enhance our school’s brand in general because this is a partnership not like most.”
According to President Cesareo, these opportunities for Assumption students will begin to become available in 2021, once Polar Park is completed and the team calls Worcester their home.
Regardless of your major, graduation year or interest in baseball, this partnership will put Assumption on a whole new trajectory and the Greyhound brand is going to be known more than ever before.
In the words of O’Hara, “Wear your hats proudly, wear your shirts proudly, and wear the name ‘Greyhounds’ very proudly.”