CHICOPEE, Mass. — College of Our Lady of the Elms announced it has named its center dedicated to improving fairness and opportunity in K-12 education as the Cynthia A. Lyons Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE).
“I am deeply appreciative of the Lyons family’s dedication to Elms College over two decades and for their generous $1 million commitment in support of the Center for Equity in Urban Education,” said Elms College President Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA. “In gratitude for Cindy’s many contributions to make the CEUE a reality, I am thrilled that the center is named after her and is a fitting part of her lasting legacy at Elms.”
Lyons was a member of the Elms College Board of Trustees for the past 15 years, serving the last seven as Board chair. Her term ended on July 1.
The CEUE was launched in 2019 to help bridge the 800-teacher annual gap across K-12 schools in Chicopee, Holyoke, and Springfield, especially in the areas of special education, English language learners, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). It also aims to prepare teachers who better reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the student body in Western Massachusetts urban schools.
“The generous donation from the Lyons family will allow the Center for Equity in Urban Education to remain steadfast in its mission to improve the educational outcomes of students in urban school systems and to diversify the teacher pipeline by recruiting, supporting, and retaining highly qualified educators,” said Tyra Good, Ed.D., executive director of the CEUE. “It will allow us to continue serving Western Massachusetts through professional development opportunities that will create a diverse teaching and learning ecosystem.”
To improve the educational opportunities for students in urban school systems, the CEUE has partnered with seven K-12 schools in the Pioneer Valley including: Chicopee Public Schools, Holyoke Public Schools, Springfield Public Schools, Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Springfield, Libertas Academy Charter School in Springfield, Veritas Preparatory Charter School in Springfield, and the Phoenix Charter Academy Network, which has an academy in Springfield.
The center allows paraprofessionals already working in these urban schools to earn their bachelor’s degree so they can pursue a teaching license. It also gives teachers or anyone else with a bachelor’s degree the ability to pursue their master of arts in teaching degree.
For more information, visit www.elms.edu/ceue.
About Elms College
Elms College is a co-educational Catholic college offering a liberal arts curriculum that prepares students holistically for a purposeful life in a diverse and interconnected world. Founded in 1928 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Elms College has a tradition of educating reflective, principled and creative learners, who are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to civic and social obligations, and capable of adjusting to change without compromising principle.
Image #1: Elms College names the Cynthia A. Lyons Center for Equity in Urban Education following a $1 million gift from the Lyons family. From left to right are: William Lyons III; Cynthia Lyons, former Chair, Elms College Board of Trustees; Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA, Elms College President; and Paul Stelzer, incoming Chair, Elms College Board of Trustees.
Image #2: Elms College names the Cynthia A. Lyons Center for Equity in Urban Education following a $1 million gift from the Lyons family. From left to right are: William Lyons III; Cynthia Lyons, former Chair, Elms College Board of Trustees; and Tyra Good, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Center for Equity in Urban Education.