Western New England University, usually referred to as WNE, is a private, coeducational institution in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1919 as the Springfield Division of Northeastern College, a satellite campus, its initial raison d’être was to provide part-time adult courses in accounting, business and law. It now continues to offer such opportunities, but most of today’s students, who can choose from more than 45 undergraduate programmes in total, are full-time. WNE gained full university status in 2011.
More than 70% of WNE’s students live on its tree-lined campus, which comprises more than 200 acres just east of the city centre. Springfield, where Abraham Lincoln lived and practiced law for decades, is just north of the state’s border with Connecticut, whose state capital Hartford is 30 miles away, and 80 miles west of Boston.
WNE alumni include Larry O’Brien, a Democratic Party stalwart who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee and campaign manager for John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey’s presidential bids, Thomas S. Moorman Jr., a former vice chief of staff of the US Air Force, and Anthony Katagas, a producer whose best-known film 12 Years a Slave won three Academy Awards in 2014, including Best Picture.