University News

WNE President Named 2023 Spirit of Springfield City of Bright Nights Ball Honorary Chair

Published: April 06, 2023 | Categories: All News
Dr. Johnson surrounded by student ambassadors from WNE at the Bright Nights Ball.

Today, in the Blake Law Center on the campus of Western New England University, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt joined Western New England University President Dr. Robert E. Johnson, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, MGM Springfield President Chris Kelley, Vice President of Operations for American Medical Response Patrick Pickering, event sponsors, committee members, Western New England University Administration and Trustees, and Spirit of Springfield Board of Directors to announce Dr. Johnson as the gala's 2023 Honorary Chair and Western New England University as its sponsor.

"I am honored to serve as Honorary Chair of the 2023 Spirit of Springfield City of Bright Nights Ball," said Dr. Johnson. "Western New England University is a proud member of the Springfield community, and I am pleased to represent our terrific students, faculty, and staff.  The relationship between WNE and the Bright Night's Ball goes back many years. I am grateful to Judy Matt and the Spirit of Springfield Board for this great honor."

The theme for the November 11th gala is Gilded Glamour. The invitation was designed by Rebecca Coderre, a WNE graduate. The invitation, decor, and menu will be presented at the announcement by City of Bright Nights Ball Committee Members, Josphine Sarnelli, CPA, Matthew Flatow, Flowers, Flowers!, and Chris Smigel, MGM Springfield.

"Western New England University is such a large part of our community.  They have over 3,600 students from 38 states and 22 countries.  Many of these students make Western Massachusetts their home after graduation.  We are so pleased to have their support as this year’s lead sponsor for the City of Bright Nights Ball," said Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt.  "Students from the university have been volunteering at the gala since its inception in 1996."

In addition to Western New England University, the 2023 City of Bright Nights Ball is sponsored by American Medical Response, Baystate Health, Charlie Arment Trucking, Comcast, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, M&T Bank, MassMutual, MGM Springfield, Monarch Enterprises, Monson Savings Bank, MP CPA's, PeoplesBank, Springfield Business Improvement District, The Colvest Group, Westfield Bank, and Westfield State University.

The City of Bright Nights Ball is the non-profit organization's largest annual fundraiser and supports the organization's efforts to bring the community together in celebration.  It features a gourmet dinner, dancing, auctions, and lots of socializing by Springfield's business and community leaders there to support the Spirit of Springfield and their mission to bring the community together in celebration.

To learn more about the Spirit of Springfield's night of Gilded Glamour visit or contact