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William Burke III to Chair Springfield College Board of Trustees

SPRINGFIELD — William Burke III will chair the Springfield College board of trustees for the 2021-22 academic year. A board of trustees member since 2004, he will lead the governing body of the college, which is responsible for major decisions and changes on campus, and comprises an integral part of the progress and advancement of the college.

Burke was chief operating officer of Newell Brands, a Fortune 200 global marketer of consumer and commercial products with worldwide sales of more than $10 billion. The company has a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Yankee Candle, Sharpie, Paper Mate, Parker, Elmer’s, Yankee Candle, Coleman, Marmot, Rawlings, Oster, Sunbeam, Mr. Coffee, Graco, Baby Jogger, Calphalon, Contigo, First Alert, Jostens, and Rubbermaid.

“The ancient Greek philosophy was founded on the notion of a balanced individual,” Burke said. “The Springfield College mission is to educate the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. Building on that foundation reminds me of a quote Aristotle said: at the intersection between one’s gifts and the needs of the world is ‘vocare’ — that is Latin for ‘calling.’ That is the Springfield College community. No institution has a greater mission, and that is why I am all in.”

Burke’s 13-year career with Newell Rubbermaid started as president of American Saw, where he was recruited to integrate a privately held company, Lenox, into Newell Rubbermaid.

“Bill has been an engaged and valued trustee for 17 years, and he is a thoughtful, deliberate, and reflective leader who keenly understands and appreciates the unique Springfield College mission,” college President Mary-Beth Cooper said. “Throughout the pandemic, our board has been accessible and helpful as we’ve navigated difficult decisions. Always leading with the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff in mind, our board was — and is — a vital source of counsel and support, while also ensuring the college’s financial health. Bill brings great professional experience and wisdom to Springfield College, and I am eager to work with him in his new capacity as chair.”

Burke earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola College (now Loyola University), and also received an MBA from Loyola College Sellenger School of Management.

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