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The AIC theater arts program will present August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Fences, on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 at 2:30 p.m., in the Esther B. Griswold Theatre. Fences, considered THE August Wilson play, is about African Americans in the 1950s. The themes of the play include race relations in a pre-civil-rights-movement and pre-Vietnam-war-era mentality.


AIC is proud to be able to produce this level of work with culturally and racially diverse actors, including senior theater arts major Dante Hayes who plays Troy Maxon. "I am honored to be playing a part in such a rich and historical play. I see glimpses of these characters in my family. I see them in myself. I've met them. I know them and I feel for them. They are both beautiful and tragic."


According to Director of Theater Arts Frank Borrelli, MFA, “While there have been smaller, limited-seating productions, Fences is the first major production at AIC since March 2020. As a diverse campus community, it is important for our students to be able to see themselves in the productions we select for production each semester.”


Fences is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome and appreciated.



With the recognition of its role as a fundamental pillar in the Springfield Community and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, American International College is setting a course for the future of the College and its mission.  ​Representatives from all campus constituents have worked together to create a new guiding document; AIC Reimagined—the College’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.

This five-year roadmap for the College includes six fundamental pillars, through which AIC will continue to fulfill its mission of providing access to a holistic education in an inclusive environment that propels a diverse community of learners to personal growth and professional success:

  • Revitalize: Academics – Enhancing and expanding the breadth and depth of the academic portfolio
  • Empower: Student Life, Engagement, and Support – Creating robust student experiences and strong support systems that empower learners to achieve their goals.
  • Flourish: Fiscal Growth – Ensuring AIC’s long-term fiscal sustainability.
  • Engage: Internal and External Community Engagement and Development - Developing, growing, and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships with College stakeholders to enhance AIC.
  • Belong: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging – Creating a transformational community that embraces diversity and fosters a sense of belonging.
  • Champion: Athletics - Creating an environment that promotes academic success, development, and competitive excellence that inspires pride in the College.

“Through AIC Reimagined, the College will be dedicated to being a valuable resource to the community and continue to be an engine of workforce development.  To achieve this, AIC plans to establish and expand partnerships with local and regional community stakeholders to ensure its academic programming meets the needs of the region’s labor force with an expanded academic portfolio”, says AIC President Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD.


In addition to a renewed focus on community engagement, AIC, and true to its name and heritage, the College is also focusing on the internationalization of its college campus.  New agreements have been reached with the Catholic University of El Salvador, and St. Paul University in the Philippines, and Benitez says there are more to come.  “These collaborations are in response to AIC’s goals of becoming a vibrant, year-round campus community for living and learning opportunities, of expanding the scope of its academic programs, and of reengaging with institutions from different countries.”  Benitez concludes, “The College is prepared for a new challenge, and it has the talent to continue making this a one-of-its-kind institution.”


Details of AIC Reimagined can be viewed by visiting, a new, public-facing website that contains this newly affirmed mission and vision statement, core values, and strategic initiatives.



American International College has entered a second international partnership agreement as part of the College’s continuing commitment to increasing its international presence and creating opportunities for student and faculty exchange and student mobility. College President Hubert Benitez and Chief Operating Officer Nicolle Cestero, on behalf of AIC, have signed a partnership with the Catholic University of El Salvador (Universidad Catolica de El Salvador, or UNICAES).


Established in 1982, UNICAES is considered one of the most notable universities in El Salvador and consistently appears in the Latin America University Rankings as one of the top institutions in the region. The public university, located in Santa Ana, has a strong presence in STEM, engineering, and architecture, as well as the health sciences, including medical and nursing schools, nutrition, and dietetics.


As part of the agreement, AIC and UNICAES will work to promote cooperation in the fields of academic research and education at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The partnership goals include opportunities for intercultural immersion programming, student exchange programs, and the sharing of ideas among faculty for research, lectures, and speaking engagements.


Earlier this year, AIC entered into a partnership agreement with St. Paul University in the Philippines (SPUP).  A ceremonial signing will take place at SPUP on December 7, 2022, prior to the initiation of the International Interdisciplinary Research Conference.  President Benitez will deliver the keynote speech at the conference, which is being co-hosted by AIC.


“These collaborations are in response to AIC’s goals of becoming a vibrant, year-round campus community for living and learning opportunities, of expanding the scope of its academic programs, and of reengaging with institutions from different countries”, according to Benitez. He adds, “AIC is taking a proactive approach to its internationalization efforts and is establishing focused strategic partnerships with institutions abroad who have an interest in joining AIC in academic, mobility, interdisciplinary and cultural immersion initiatives.” 


AIC continues its tradition of honoring those who have served their country with the annual Veterans Day ceremony, held on November 10th this year because November 11th is now observed as a campus holiday.  The ceremony is sponsored by the multigenerational Alumni Veterans Committee which includes alumni spanning more than fifty years.


A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Rear Admiral John F. Hines Pin to a military veteran in his senior year at AIC.  Admiral Hines was the eighth president of AIC and served in the US Navy.  This year’s recipient is senior Julian Colon, ‘23 who is currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserve in the rank of Lance Corporal.  Colon’s military honors include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. 


The event also included a reading of the winning entry of the College’s patriot essay contest for AIC first-year English students.  The essay was written by Hunger McCurdy, ’26, a member of this year's Men’s Ice Hockey team.


The moving ceremony concluded with the laying of a wreath and the playing of taps.


Victorian poetry will be the topic of an upcoming talk at the Shea Library, which is hosting an author appearance by American International College professor of English Lori Page, MA, PhD, to celebrate the release of her new book, The Spasmodic Poets


“Few stories capture the unique interplay of critical theory, mass media, and public taste better than the story of the Spasmodics,” writes the book’s publisher McFarland on its website.  “These earnest, youthful and largely self-educated neo–Romantics hoped to become prophets who would influence literary society on a grand scale. This work documents, in appropriate social contexts, the trajectory of the Spasmodic School in both its original incarnation and subsequent appraisals.”


Page, who teaches courses in British and gothic literature at AIC, will speak on Friday, December 2, at 11:30 a.m. in the Flag Room in the Shea Library.  The event is open to everyone, and snacks will be provided.