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QCC Alum Has a Lifelong Relationship with the College

December, 2017
  • From left: Paula "Gagnon" Moore with Christine McNally, Program Specialist, Business Development.
    From left: Paula "Gagnon" Moore with Christine McNally, QCC Program Specialist, Business Development.

Quinsigamond Community College has been making a difference in people’s lives since it was established in 1963 and no one knows this better than QCC alum, Paula (Gagnon) Moore. Mrs. Moore attended QCC from 1964 -1966 when the college was located at Belmont Street in Worcester (the main campus moved in 1971 to West Boylston Street). She was in one of QCC’s first graduating classes.

Mrs. Moore said she attended QCC because it was accessible by bus and she was able to pay the tuition herself.

“I had three younger siblings who would be following me,” she noted, so the financial savings by attending QCC was important.

At the time she attended QCC, Mrs. Moore said she had no idea what she wanted to do with her future, so she enrolled in a Liberal Arts program at the college.

“The school provided me with an excellent grounding for further education,” she said. “While at QCC, I jumped into school activities, representing my classmates and enjoying the camaraderie.”

In fact that enjoyment and camaraderie translated to lifelong friendships and even a future husband, Doug Moore.

“Doug was at QCC for one year before transferring to Nichols College, “Mrs. Moore continued. “We met in the cafeteria and married in 1968.” 

Mrs. Moore said her husband was also unsure of what he wanted to do with his future and QCC offered him the opportunity to figure out his career path. He attended QCC for one year before transferring to Nichols College and then going on to Suffolk University for his Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

“So you can see that he too benefitted from QCC,” she added.

Mrs. Moore graduated from QCC in 1966 and then transferred to Eastern Nazarene College in Wollaston, Massachusetts, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  After her marriage, she taught for a year at Woodland Street Elementary School in Worcester, before moving to Texas with her husband who was in the Air Force at that time. She taught first grade to military students in Big Spring, Texas before taking time off from her career to raise her family.

The family eventually moved back to the Worcester area and Mrs. Moore went back to work as a program director for several local non-profit agencies. She also returned to school at Worcester State College and earned a Master’s Degree in Human Services Management.

In semi-retirement, Mrs. Moore became a special needs aide at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, where she used her talents and education to assist students. She said she never forgets the educational foundation QCC gave her.

“I would highly recommend QCC to high school students, as I already have done so with several special needs students, who have gone on to successfully begin their own educations,” she added.

Mrs. Moore still stays in touch with two women from her QCC days, Janyce Forhan Sheehan and Donna Nordquist Hagglund, both QCC Liberal Arts graduates.  She met the women when they all attended QCC and the three women get together monthly and reminisce about the “old days.”

Her friends also went on to very productive careers, thanks in part to QCC.

Ms. Sheehan earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education, English from Fitchburg State University, then went on to Worcester State University and obtained her Masters of Education, English. She was a teacher of English Language Arts and English for the Clinton school system for 32 years and was Clinton High’s English Department Chairperson. She retired from the school in 2013.

Ms. Hagglund went on to Fitchburg State University before graduating cum laude from Worcester State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in English. She was in pharmaceutical sales for 15 years with Bristol Myers-Squibb and Sanofi Aventis.

“We often speak about the school that provided us with our grounding to further our educations,” Mrs. Moore added.

Paula "Gagnon" Moore (right) on the cover of QCC's 1967-68 catalog.
QCC Alum from left: Donna Nordquist Hagglund, Janyce Forhan Sheehan and Paula (Gagnon) Moore.