The Shea Endowed Fund is named after Dr. Bernard Shea , the first President of Charter Oak State College.
By 1973, it had become evident that many of the potential benefits of social and economic progress were not being realized because large numbers of adults lacked access to the higher learning that would enable them to fill positions of responsibility. Suddenly, there emerged the conviction that it was the right of adult persons at every period in their lives to have an opportunity to study any subject at any level, to receive instruction as needed or desired, to be awarded academic credentials in recognition of their achievement, and - most important of all - thereby to acquire the distinctive status accorded recipients of traditional academic degrees.
Dr. Bernard Shea's vision, hard work, and innovative ideas for adult learners assured that Charter Oak State College gained acceptance in Connecticut's academic community.
The Shea Endowment was established in 1987 upon Dr. Shea's retirement. This Endowed Fund enables the College to sponsor public lectures which further the College's mission to engage students and the community in lifelong learning.
In October 2008, the Foundation sponsored the Shea Lecture in conjunction with the Inauguration of President Klonoski. The Shea Lecture was given by Stan Greenberg, noted pollster, who spoke about the role of polling in various kinds of strategic planning efforts. It was offered free to the public.