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Westfield State holds homecoming, shifts focus from president

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WESTFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Earlier this week, Westfield State President Evan Dobelle was placed on paid administrative leave by the university's board of trustees.

The trustees are conducting another investigation into Dobelle's spending of the Westfield State University Foundation's money.

A report back in August showed that Dobelle had mixed personal and business expenses on the university's credit card, but Dobelle insists that all money spent was for the good of the school.

On Friday, Dobelle's legal team announced that they will be filing a federal lawsuit against the trustees and the state's higher education commissioner.

With that lawsuit hanging in the air, Westfield State alumni gathered on campus Saturday for homecoming weekend, which was capped off by a football game against the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

It was a very festive atmosphere and several alumni who did not want to go on camera told CBS 3 that they like what Dobelle has done for the school.

The president of the alumni association said alumni make up a very needed part of the university.

"We are so important," said Tracey Inella Pinto. "We support the school. There are 37,000 active alumni. For some schools in the area, that's the size of their undergraduate class. To have that small of a pool, it's so important for us to be active. We love coming back and being part of these activities."

It was not your typical homecoming weekend in Westfield. Alumni and students are celebrating the university's 175th anniversary.

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