Life at WSU

  • Worcester Living

    Worcester—often referred to as The Big Woo—is indeed big, both in area and in stature. The second largest city in Massachusetts and one of the most vibrant cities in the Northeast, Worcester is home to a burgeoning enterprise hub, an award-winning brewery, a robust health-care and biotech scene, and an expanding airport that accommodates all this activity. Worcester native Harvey Ball is said to have invented the “smiley face.”

    A Most Livable City
    Not surprising, given that Worcester ranks 9th on Forbes magazine's list of “America’s Most Livable Cities.” That confirmed what our students have been saying for years: Worcester is a great place to go to college. The New York Times assigned a reporter to describe what the Worcester buzz is all about:

    • boulevards are steadily filling up with civic amenities
    • busy public transit hub
    • comfortable and affordable housing
    • new restaurants and watering holes
    • computer stores and coffee shops
    • performance arts theater
    • biotech research facilities
    • incubators and office space for start-up companies
    • renovated parks
    • ice rink larger than the one in Rockefeller Center
    • the top of urban demographic and economic performances in New England
    The Heart of the Big Woo

    Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston and 38 miles (61 km) east of Springfield. The city is known as the “Heart of the Commonwealth” because of its location in the center of Massachusetts. In fact, a heart is the official symbol of the city. But what makes The Big Woo distinct? Here are just a few of the characteristics that combine to give this city its out-sized personality.

    Want to know more about The Big Woo? 

  • Arts
    The Worcester Art Museum, the second largest museum in New England, showcases 5,000 years of creativity from such masters as El Greco, Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Gauguin
    College Students
    More than 35,000 college students help give this city its energy, its cool, and its exceptional smarts.
    Nature
    Worcester has 53 parks, including Elm Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and the largest urban nature sanctuary in New England. The EcoTarium, Worcester’s science and nature center, hosts more than a 100,000 visitors annually.
    Provenance
    Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Abby Kelley Foster lived here. Writers Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Benchley were born here. Cole Porter went to school here. And radical activist Abbie Hoffman developed his hippie chic aura here. Comedian and actor Denis Leary grew up here—and pays us a visit from time to time.
    Restaurants
    The Big Woo is making a name for itself in the gastronomy department with a growing list of gourmet haunts that are attracting foodies from all over the state.
    Sports
    Catch a game of baseball in town. The local Futures Collegiate Baseball League team, the Bravehearts, thrills spectators all summer at the Hanover Insurance Park. And those who want to play—not watch—can head down one of the 22 ski trails at nearby Wachusett Mountain or head up one of the climbing walls at Central Rock Gym.