Letter to Alumni and Friends
Lasell's role in the life of the larger Newton community has never been more critical-or more robust-than in today's innovation economy. In my role as vice president of Communications, Community and Government Relations, I am responsible for developing and enhancing relationships with government officials, community leaders and neighbors. And I've never been more excited about the possibilities.
The College's location, and its connection to city life, distinguish Lasell from other area schools. We strive to nurture and grow our community relationships, and we do so in myriad ways.
From interning at local elementary schools and businesses to working with the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce to helping CAN-DO (Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton) conduct research, Lasell students-some 100 of them in the last academic year-are active throughout the community.
Our Center for Community Based Learning provides support and opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage with local organizations on mutually-beneficial projects. Beyond the long-term initiatives, Lasell students also regularly participate in one-time community service events for a total of 1,653 hours involving 643 student attendees over the last academic year. Those events included a Charles River Clean-Up, a Sleepout for Homelessness and a Light the Night Walk (against domestic violence).
My team works with the Newton Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, meets with the Massachusetts Sentate President and House Speaker to create visibility for Lasell at the State House. And on the federal level, we monitor legislation and funding opportunities related to higher education. Mindful of today's economic climate, we've launched a Small Business Institute, an effort involving Newton-Needham Chamber members, small businesses and Lasell faculty and students providing services to, and building support for, the Newton business community.
In addition, Lasell College and Lasell Village have a direct impact on the local economy in terms of taxes paid, utilities, payroll and local buying power.
Lasell's expanding reach could not happen without the support of some remarkable members of the Lasell family, whose impact is on display in these pages. We will continue to find more ways to make productive connections with the local community and the larger world with our eyes firmly fixed on the College's primary mission: Inspiring hearts and minds every day through the power of education.
Ruth S. Shuman
Vice President of Communications, Community and Government Relations