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The Power of Philanthropy

Letter to the Lasell College Community

Dean J. Hickey P'18, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Dear Members of the Lasell College Community,  

I write to you as both a Lasell Vice President and a proud Lasell parent. My daughter, Shannon, is a junior at the College, majoring in Exercise Science. I have seen firsthand how she has benefitted from the school's mission and from the contributions of its faculty, staff and generous donors. It is with gratitude for Shannon's Lasell experience and great enthusiasm for the future that I announce Lasell College is entering the public phase of our fundraising campaign, In Pursuit of Great: The Campaign for Lasell College. I invite you to join us.     

In addition to the more than $1 million per year raised in The Lasell Fund, The Campaign seeks to raise $10 million for a new Science and Technology Center, where Wass and Wolfe Halls once stood; an increased endowment to support students and faculty; innovative, cost-saving academic programs; and a new President's Residence and Hospitality Center. To date, more than $7 million has been donated by generous alumni, parents, friends and employees of the College whose support will have a significant impact on our campus community, enhancing the experience of Lasell students.     

Throughout the early phases of the Campaign, which began in September 2015, we have been inspired by many who have come forward, underscoring the College's spirit of philanthropy. Trustee Emerita Nancy Lawson Donahue '49/P'78/H'98 was the first to make a gift, and her commitment has proven pivotal in getting us to this point. Members of our Campaign Steering Committee have been both dedicated leaders and significant donors. Many faculty and staff members have mobilized to contribute, as well; people like Controller Christopher Mackey, Math and Science Department Chair Neil Hatem and Journalism Professor Marie Campagna Franklin, each of whom stepped up without being asked.

I consider myself fortunate: I get to witness people giving to Lasell students, my own daughter among them, every day. It might be a recent graduate who makes a modest Lasell Fund gift, or an alum or parent who includes Lasell in his/her estate plan. These inspirational acts remind our students that people believe in them and in their ability to "pursue great."

Everywhere on campus, we see evidence of the power of philanthropy. Last year, 250 students participated in TAG (Thank A Giver) Day to thank all who support Lasell. I know of a few instances where scholarship students have made personal connections with the donors who fund their scholarships. Then there is an alumni mentor who is flying her mentee to Honolulu, so that they can participate together in a Ballet Hawaii service project. We have a faculty member who quietly buys supplies for her program using personal funds, and another who purchased a bus pass for a student who otherwise could not get to class.

We are inspired by these members of the Lasell family, our family, and their commitment to provide access to a student population that has grown exponentially in recent years.

Our students themselves model philanthropy on a global scale, expanding Lasell's impact through international service learning trips to Tanzania, Mexico, Antigua, Vietnam and Ecuador. My daughter Shannon learned about philanthropy through her involvement with Lasell's Student Alumni Association, where she participated in a host of volunteer activities that benefit area non-profits.

Lasell's broadening reach could not happen without the support of some remarkable members of the Lasell family whose impact is highlighted in these pages. To all of you who have supported In Pursuit of Great: The Campaign for Lasell College, or who plan to, or have found your own way of helping a member of the Lasell community, please know that we are deeply grateful. The power of your philanthropy and continued involvement enables us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on the College's primary mission: inspiring hearts and minds, and changing young lives, every day.


Dean J. Hickey P'18
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

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