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Former Lasell President Remembered for a Powerful Albeit Brief Tenure

January 02, 2018

The Lasell College community remembered the college's sixth president, Vincent Claud De Baun, in the midst of his passing at age 91 on December 16, 2017.

De Baun served just two years in his key leadership role at Lasell, but his time in office did not limit the impact or sustainability of his work. Among his accomplishments was the establishment of the college's Jessie S. Brennan Library and the significant growth of its collection. In addition, De Baun advocated for community involvement in local culture and the arts, and renewed the connection between the institution and its founding family. Contact between relatives and direct descendants of Edward and Josiah Lasell had been limited at best prior to De Baun's tenure, and his effort revitalized the school's connection to its founder and first two principals.

De Baun began his time at Lasell in October 1966 and departed just two years later, in September 1968. Based on research shared in Donald J. Winslow's Lasell: A History of the First Junior College for Women, De Baun felt compelled to channel his passion toward serving the African American community in the midst of the Civil Rights movement and following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He accepted a position at the historically black institution, Talladega College, in Alabama, and continued his work in ensuing years as both a teacher and administrator at institutions including Cazenovia College, the University of New Hampshire, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Union College.

The life of the former U.S. Navy veteran will be celebrated in the spring with a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A resident of Charlottesville, he is survived by his wife, Hillary; and two sons, Christian and Nicholas.