Lasell Holds 161st Commencement

Lasell Holds 161st Commencement

May 17, 2015

Lasell College held its 161st commencement exercises Sunday, May 17, granting 294 Baccalaureate degrees and 156 Master's degrees, before an audience packed with family, friends, and members of the Lasell community.

Commencement speaker and expert communications strategist Judy Smith, delivered a speech that outlined her steps for career success paired with examples from her own path to becoming one of the most sought after crisis communications advisors in the country.

Smith, well known as the inspiration for the hit TV series Scandal, has advised high-profile and celebrity clients including NBA star Kobe Bryant, NFL quarterback Michael Vick and Monica Lewinsky. She has also served as a strategist for Fortune 500 companies such as BellSouth and United Healthcare. Previously she worked for President George H. W. Bush as Deputy Press Secretary.

Smith spoke of a formula for success that includes hard work, being fearless, and having impeccable character.

"Hard work is important but you need to work hard even on the small things," said Smith, who recalled her first job working for a small non-profit where she had the opportunity to try and learn many skills - some that were precursors to her work today.

Smith urged the graduates to determine early on which character traits are important and what they want to stand for. She also advised the graduates to believe in themselves.

"Be great and do things that people say are impossible," she said.

The audience also heard messages from Lasell College President Michael B. Alexander, who acknowledged the graduation of the largest number of master's degree recipients in the College's history. He encouraged the members of the Class of 2015 to have perseverance as they look for their first jobs and to be dedicated to the truth.

Class of 2015 undergraduate student speaker Ryan MacLeod and graduate student speaker James Tatara also addressed the graduating class, reminding students to savor the memories they have of Lasell and to continue learning.

The commencement exercises also honored one faculty and one staff member for excellence in educational leadership: Professor Sharyn Lowenstein and Senior Development Officer Katharine Urner-Jones.