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Lasell Holds 162nd Commencement

May 15, 2016

Lasell College held its 162nd commencement exercises Sunday, May 15, granting 403 Baccalaureate degrees and 147 Master's degrees, before an audience of family, friends, and members of the Lasell community.

Commencement speaker Steve Grossman, former State Treasurer and current CEO of the Boston-based nonprofit the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, delivered a speech that touched on his personal experience -- dispatching advice he received from his grandfather about four important aspects of a full life: family, education, career and service to community.

"Live a life of kindness," Grossman told the graduates. "Be a healer. And, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., be a ‘drum major for justice.'"

Grossman shared a story about meeting his wife of 48 years, Barbara, through an introduction by his mother, prompting the suggestion to "always listen to your mother." He also spoke about his worked for the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, which focuses on inner city economic prosperity.

Well known in state and national political circles, Grossman was the National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton years. He also ran for Massachusetts governor in 2014 and served as President of his family's fourth-generation marketing and communications firm, Grossman Marketing Group, for 35 years.

Grossman also raised the importance of life-long learning, citing Lasell Village - the continuing care retirement community on Lasell's campus with an education requirement for residents -- where his mother Shirley resides. His father's college education at a later stage in life was another point of reference.

"In life, you either grow or diminish," he added.

The audience also heard messages from Lasell College President Michael B. Alexander, who acknowledged the graduation of the first cohort from Lasell's Professional Master in Business Administration program. He encouraged the members of the Class of 2016 to seek the truth in life through books and briefly serenaded the class with a line from James Taylor's "How Sweet it Is," which he also sang at a senior class event earlier in the Spring.

Class of 2016 undergraduate student speaker Chrysoula Margaritidis and graduate student speaker Marie Gabour also addressed the graduating class reminding students to savor the memories they have of Lasell.

The commencement exercises honored one faculty and one staff member for excellence in educational leadership. Associate Professor and Chair of Athletic Training and Exercise Science Cristina Haverty and Chief Information Officer Deborah Gelch received those awards.