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Dear members of the Lasell University community,

How do we stay socially connected in a world that currently requires us to remain apart? How do we get comfortable with our lives in an environment that is constantly changing and incredibly uncertain?

I assume with some confidence that these questions are constantly on your mind, as they are on mine. Throughout 2020 we have handled an unprecedented number of unknowns. On top of the obvious problems of the pandemic are continuing issues of racial justice and a divisive election cycle; these challenges are interrelated, and have become more burdensome because we cannot be together.

Human beings are social animals. Asking us to separate goes against our nature. Yet, here we are, making changes to our homes, schools, jobs, and everyday activities to create physical separation at a time when all humanity must come together to fight for a cure and for justice.

An equal and balancing emphasis on “social connecting” is a start. The more we maintain a physical distance from each other, the more we need to find ways to support and communicate with one another. The residents and staff of Lasell Village have demonstrated how intentional creativity makes this possible. Throughout the pandemic, they have stayed connected through virtual programming, physically distant celebrations, and trips outside in nice weather.

On campus, we’ve set up tents, outdoor heaters, and lawn furniture to encourage similar interactions where students can socialize while maintaining proper distance. We’ve turned Rosen Auditorium into a video conferencing center with the capability to host both virtual and in-person participants in real time, together.

Our Development and Alumni Relations team has embarked on a mission to connect with all 17,000 alumni. Their Hold the Torch High campaign is yet another example of maintaining human connection — whether by email, letters, or phone call — when people are physically separated.

In these unprecedented times, resilience and resourcefulness are key. Our most recent graduates from the Class of 2020 know it all too well and have demonstrated time and again how courage in the face of struggle can make all the difference.

Stay well, stay strong, and stay involved with us and with each other as we move, regardless of
circumstance, forever forward.

Michael B. Alexander signature