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By David Nathan

She sang as a student at Lasell, and is still singing, yet dancing has been the performing art of choice for Betty Hood ’61 for nearly 50 years.

The former member of the Lasell Chorus and the Lamplighters octet has been a social ballroom dancer since the 1970s, and she has taught everything from waltz to foxtrot and swing to salsa in her Kitchen Dancing studio in her Massachusetts home for the last 18 years. She has competed in international ballroom, and has been taking lessons in this style of dance for the last five years. She curtailed her dancing and teaching during the spring and summer due to COVID-19, but recently returned to the dance floor in both capacities with some restrictions in place.

“I’m going to teach dance as long as I can,” says Hood, who has two sons and four grandchildren. “It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding.”

Since graduation, Hood has made an annual gift to The Lasell Fund. When she retired at the age of 77 after a long career as a legal secretary, she established a charitable gift annuity at Lasell, making a generous gift in exchange for a fixed income stream for life. The University is also in her will.

“I am very grateful for the wonderful experience that I had at Lasell,” Hood says in explaining her support of the University. “I look back at my days at Lasell with great fondness.”

While Hood is thrilled to see Lasell’s evolution into a coeducational university with graduate programs, she thrived in the all-women environment in the late 1950s and early ’60s. She lived in Ordway House as a first-year student and then moved to Cushing. She studied to be an executive secretary, yet appreciated the opportunity to round out her education by taking French, music appreciation, and other classes in the liberal arts. She still gets together with longtime friend Joan Franke Neustaedter ’61 twice a year in New Jersey.

As a social outlet, Hood began dancing in her early 30s at famed ballroom Moseley’s on the Charles. In time, she learned both the leader and follower parts, and then began teaching couples. After giving friends some lessons in swing, “I was so excited that I literally did not sleep that night,” she remembers. “I said to myself, ‘You can do this. You can start a business.’”

It’s been beautiful music ever since.

For more information on how to make a planned gift to Lasell, contact Terri Houston, philanthropy and engagement officer, at thouston@lasell.edu or at 617-243-2165.

Lasell University Heritage Society
As alumni and friends learn more about the benefits of planned giving at Lasell University, many are choosing to provide special support for the institution's future by establishing a life-income gift or bequest. The Heritage Society honors these individuals who champion the next generation of Lasell students. We are pleased to pay tribute to the following members of the Heritage Society:

Michael B. Alexander and Mary Barbara Alexander Sally Andrews Deborah O’Neill Aspinwall ’66 and John Aspinwall
Nancy Larsen Bailey ’48 MaryAnn Mitchell Beaver ’69 Stormy Horton Bell ’92 G’20 P’22
Nancy Shook Bender ’56 Victoria Tennant Bettes ’68 Nancy Zigo Bush ’64
Thomas Campbell Marcia James Carthaus ’57 Cheryl Chapman ’72
Nancye Van Deusen Connor ’57 P’84 Cheryl Campbell Cremens ’64 Joan Sastavickas Curtin ’62
Thomas de Witt H’07 (honorary co-chair) and Margaret Ward H’07 John K. Dirlam Jr. and Patti Dirlam Mary Ann Donahue ’53
Nancy Lawson Donahue ’49 P’78 H’98 Elisabeth Drake Nora Jean Ganslen ’70
Ellen Kenerson Gelotte ’48 Toni Kennedy Gelotte ’56 Nancy Goodale ’66
Rosalind Gray Nancy Curtis Grellier ’49 Nancy Ferrier Grosjean ’66
Genevieve Harold ’55 Helena Hartnett (co-chair) Neil and Danielle Hatem
Jacqueline Paulding Hauser ’50 Jane Wadhams Hazen ’49 Robert Heist
Elizabeth Hood ’61 Bobbie Jennings ’55 Laura Jensen ’61
Lucinda Nolin Johnson ’55 ’77 Joan Gordon Kaplan ’65 Pell Kennedy ’83
Frances Nettleton Konsella ’56 Margaret Schwingel Kraft ’56 Naomi Kahrimanian
Kuzoian ’46
Susan Lillywhite ’67 Ann Bowerman Logan ’54 Eileen Conradi Lynch ’57
Barbara Caron MacLean ’66 and Bruce MacLean Deborah Lind Mahony ’67 Gloria Boyd Major-Brown ’44
Susan Mark ’66 Marsha Singer Marshall ’58 and Richard Marshall Jo-Ann Vojir Massey ’51 and Dwight Massey
Arthur and Ellen Menard Ann Mignosa ’87 Caroline Killam Moller ’57
L. Angel Morales ’13 Judith Ann Muncaster ’57 Sarah Taylor Murray ’49
Bernard Murstein and Nelly Kashy Murstein Judith Lipkins Ness ’68 Frances Lee Osborne ’48
Virginia Schmidt Panton ’64 Kay Ingrid Pinkham ’63 Nancy Burrows Putnam ’50
Joan Antun Rednor ’50 B.J. Stephenson Riedel ’49 Katherine McDonough Ryan ’67 P’03
Donna Brown Safran ’68 Ricardo Sanon ’08 Marni Nahigian Sarkisian ’50
Virginia Pedrick Searle ’65 Jennifer Share ’98 Neil Share P’98
Ruth Shuman Judith George Stephens ’58 Alice Johnson Thornton ’48
Ann Sterner Tyler ’68 Katharine Urner-Jones ’83 Margo Hicks Waite ’63 (co-chair) and Robert Menson (co-chair)
Joan Howe Weber ’51 Harriet Markham Wedeman ’48 H’10 Cecelia Davenport Weidmann ’48
Michelle Forget White ’89 G’95 Geraldine Weidman Wight ’61 Charlotte Winslow
Irma Lipsitt Wolfe ’48 Kyo Yamawaki H’93 Anonymous '44, '47, '48, '54, '56 (3), '58, '63, '69, friends (2)