All in the Family

Neil and Danielle Hatem

Photo by Margaret Brochu '20Photo by Margaret Brochu '20

In 1995, Neil and Danielle Hatem arrived on the Lasell College campus to take on new jobs as innkeepers for a bed-and-breakfast in what is now Plummer House on Woodland Road. Before they could truly settle in, Neil was presented with an opportunity he couldn’t refuse.

“The College was looking for an adjunct mathematics teacher, and they somehow found out that I was a math tutor,” says Neil. “I started teaching shortly after.”

Twenty-four years later, that small coincidence continues to pay off — both for the Hatem family and for the Lasell College community. In 2012, the Hatems joined the College’s Heritage Society as public members with a fixed dollar bequest.

“We have seen Lasell grow since our first days here, and simultaneously, I have been able to grow as an educator,” says Neil, now an associate professor of mathematics.

He notes that his pedagogy meshes well with students’ learning styles, which brings him great joy. To support their success only adds to that feeling.

“My love for the institution starts with the students, and being able to contribute to their goal of earning a college education gives me special satisfaction,” he says.

For Neil, this holds true beyond just fiscal contributions. In nearly a quarter-century at Lasell, he has served as faculty chair, department chair for math and science, advised numerous student clubs, supervised student events, and volunteered as an unpaid assistant coach for the College’s women’s basketball team. He was also critical in creating and sourcing grant funding for the College’s Alden Math Lab, now housed in the Science & Technology Center.

“I show up whenever I can to help out,” he says. That devotion stems from an appreciation of everything that happens on campus.

“There is so much that happens behind the scenes that doesn’t always get recognition or awareness,” he says, noting that services that may get taken for granted — such as campus police or plant operations — are one of the reasons he and Danielle opted to join the Heritage Society.

“Giving back to Lasell was an easy choice for me,” says Danielle. “From running the bed-and-breakfast to sending our children to Rockwell Preschool and then raising them on campus, Lasell College will always be a special place to us.”

Neil agrees. “As you succeed,” he says, “it is important to remember who took care of you. We feel very strongly in that sense about giving back.”

For information on how to make a planned gift to Lasell College, please contact Terri Houston, advancement officer, at or at 617-243-2165.

Past Issues

Past issues of Leaves Magazine at Lasell College