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By David Nathan

Affinity groups at Lasell University are on the rise as alumni of different majors and class years increasingly find ways to connect. 

All 17 of Lasell's NCAA athletic programs invite former players to return to campus to play in alumni games and/or watch the teams compete. Some alumni games attract dozens of onetime Lasers, who visit with former teammates and meet current players.

"It is wonderful to see our alumni engage with each other and the University through the activities that were most meaningful to them during their days as students," says Tom Williams, Lasell's director of alumni relations and annual fund.

"We expect that in future years we will develop even more affinity groups to bring alumni and students together based on their interests."

Matt Mahoney '12 G'15, a four-year starter for the Lasell baseball team, returns to campus to watch as many games as he can. Mahoney's connection to the team has deepened since former teammate Billy Uberti '14 became head coach.

"Baseball is my strongest connection to Lasell since I'm still good friends with so many of my teammates," Mahoney says.

For former softball captain Erin Larghi '16 G'20, staying connected to the program is easy; she's in her first full year as an assistant to head coach Sarah Woodside '07.

"I love helping current players fall in love with the game at a place that I care about so much," says Larghi, who works at Lasell as a senior desktop technician and multimedia specialist. "As an alumna, I want to help make us a Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship team."

Larghi and her former teammates gather for dinners, getaways to New Hampshire, trips to the beach, and, of course, the annual alumni game at Lasell. "Starting in our first year, we built a bond that became stronger every year we were playing. That continues through today," she says. 

The trend extends beyond athletics, too. James Rossano '18, a cofounder and first president of the Student Alumni Association (SAA), is friendly with many former SAA members. Now that he has graduated and is on the other side of the student/alumni continuum, he meets with students interested in networking. He recently hosted a dinner at his home for SAA members and returned to campus for the Student Government Association-sponsored Midnight Breakfast during final exam week.

"I appreciate that alumni took the time to engage with me when I was a student," he says. "I want to pay that forward."