Don Winslow, Lasell’s Historian and Founder of the Lasell Archives, Remembered


Don Winslow, Lasell’s Historian and Founder of the Lasell Archives, Remembered

July 12, 2010

He was a walking, talking history of Lasell College, ready to share the most vivid memories from his childhood or adulthood of his beloved Lasell.

Donald J. Winslow, 99, died on July 10, 2010 leaving behind loving family members, including his wife Charlotte (Lindgren) Winslow, and many friends from the Lasell campus.

"Don Winslow and his family played an integral role in the history of Lasell. The College is indebted to him for his commitment to the school, his sharp memory of momentous occasions on this campus, and his ongoing efforts to keep the traditions and history of Lasell vibrant for our growing community. Our sympathies go out to Don's wife, Charlotte, who remains active in the Lasell community in many ways, including as a member of our Board of Overseers," said Michael B. Alexander, President of Lasell.

Winslow, born in Karandon House on the Lasell campus on December 21, 1911, was the son of former Lasell President Guy Winslow, who served the College for 49 years.

Winslow grew up on the Auburndale campus and enjoyed sharing his exploits as a child. In a recent interview, he shared memories of when he and sister Priscilla snuck into the upper level of Carter Hall to watch live performances. He also recalled campus visits from the likes of Robert Frost and other luminaries, and the dinners at the President's House that followed.

A visit to Don and Charlotte Winslow's home, just steps from campus, felt like a stroll back in time.

Winslow graduated from Newton High school in 1929, went on to receive B.A. and M.A. degrees from Tufts University and a Ph.D. from Boston University in 1942. Winslow was a professor at Boston University for 41 years and chaired the English department from 1952-1962, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1977.

At Lasell, Winslow was a trustee and the historian of the College, establishing the Lasell archives - which was named for him - and publishing Lasell: A History of the First Junior College for Women.

In his foreword to the book, then-Lasell President Peter Mitchell wrote of Winslow, "It is indeed difficult to remain objective and comprehensive in the treatment of a subject that is so close to one's heart. Yet Dr. Winslow's reverence for scholarship and adeptness and "turning a phrase" enables him to utilize such intimacy to breathe life into the drama of this institution's past."

For his work on the project, Winslow was awarded the Lasell Bowl, the highest honor then bestowed by the College, in 1986.

"Every college needs its chronicler; Don was ours. During my presidency so focused on change, Don provided perspective and institutional memory. [He] reminded us that progress at Lasell also required a celebration of its unique past," said Thomas DeWitt, past President of Lasell College.

Winslow's legacy, and his written history of the College, live on today in several ways. All new residents at Lasell Village, the senior living facility on campus, receive a copy of his book and it is common for current professors to require archival research for class projects.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.