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Lasell College Moves to University Status

August 15, 2019

Lasell College announced Tuesday that it has been granted university status by the State Board of Higher Education, effective immediately. This new designation more accurately reflects the institution's financial stability and record growth in its undergraduate and graduate and professional development programs, along with the strength of its endowment.

"University better represents the quality, diversity, and scope of Lasell's academic offerings, our programs and priorities," says President Michael B. Alexander. "This timely change underscores our rich history, shared vision, and long-range goals, and emphasizes our long-held commitment to the benefits of higher education at a private institution that features small classes sizes and individual faculty attention for every student."

Lasell was among the first private colleges in Massachusetts and a pioneer in post-secondary education for women. The former seminary became Lasell Junior College in 1932. In 1989, Lasell College emerged as a four-year institution and in 1998, became co-ed. In 2002, Lasell College launched the first of its now more than 20 graduate degree programs. Nearly twenty years ago, the institution opened Lasell Village, a vibrant continuing care retirement community with a fully integratededucational focus. Located on the Newton campus, Lasell Village cemented Lasell's place as a leader in intergenerational education.

Lasell has experienced unprecedented growth as a result of strategic reinvention. Over the last ten years, Lasell has increased its endowment by 79 percent. Overall enrollment has increased by 26 percent and last semester alone, enrollment in the division of Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) grew by nearly 20 percent. 

Since 2008, Lasell has invested $90 million in its infrastructure, building state-of-the-art facilities such as the recently opened Science and Technology Center (STC), modernizing classrooms, updating dining halls, and renovating common spaces.

"Lasell has frequently reimagined itself and its offerings since its founding in 1851," says Keon Holmes, chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Today we are a widely acknowledged and highly respected intergenerational campus with thriving undergraduate and graduate programs."

Lasell has developed numerous innovative programs including Lasell Works, a professionally focused cost-savings initiative designed to help ease the financial burden associated with higher education. Lasell is a founding member of edHEALTH, an organization committed to bringing lower healthcare costs, better medcal insurance coverage, and more transparency to its member institutions. A leader in Connected Learning, Lasell has established partnerships with numerous corporations including tech giant Google, Converse, and Encore Boston Harbor. Lasell's Pathways to Teacher Diversity (PTD) Program was launched in 2016 to  build a new generation of educators whose backgrounds and experiences mirror those of their students.

In 2018, Lasell introduced a five-school structure, each led by a dean, to house the college's academic programs. This interdisciplinary initiative moved academic programs into the institution's schools of business, communication and the arts, fashion, health sciences, and humanities, education, justice, and social sciences.

"The Board of Trustees has been discussing the transition to University status for quite some time and we are pleased to see this important effort come to fruition," says Holmes. "None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support from our students, faculty, staff, alumni and resident of Lasell Village."