Skip top navigation

Discover Lasell

Sport Management Students Get “Hands On” for Local Dedication and Celebration

July 09, 2015

Planning a big event is a major part of the sport management world. It is what creates excitement, develops interest and generates revenue. It can be exciting, it can be exhilarating, and it can be scary. Typically, college students go to class, read their text and learn the materials. At Lasell - through the educational philosophy of Connected Learning - students are encouraged to get involved, do the work of their field, learn tasks, be a part of a real world application, and gain marketable skills.

Recently, Sport Management students Matt Haskell, Josh Gallant, Danielle Rafuse and Bridget Delaney had the chance to do just that for one local community.

On June 20, 2015 they joined Lasell Sport Management Professor Brian Cook, a Weymouth, Mass. native and sports attorney, and Sport Management Department Chair Dwayne Thomas in the re-dedication of Legion Memorial Field in Weymouth, Mass.

More than 7,000 people assembled to re-dedicate the historic field following a multi-million dollar renovation. The field - filled with local memories and lore - was once the site of Weymouth High School's National Championship Football team in 1951 - coached by Harry Arlanson, one of the most celebrated coaches in American football history.

The Lasell students, who volunteered their time to organize the event (along with Cook) created and managed the celebration from set-up to food sales operations to bring a new community resource online and create a celebratory event for the community.

The day of the event, Lasell students, arranged signage, prepared 3,000 commemorative t-shirts for sale, oversaw food sales and delivery of water and helped locate lost children. They monitored parking lots, helped with security and escorted invited guests and notables such as Dean of Harvard Admissions Bill Fitzsimmons and Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory to the VIP room they helped create. They even assisted in setting up displays and assisted with the band, the photography and the filming of the event.

"The students learned what it takes to create and secure sponsorship, contact and interest the media, arrange for guests speakers, create a program and organize an event," said Thomas.

When children and their parents rushed to meet and get an autograph from New England Patriots Superbowl hero Malcolm Butler, the students helped provide crowd control. (And posed with the football star afterward.)

Their hard work paid off as local media coverage was extensive from WEEI Sports Radio, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Quincy Patriot Ledger, and other outlets which ran articles about the renovations of the field and event. Most importantly, they learned the value of preparation, planning and execution," said Cook.

Several other local celebrities and dignitaries also attended the event including Haemonetics CEO Brian Concannon, Tom Shields of Shields Health Care, John Maguire of Friendly's, Marcy Carsey creator of the TV show Roseanne, Hollywood actor and Weymouth native Tobin Bell of the Saw movies, hockey legend Bobby Sheehan, NHL star Charlie Coyle, Olympic gymnast Kathy Corrigan, Congressman Stephen Lynch and Weymouth Mayor Sue Kay.

"It was an amazing event, not soon to be forgotten by those of us who were involved and everyone in attendance," said Lasell student Haskell. "It was Connected Learning at its best."

- Brian Cook