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Eric M. Turner Named Tenth President of Lasell University

April 11, 2023

Eric M. Turner was named Lasell University’s 10th president following a historic vote by the University’s Board of Trustees in April of 2023. Turner became the first African American president in Lasell’s 172-year history when he took over as president on July 1, 2023. He succeeded Michael B. Alexander, who retired on June 30 after 16 years of leadership.

Turner — who earned both his MBA and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Harvard University — was named Lasell’s Provost in June 2020 after serving as the institution’s Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies. During his tenure as vice president, Turner and his staff grew graduate enrollment by 64 percent.

As Lasell’s Provost, Turner oversaw the launch of nearly 30 new academic programs, supported changes to the Core Curriculum, and expanded online and hybrid offerings for students. As chief academic officer, Turner led the University through the rigorous New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) 10-year re-accreditation process.

Turner’s ties to Lasell run deep, with more than 30 years of institutional leadership experience to his name — as an Overseer, a Trustee, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and as a Trustee of Lasell Village, the senior living community located on the University’s campus.

Turner came to Lasell following a successful career in both the private and public sectors. For more than 15 years, Turner served as a strategic advisor to the chief executive officers of businesses and nonprofit institutions to improve personnel and organizational performance. Prior to launching his consulting practice in 2003, Turner spent seven years as a Senior Vice President in multiple financial sectors at State Street Corporation.

In addition to his corporate experience, Turner has held senior leadership positions in state government, serving as Deputy Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Executive Director of the State Lottery Commission under former State Treasurer Joseph Malone. Earlier in his career, he worked as an investment banker with the Wall Street firm Drexel Burnham Lambert and held marketing and finance positions at IBM.

Turner is actively involved in various community and nonprofit organizations, currently serving as an overseer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and on the board of MassINC (the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth).

As president, Turner also leads Lasell Village as CEO, working in concert with Zehra Abid-Wood, president of Lasell Village, and her management team to serve the more than 250 older adults who reside in the award-winning living and learning community.

Turner, his wife Wanda Whitmore, an independent communications professional, and their family are longtime residents of Newton.