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Letter to the Community

7/6/2022

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to retire from my position as president of Lasell University and chief executive officer of Lasell Village on June 30, 2023. I informed the Board of Trustees of my decision during the June board meeting. It has been the honor and privilege of my professional life to serve these two wonderful institutions and the thousands of people who comprise the broad Lasell community.

When I stepped onto campus that first day as Lasell’s leader, in the summer of 2007, I stopped to fill my gas tank on the way to work. As I pulled into the Winslow parking lot, I realized that in my excitement to begin I had left the gas station without paying. I quickly retreated to the station, starting my day with an embarrassed apology. It was an appropriate lesson in humility for an ambitious new college president. On that day, I would never have guessed that my tenure would last for 16 years.

After so many years with you and so many adventures together, it is hard to know when is the right time to step down. Over the last several months, it has become clear to me that the time has come for a new voice and a new perspective at the helm. We have accomplished many things together, a list too long to enumerate here. We will have time over the coming months to celebrate those achievements.

Our years together have resulted in great memories and wonderful relationships. I still treasure greeting each new class of students as they arrive in the fall, sharing their excitement and empathizing with their anxieties. I love meeting with alumni all over the world, and take special pleasure when I run into one of the 8,000 or so to whom I have had the honor of handing diplomas. I have grown personally and professionally from the intellectual stimulation of daily interactions with faculty, staff and Lasell Village residents. I am most proud of the way we pulled together to weather the storm of the pandemic and maintained our focus on teaching and learning — always keeping the interests of our students foremost in our minds and actions.

One of the keys to overcoming the challenges we have faced and the many that will confront Lasell in the future is our adherence to a set of shared values that guide our decision-making. Values like integrity, equity, and kindness. A dedication to learning from those who are different from ourselves. A tradition of open and respectful discourse on even the most difficult and uncomfortable issues.

There are no shortage of problems In our society, in higher education, and even at Lasell, that require application of the skills, knowledge, and character that Lasell imparts on all members of our community. Lasell has been producing engaged, educated citizens of the world for 171 years. With continued solidarity, and enlightened leadership, it will continue to do so for centuries to come.

We will have time in the year ahead to say goodbye. In the meantime, Mary Barbara and I want you to know how appreciative we are for all that each of you have done and continue to do for Lasell and its students, and how grateful we are to have experienced these many years within your warm embrace.

With love and affection,

Michael Alexander