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Lasell College

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Lasell College

Lasell College
Lasell College Seal
Motto Repulsae Nescia
Motto in English "Ignorant of Defeat"
Established 1851
Type Private
Endowment US $22.4 million[1]
President Michael B. Alexander
Students 1,800
Undergraduates 1,600
Postgraduates 200
Location Newton, Massachusetts, US
Campus Suburban 50 acres (202,342.8 m2)
Former names Auburndale Female Seminary (1851–1852), Lasell Female Seminary (1852–1861), Lasell Seminary for Young Women (1861–1932), Lasell Junior College (1932–1989)
Colors Blue & White         
Athletics ECAC, NCAA (NAC, GNAC)
Sports Baseball, Basketball, Cross-Country, Field hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Track and field, Volleyball
Nickname Lasers
Affiliations NEASC

Lasell College (LC) is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational college located in the Newton, Massachusetts, United States village of Auburndale. Lasell offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the liberal arts and professional fields of study.


Lasell was founded in 1851 as the Auburndale Female Seminary by Williams College Professor of Chemistry, Edward Lasell, after he took a sabbatical from his job in Williamstown to teach at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley,[2] where the experience inspired him to invest more personally in women's education. He died of typhoid fever during the first semester, but his school proved highly successful as a first-rate educational institution and was soon renamed Lasell Female Seminary in his memory.[3] As a nationally respected ladies' academy, its students came from all over the United States[4] and were often courted by students from Harvard College.[5]

Its name later changed to Lasell Seminary for Young Women and, in 1874, governance was given to a board of trustees and Principal Charles C. Bragdon.[6] Bragdon further expanded the faculty to make Lasell renowned as a more academically rigorous women's institution, a prestigious finishing school with a highly scientific approach to domestic work, art, and music.[2] As an innovative institution, known for a radical approach to women's education at the time, Lasell also administered the Harvard exams and offered law courses for women.[2][4][7]

While the initial model was more like that of a ladies' finishing academy,[8] Lasell also offered two years of standard collegiate instruction as early as 1852 and is cited as having been the "first successful and persistent" junior college in the United States.[9] In 1932, the college changed its name to Lasell Junior College, and the school officially began offering associate's degrees in 1943.[10] In 1989, Lasell adopted a charter to become a four-year institution (it no longer offers any two-year undergraduate degrees), and began admitting male students in 1997.[11] Lasell also began offering master's degrees in 2002.


East Hall, est. 2009

The Lasell campus covers roughly 50 acres in the Newton, Massachusetts village of Auburndale, adjacent to the Lasell Neighborhood Historic District. There are approximately 41 buildings, 26 of which are student dormitories.[12]

The campus is located about half a mile from the Auburndale Commuter Rail station on the Framingham/Worcester Line, and about one mile away from the Riverside MBTA Station on the Green Line's D train, which takes commuters into the downtown Boston area. A shuttle runs regularly between the campus and Riverside Station.[13]


Lasell College has been accredited by the Commission on Institution of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) since 1932[14] and offers bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts and professional disciplines.[15] Through the "Connected Learning" program, students work on off-site projects and assignments.[16] Lasell also offers graduate degrees in education, communication, sport management, and business fields.[17]

According to the U.S. News, Lasell College has been ranked 9th for the category, "Great Schools at Great Prices" and ranked 25th for the "Best Regional College" in the North. [18] Lasell ranked at 123 out of baccalaureate colleges in the United States for the Washington Monthly College Guide, ranking at number 3 specifically on "a combined measure of the number of staff supporting community service, relative to the total number of staff; the number of academic courses that incorporate service, relative to school size; and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service."[19]

Student life

Of the 1600 students that attend Lasell, 78% live on campus, 45% come from out-of-state, and 18% come from an ethnic minority.[12] Roughly 36% of students at Lasell are male.[20]


Lasell College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III athletics. The Lasell Lasers compete as members of Eastern College Athletic Conference, the North Atlantic Conference, and the Great Northeast Athletic Conferences[21] in baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross-country, field hockey, softball, lacrosse, and track and field as intervarsity sports.[22] In 2009, a mascot was introduced: Boomer the Torchbearer, named for the industrialists who sponsored Lasell's founding.[23] Along with Rugby.

Fashion Program

Lasell College is known for its emphasis and strength in their fashion program. Prospective students can major in Fashion Communication and Promotion, Fashion Retail & Merchandising, and Fashion Design & Production. This college is one of the few colleges that allow Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors to showcase their garments in the annual undergraduate fashion show in the Spring. Seniors show their final collections on a separate day and showcase eight looks that walk down the runway. The fashion shows are orchestrated by the other fashion students through weekly workshops and back to stage communication. Recently, Sonjia Williams, an Lasell alumna, won a coveted spot as a Project Runway contestant for season 10 and reached to the top four contestants.


The student newspaper is called the 1851 Chronicle in reference to Lasell's founding year, and the student yearbook is called the Lamp. Polished Magazine is made by Lasell students[24] and a student-run online college radio station began operation in the fall of 2004.[25]

There are social justice, service-oriented, religious, and multicultural organizations: Divine Step Team, Fashion and Service Society, Hope for Humanity, Hillel Club, Multicultural Student Union, Niños de Veracruz, Students Against Drunk Driving, and Students Advocating For Equality.

There are also academic organizations (Accounting/Finance, Fashion, Graphic Design, Hospitality, Psychology, Sports Management, and TV/Media) and athletic organizations (Cheerleading, Crew, Dance, Roller Hockey, Rugby, Skiing and Snowboarding, Tennis, and Wiffle Ball clubs).


Lasell Village was created in 2000 to raise additional revenue, but Lasell College kept its non-profit status with the City of Newton.[26] Lasell also faced controversy in 2000 when seven former students sued and claimed that the nursing program, which had been discontinued in 1999, had been a sham.[27] In September 2010, a settlement was also filed in Suffolk Superior Court stating that Lasell was to pay $191,314 to over 1,000 students over a conflict of interest in their Financial Aid Department. The investigation was done by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley.[28]

Notable people

Lasell alumna Elizabeth Jane Gardner was a famous American painter, and alumna Nancy Donahue is a fashion model. Todd J. Leach, president of Granite State College, began his academic career at Lasell. Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln, considered one of the pioneers of the domestic science movement in the United States, taught at Lasell from 1885 to 1889. Another former teacher of note is Lucy Johnston Sypher.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Christian work: illustrated family newspaper, Volume 63. 1897. p. 206. 
  3. ^ Crane, Ellery Bicknell (1907). Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts with a history of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 3. Lewis Pub. p. 44. 
  4. ^ a b Early days in Auburn Dale: a village chronicle of two centuries, 1665–1870. Auburndale woman's club. 1917. pp. 79–85. 
  5. ^ Mary J. Holmes (1893). The Hepburn Line, or The Missing Link (Lippincott's monthly magazine, Volume 52). Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co. pp. 387–442. 
  6. ^ The American kitchen magazine, Volumes 7-8. The Home Science Publishing Co. 1897. p. 221. 
  7. ^ Journal of pedagogy, Volume 17. Albert Leonard, William Henry Metzler, Jacob Richard Street. 1904. p. 252. 
  8. ^ English could be history: A study of community college students' course selection decisions. By Kathy Lynn Buckelew, The University of Alabama, 2007
  9. ^ The rise and demise of the Hershey Junior College: an historical-descriptive study of the Hershey Junior College, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 1938–1965. Stiegel Print. 1973. p. 29. 
  10. ^ 1943 Chap. 0552. An Act Authorizing Lasell Junior College To Grant The Degrees Of Associate In Arts And Associate In Science.
  11. ^ Lasell College: History
  12. ^ a b Lasell College: At a glance
  13. ^
  14. ^ NEASC: Lasell College
  15. ^ Lasell College: Undergraduate Majors and Minors
  16. ^ Lasell College: Connected Learning
  17. ^ Lasell College: Graduate and Professional Studies
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ USNews and World Report Best Colleges: Lasell College
  21. ^ Lasell College: Lasell Pride
  22. ^ Lasell College: Varsity Sports
  23. ^ Lasell College: Boomer
  24. ^
  25. ^ Lasell College Radio
  26. ^ Lasell tax-case ruling is one for the textbooks
  27. ^ "Former Nursing Students Sue Lasell College Program Was A Sham, Women Allege". Boston Globe. December 31, 2000. 
  28. ^ [1]

Further reading

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
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