Fabulous Fellas: President Michael Alexander

At most colleges, it isn’t typical to see the president of your college walking around campus. But President Michael Alexander is one of the few exceptions. You’ve seen him walking through the library, getting lunch in the dining hall, and attending events. You may have had conversations with him, or have politely smiled as your path crossed his.

Hailing from Ohio, Alexander attended Harvard and majored in the History and Literature of America. When he was a freshman in college, a freshman dean asked Alexander to help a fellow student learn to live with a bipolar disease and help him adjust to life as a college student. Sophomore year, Alexander was asked to counsel other students who needed help adjusting to college, which he did for the next two years.

“It was during that time that I knew I wanted a career in higher education. Being an ambitious person, that meant eventually becoming the president of a college,” said Alexander of the experience.

But Alexander didn’t want to be the president of some large university or college where he would have no interaction with students. He wanted to be the president of a small college where students receive that type of individual attention, and where he’d still be able to participate in that individual attention. After living and leading companies in California, New York and Massachusetts for 25 years, Alexander was hired by Lasell.

In 2007, Alexander became Lasell College’s ninth president. Alexander has a hand in implementing the visions for Lasell. Like most faculty members, he is an advisor for students. Alexander said one of the constant aspects of his job is “to provide leadership and to cause things to change. To be fostering, facilitating, or urging the college community to change because without change the College can’t improve. No matter how good it has become, there’s always room for improvement.”

Alexander’s favorite thing about Lasell is having the opportunity to work for the benefit of students. He feels he, in some small direct and indirect ways, contributes to the growth of the students and has a hand in the students’ intellectual and personal development.

“Most students come here as late adolescents, and when they leave they are young adults ready to go out in the world and contribute to society and be active, engaged citizens,” said Alexander. “So the ability to contribute to that progress is my personal reward. And what’s great about the job is I get that reward every day.”

If you see President Alexander around campus, don’t be afraid to say hello.

*Photos provided by President Alexander