Lesley University

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Lesley University
Lesleyuniversity crest.png
Motto Perissem Ni Perstitissem (Latin)
Motto in English I Had Perished Had I Not Persisted
Established 1909
Type Private, coeducational
Endowment $156 million[1]
President Joseph B. Moore
Provost Selase Williams[2]
Students 9,625
Undergraduates 1,857
Postgraduates 7,768
Location Boston, Massachusetts Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Campus Urban 13.76 Acres[3]
Colors Green & White
Athletics NCAA Division III
New England Collegiate Conference
Nickname Lynx
Website Lesley.edu

Lesley University is a private, coeducational university in Boston, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts well known for its education, expressive therapies, creative writing, counseling, and fine arts programs.

The university is a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges,[4] National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and New England Collegiate Conference.[5]


The modern Lesley University is the result of a merger between two institutions and their subsequent integration as a singular institution. History prior to 1998 is of the two formerly independent institutions.

1909 to 1998[edit]

The Lesley School (also known as Lesley Normal School) was founded by Edith Lesley in 1909 at her home at 29 Everett Street. The school began as a private women's institution that trained kindergarten teachers. Lesley and her husband Initially expanded the school by constructing an addition at the rear of their home which today is known as Livingston Stebbins Hall. In 1941, the Lesley School reorganized under a board of trustees; in 1944, it received authority to award baccalaureate degrees and became known as Lesley College. In 1954, the college began to award graduate degrees; it later added majors in the fields of education, counseling, human services, global studies, art therapy, and management.

The School of Practical Art was founded by Roy Davidson in 1912. The school's early philosophy was based upon John Ruskin's words that it is "in art that the heart, the head, and the hand of a man come together" and Davidson's own belief that "beauty comes from the use."[6] The school increasingly embraced the fine arts and developed a growing liberal arts curriculum; in 1967 the school was renamed the Art Institute of Boston to acknowledge its increased focus upon fine art as well as design, illustration, and photography.

Presidents of Lesley University
Edith Lesley 1909–1938
Gertrude Malloch 1938–1943
Marguerite Franklin 1943–1943
Trentwell Mason White 1944–1959

Died in office.

Sam Wonders 1959–1960 (Acting)
Don Orton 1960–1985
Margaret A. McKenna 1985–2007
Joseph B. Moore 2007–present

1998 to Present[edit]

In 1998, the Art Institute of Boston and Lesley College merged, forming Lesley University.[7] After the 1998 merger, the two colleges officially became Lesley University in 2001.

When university status was gained, the original colleges were reorganized as the undergraduate units of the university. Lesley College's graduate schools balanced out the university's four main academic units. In 2005, Lesley College (at that point, an all-female liberal arts college) became coeducational.

In 2006, the university acquired Prospect Hall, a former church listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with the goal of bringing the Art Institute of Boston to Cambridge.[8] In 2008, the university entered into a partnership with Episcopal Divinity School to jointly operate their Brattle Street campus and purchase several buildings. This move added dormitories, a dining hall, classrooms, as well as an expansion in library services and administrative space.[9]

In 2009, the university embarked on its first major construction since the 1970s. Dormitories at 1 and 3 Wendell street were added to the residential life offerings. Both buildings are LEED Gold–certified.[10]

In 2013, construction on the Lunder Arts Center began. The center is expected to be completed in 2015.[11]

In 2013, Lesley University's constituent colleges, the Art Institute of Boston and Lesley College were renamed College of Art and Design and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, respectively; the change is reflective of the cohesion and growth of the two colleges over the last 15 years.[12]

Colleges and schools[edit]

  • College of Art and Design
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Center for the Adult Learner
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences


Home of Edith Lesley, Office of the President on the Doble Campus
Undergraduate Admissions on the Doble Campus

The university, with its component undergraduate colleges, graduate schools, and institutes, offers more than 20 undergraduate majors and over 90 Adult Bachelor's, Master's, Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study, and Ph.D. programs at its Boston and Cambridge campuses. The Lesley Center for the Adult Learner offers an adult bachelor's degree program, including on- and off-campus courses as well as online and hybrid courses targeted toward adult learners.[citation needed]

University campus[edit]

700 Beacon Street on the Boston Campus
Boston Campus, Kenmore Square, Boston, MA [13]
The Boston Campus is currently the home of the College of Art and Design. The campus of two buildings houses studios, classrooms, galleries, a small cafeteria, and a library. Shuttle service runs during the academic year to connect the Boston Campus to the Cambridge Campuses.
Doble Campus, Cambridge Common, Cambridge, MA [13]
The Doble Campus is home to many student life facilities such as the Margaret McKenna Student Center, the Information Commons ( a 24-hour computer lab and study space.), and the fitness center. The campus is home to undergraduate residence halls, university classrooms, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The campus is named for Lesley benefactor and former chair of the Lesley Corporation, Frank C. Doble.[14]
Brattle Campus, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA [13]
The Brattle Campus is a community of students, faculty, and staff from both Lesley University and Episcopal Divinity School. Though the schools remain separate entities, they work in partnership to jointly care for the campus and operate the Sherill Library. Brattle Campus is home to four undergraduate residence halls, a dining hall, university classrooms, and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences.
Porter Campus, Porter Square, Cambridge, MA [13]
The Porter Campus is home to the majority of the university's classroom space, the Graduate School of Education, as well as Student Administrative and Financial Services, the bookstore, and several art galleries. The Lunder Arts Center is currently under construction on Porter Campus.

Student life[edit]

Residential Life[edit]

Residential Life at the university is for undergraduates. The program emphasizes community building, personal growth, and offers many leadership opportunities. Including: Community Advisors (Resident Assistants), Community Council, Residence Life Advisory Board, and Summer Resident Assistants. The university offers a variety of housing options from traditional style dormitories to Victorian homes and suite-style apartments.


Lesley University participates in the NCAA Division III's[4] New England Collegiate Conference.[5] Its athletic teams are called the Lesley Lynx.[15]

Athletic Teams

  • Baseball
  • Men's Basketball
  • Women's Basketball
  • Men's Cross Country
  • Women's Cross Country
  • Men's Soccer
  • Women's Soccer
  • Softball
  • Men's Tennis
  • Women's Tennis
  • Men's Track
  • Women's Track
  • Men's Volleyball
  • Women's Volleyball

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "U.S. News and World Report". 
  2. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x2011268185/Lesley-University-names-new-provost
  3. ^ 2013 Lesley University Town Gown Report to City of Cambridge
  4. ^ a b "Roster of Institutions". New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "About the NECC". New England Collegiate Conference. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ Roy Davidson. (1717). Prospectus, The School of Practical Art. The School of Practical Art, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 4–5, 8–9. 
  7. ^ http://www.tfaoi.com/newsm1/n1m112.htm
  8. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x7797245
  9. ^ http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x1379332826#axzz2X5xGU1gA
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ http://www.lesley.edu/PageTemplate.aspx?id=12998
  12. ^ http://www.lesley.edu/tuition-and-fees/
  13. ^ a b c d http://www.lesley.edu/campus/campus-map.html
  14. ^ http://www.lesley.edu/campus/doble/
  15. ^ "Lesley Athletics". Lesley University Athletic Department. Retrieved March 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°22′47.98″N 71°07′01.63″W / 42.3799944°N 71.1171194°W / 42.3799944; -71.1171194