Nancy Goodale ’66

Nancy GoodaleNancy Goodale ’66 left Lasell with just one regret: She wished her college experience had lasted longer.

At what was then Lasell Junior College, Goodale developed a love for learning that continues to this day; matured in the school’s intimate, nurturing environment; and expanded her worldview through exposure to a wide variety of people, coursework, ideas, and experiences.

“I wished Lasell had been more than two years,” Goodale says. “It was such a formative time in my life.”

Goodale has done her best to continue the college experience after graduation, earning her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in 1987 and serving Lasell in a number of volunteer capacities. She recently stepped down after 33 years on the Lasell University Alumni Association board and is a member of the University’s Board of Overseers. She has also given generously to the Lasell Fund and the In Pursuit of Great capital campaign, and joined the Heritage Society by making a provision for Lasell in her will.

“Lasell made such a big impact on my life that I want to see it grow and prosper,” Goodale says of her support of Lasell. “I’ve seen Lasell in all of its iterations, and I am so proud of what it has become. Education is so important to me; ignorance is terrible both for people personally and for society.”

Goodale is pleased that the essential ingredients that define Lasell have remained despite the University’s growth. “Lasell’s moral compass is still very strong,” she says. “Kindness, fairness, and equity are instilled in the students.”

Goodale arrived at Lasell in the fall of 1964 planning to pursue the secretarial studies program, but quickly switched to general academics. She thoroughly enjoyed her sociology and history classes, particularly Introduction to Art History with Professor Jacquelin Saunders. “It opened a completely new world to me,” she recalls. “I think of that class as being life changing.”

While working as a legal secretary in Boston in the 1980s, Goodale began taking night classes at Northeastern and received her bachelor’s degree in art history after several semesters. She was driven to return to school by her interest in lifelong learning and her desire to earn her BA, just as her mother had done at Wheaton College 53 years earlier when few women attained college degrees.

“I did it for my own personal satisfaction and because of the tradition of women in my family receiving bachelor’s degrees,” she says.

Goodale’s pursuit of knowledge continues. After befriending a retired psychiatrist from Germany several years ago, she began studying German at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Goodale and her sister, Marjorie, have visited the country three times in recent years and are able to converse with their friend’s husband, who does not speak English.

“Even though I am retired, I am still part of the world,” Goodale explains. “Learning keeps your mind active and allows you to get more out of life.”