MCLA Board of Trustees to Welcome Alumnae as Newest Members


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Two local alumnae, attorney Buffy Lord '98 and Denise Marshall '81, executive vice president of Adams Community Bank, have joined Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Board of Trustees as trustees to the Board for five-year terms. Lord and Marshall join Mohan Boodram and JD Chesloff, who recently were appointed by the Governor as the newest members of the MCLA Board.

Lord, an attorney with Donovan and O'Connor in North Adams, graduated magna cum laude from the College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and went on to earn her law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif. She previously served as president of the MCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors and clerk of the MCLA Foundation Board. Lord is active in volunteer service as a member of the Northern Berkshire United Way campaign cabinet. 

"As someone who grew up in Berkshire County and a proud alumna, I am thrilled about the opportunity to serve as a trustee of MCLA," Lord said. "MCLA plays such an important role in the lives of its students and in the larger community.  It is an honor to be appointed as a trustee of MCLA.  I look forward to working to preserve MCLA's legacy while furthering its mission of excellence."

Marshall graduated summa cum laude from the College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She continued her studies at Massachusetts School for Financial Studies at Babson University in Wellesley, Mass. 

Her local volunteerism includes service on the Berkshire United Way's board of directors as its chair. She also served on the board of directors Berkshire County's chapter of the American Red Cross, Elder Services, and also with the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, where she continues to serve as an advisory board member.

"I am thrilled to take a leadership role with MCLA by serving as a trustee of the Board," Marshall said. "So many exciting things have happened in recent years, including the complete restoration of the historic Murdock Hall, along with the revitalization of the Smith House and many student-focused areas. This excitement continues with the construction of the Center for Science and Innovation and planned renovations of Bowman Hall. As an alumna, I am truly looking forward to re-associating with this first-class public liberal arts college under the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Mary Grant."

According to Steve Crowe, chair of MCLA's Board of Trustees, Lord's legal experience and service on the MCLA Alumni Association and the MCLA Foundation Board make her an important addition to the MCLA Board of Trustees.

"Ms. Lord brings an impressive professional perspective to this position. As a practicing attorney with a local law firm, her experience and professional expertise - particularly in the areas of research, mediation and arbitration - will be assets to the Board," Crowe said. "Beyond her professional experience, as an alumna, she has a direct understanding of the importance of MCLA and public higher education in providing access and opportunity to students, and understands the unique and important role that MCLA plays in the region."

Crowe said Marshall's connection to the institution as one of its graduates, combined with her business experience, leadership ability and community service background, will make her vital asset to the Board.

"Ms. Marshall has a strong background in community banking. She holds a senior leadership position with Adams Community Bank, and was instrumental in executing the merger of Adams Co-Operative Bank and South Adams Savings Bank to create this new independent, community savings bank," Crowe said. "In addition to her professional expertise and acumen, she is a committed community volunteer whose achievement and service have been recognized by a range of organizations. As a trustee to MCLA, she will bring that same commitment, enthusiasm and spirit."

Lord and Marshall replace outgoing trustees Joelle Collins and Jane Allen '61, who this year completed their terms of service.

MCLA President Mary K. Grant said she is grateful to Collins and Allen for their service to the College.

"In addition to their dedicated friendship, I am thankful for the great leadership and the steadfast enthusiasm Ellie and Jane have shown MCLA," Grant said. "As important members of our MCLA family, I am certain that they will continue to advocate for the College and our distinctive position within Massachusetts' university system."

On behalf of the Board and the students, faculty, and staff of the College, Grant thanked Governor Patrick and the members of the Public Education Nominating Council for their support in appointing MCLA's two new trustees.

"I appreciate Buffy and Denise's willingness to serve, and their commitment to the College, our faculty and staff, and the community," Grant said.

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