By Rayana Petrone & Alexandra White – 1851 Contributors
Lasell Village, the living and learning community here on campus for those over the age of 65, is home to an average of 225 residents. Of those residents, one who stands out is Charlotte Lindgren Winslow.
An Ipswich native, Charlotte Winslow has had a long-term connection to the Lasell community. Her late husband, Donald Winslow was born in Karandon House and raised on the Lasell campus as he was the son of the former president, Guy M. Winslow.
When asked about Charlotte, President Alexander expressed gratitude for her, “… as a neighbor, former English professor, a supporter of the archives, historian to Lasell, and now as a Lasell Village resident, she has made invaluable contributions to the university,” said Alexander.
Charlotte has always had a passion for education, growing up she dreamed of being a teacher. “I was planning on going to teaching school, I always wanted to be a teacher. My high school teachers were wonderful, they recommended I go to university and helped me get scholarships for my first year,” she said.
Charlotte attended Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s degree before becoming an English teacher at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, NH.
After teaching for a year, Charlotte came back to Boston University where she worked as a teaching assistant while getting her Doctorate. While working at Boston University, she became good friends with the English professor she had during her freshman year, Donald Winslow.
After working at Boston University on and off while earning her degrees, she taught at Emerson College, where she developed their study abroad program.“It started very small, just two professors and I took kids to Europe for six weeks,” she said. “Each year was different, we went to a lot of different places. We went to Sicily one year, England, and even Egypt.”
Throughout her successful career, Charlotte remained friends with her previous co-worker, Donald Winslow. After years of friendship, Don and Charlotte’s relationship developed into more. Once Don retired, the two were married in Oxford, England, as it was a special vacation spot for them. “We got married… in one of the university college’s chapels… I had a good friend at Emerson who was from Oxford… he had the connection there and he married us, ” said Charlotte.
When Charlotte married Don, she also married into the Lasell community. With her love of English and History, it was only natural that the two settled into a home on Maple Street, less than a mile from Lasell’s campus. With their strong ties to Lasell, Don was a member of the Board of Trustees of which Charlotte oversees to this day.
“[Charlotte] knew a lot about Lasell, and being married to Mr. Winslow… makes her connection to the archives natural. Charlotte and Donald gave money to develop the archives at Lasell, they gave money to get things organized, to have an archivist to set things up,” said President Alexander. “They have greatly supported the institutional history, and the archives together.”
When Don passed at the age of 99 in July of 2010, Charlotte continued her role overseeing the board, and resided in their home on Maple Street until she broke her shoulder. It was at this time she moved to Lasell Village. Friends at the Village describe Charlotte as being young and cheerful. “Charlotte has discovered the fountain of youth, and that is why she is so young at heart,” said villager Jean Stringham.
Charlotte was originally opposed to the idea of living in the Village. “I did not like the idea of having to take courses. I thought I was too old,” said Charlotte.
However, since living at the Village, Charlotte has told Village Program Director, Carla Pepka that “… she’s become more alive since she’s lived here, she feels stronger since she’s been here…”, says Pepka.
Charlotte now believes Lasell Village has been a fulfilling experience. “I’ve changed my mind and I think it’s a wonderful thing. Instead of playing bingo, we’re taking on new careers,” says Charlotte.
Charlotte lights up when discussing the art classes she takes at Lasell Village, the passion is evident in her eyes. Her natural talent in the arts was supported by one of her art teachers, Margo Lemieux who said, “Truthfully, her work is more sophisticated than Grandma Moses, she was already an artist before she came to my class. Her art is wonderful.”
Besides attending art classes, Charlotte enjoys spending time at the gym where she meets with a trainer three days a week. “Charlotte is religious about going to the gym for fitness classes… I always tease her and say, ‘you are the best-dressed person to go to fitness,’” said Pepka.
As someone with a lifelong passion for education, Lasell Village is the perfect home for Charlotte to continue her education. Charlotte has enjoyed watching the recent developments on the Lasell campus and is excited to see what the future holds at the university. She says, “Lasell kids are, I think, exceptional. They were helpful in my art class when I broke my ankle. I’m very impressed with Lasell students,” she said. It is safe to say that Lasell would not be what it is today without the wonderful work and contributions of Charlotte Winslow.