University community gives President-elect Jeff A. Weiss a warm welcome during ceremony in Alumni Hall
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Weiss, who was joined for the brief ceremony by his wife Gerri, son Sam, and his parents, Drs. Don and Myrna Weiss, will succeed Dr. Joseph B. Moore, who is retiring after nine years at the helm of Lesley. Weiss, whose other adult son, Alec, is in Thailand, begins his term as president on July 1.
Lesley University Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Schwartz Raizes, a Lesley alumna, set the tone early, poking fun at herself as she transposed the first names of the president and president-elect, Joe and Jeff, respectively.
“This is a shift for me, obviously,” Raizes said, pointing to her respect and esteem for President Moore, forged from their years working together, and her excitement and anticipation at seeing how President-elect Weiss will proceed in his role.
She also joked that Weiss’s mother divulged a staggering secret on this wet, blustery day: “Every time there’s an important event in Jeff’s life, it rains.”
Jeff A. Weiss’s family, including his son, Sam, and parents, Don and Myrna, look on with pride.
As Weiss took to the podium, he pointed out that the several flubs of his own name actually speak to the high regard President Moore has earned, and the obvious affection he enjoys from the Board of Trustees and its chair.
“The fact that Debbie (Raizes) said what she said shows enormous respect for Joe and all that Joe has done,” Weiss said. “I am very flattered to be called Joe today.”
Both Raizes and Weiss talked about Lesley’s core values, and the ethos of graduating students to make a difference and lead lives of consequence.
“While I am certainly new to the Lesley family, I am not new to Lesley,” Weiss said, explaining that he was familiar with the university’s reputation from his years living in the area.
“They truly care about impact,” Weiss said of the Lesley community, adding that students take seriously their development of themselves as lifelong learners, a trait he said he hasn’t seen at many other institutions.
President Moore, while calling Weiss’s welcome an occasion of “celebration and congratulation,” paid particular attention to the community of learners at Lesley, referring to them as “an amazing range of people.”
Lesley President Joseph B. Moore shakes hands with his successor, President-elect Jeff A. Weiss.
Getting to know the students, Moore said, “will inform your leadership, and it will affect your life.”
Also welcoming Weiss, and applauding President Moore and his wife, Beth Chiquoine, were Trustee and alumna Barbara Russell, who was chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and College of Art and Design Professor Geoff Fried, a fellow Search Committee member.
Russell called the selection of Weiss a “truly collaborative” and “evolutionary” process, which it had to be in order to come away with the right candidate.
And Fried added, “Jeff, we look forward to benefiting from your insights and all your experiences.”
Weiss indicated that he takes to heart Raizes’s charge that he “build upon the nine years of accomplishments” established by President Moore.
Trustees Chair Deborah Raizes talked about Lesley’s core values, and the ethos of graduating students to make a difference and lead lives of consequence.
“When I arrive in July, I will bring with me many lessons: asking good questions; listening and building understanding is always the first step,” he said. “Soliciting ideas is not only important in and of itself, but is what drives innovation. Communication and transparency and success come when we operate as ‘we.’”
Weiss returned the compliments he received to the Lesley community at large, and indicated that his tenure will be marked by at least one critical characteristic.
“Fun makes a big difference,” he said. “We should not take ourselves too seriously, but absolutely take the world around us seriously.
“I look forward to spending a lot of time out of the office: meeting you, working with you, listening to you, learning from you and finding ways to collaborate. I am truly grateful to be here, and I am truly inspired.”
Trustees name Jeff A. Weiss President-elect
President-elect announced in Alumni Hall
PHOTOS: Announcement events across campus
CAMPUS TOUR: President-elect meets community
Learn more about President-elect Weiss and his family
VIDEO: Learn why President-Elect Weiss is excited to join Lesley
Lesley University Presidential Search Profile (.pdf)
Lesley University Presidential Search
Presidential Search Committee Members
Search Firm: Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
Updates from the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Degrees and Programs
Facts About Lesley
Centers and Institutes
Message from the President
Board of Trustees
Friends of Lesley
Maps and Directions
Wisdom from Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee (M.Ed. '07)Lunder Arts Center recognized for green design with LEED Gold certificationMFA faculty Susan Goodman and Jason Reynolds win prestigious children's lit honorsEPA honors Lesley for diverting food waste
View all News