The Passing of Chet Lasell

Williams faculty and staff,

I write with sad news that Chester “Chet” Lasell ’58, director of alumni relations from 1992 to 1998, passed away on Sunday, September 12. 

Remembered for his generous spirit and unwavering commitment to the college, Chet oversaw all alumni relations activities during his tenure at Williams. In addition to his charge of annual giving programs, regional alumni associations, reunions and continuing education, he also served as secretary for the Society of Alumni and helped plan the college’s 200th birthday celebration in 1993, among many other contributions. “There may be equals in service to Williams, but nobody gave more to their college than Chet,” recalled Director of Alumni Relations Brooks Foehl ’88.

Chet was a fourth-generation Eph for whose family Lasell Gymnasium is named. After graduating with a degree in history, he went on to earn a master’s  degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he worked as assistant news director for several years before launching a career in corporate public relations and communications. 

Chet is survived by his wife, Kate, and his son, Jeff. The family is preparing a more extensive obituary, including details about a memorial service, but I wanted to share this news now, as many knew him either from his time at Williams or as a longtime member of the Williamstown community. 

Our deepest condolences go out to Chet’s family, colleagues and friends.


Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies