As a passionate advocate for making college more accessible for disadvantaged students, Regis College alumna Lorraine DeStefano Tegan ’63 would be very proud of the new program her family has established in her name.

A $365,000 gift from the Tegan family will launch “Lorraine’s Leaders” at the university’s Weston campus this fall and give rising high school juniors and seniors from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds interested in pursuing health care or sciences careers access to comprehensive college planning and coaching, as well as an introduction to college life.

“The Lorraine’s Leaders program supports underprivileged high school students interested in health care and sciences as they pursue their dream of a college education,” said Regis College President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN. “Regis is fortunate to have the support of the Tegan family that believes in our mission-driven education and wants to promote access to higher education.”

Geared specifically for first-generation, low-income students, this immersive program will provide a strong support system for college exploration and college counseling. It will include a comprehensive college coaching program to help students navigate the college selection and admission process, including financial aid, and will include visits to other institutions in the Greater Boston area. In addition, students in the program will take a college-level health sciences class and a six-week college preparatory science course. The program will include a 10-day residency program at Regis to introduce students to college life. The program will be free of charge to accepted students, who will also receive a stipend to make it possible for students to participate who rely on summer income.

This new program will grow Regis’ successful early college programming that includes Summer Scholars, a pre-college program where high school students can earn college course credit. It also dovetails with Regis’ core value of making higher education more accessible and investing in students’ potential to thrive academically, socially, and professionally.

“For high school students who work full time over the summer, the opportunity to have a residential college experience is quite limited,” said Audrey Grace, vice president for inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer at Regis College. “This program fills that gap and offers a chance for students to prepare for college without the fear of losing a summer income.”

Lorraine DeStefano Tegan was herself a first-generation college student, and devoted her career to teaching math. After earning her bachelor’s degree in history and education at Regis College, she earned a master of science in teaching (MST), Mathematics, at the University of New Hampshire. In her career, she earned such honors as a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship at Princeton, participation in the Harvard Education Institute at Harvard University and the Tsongas Institute at the University of Lowell, as well as the Peter Farrelly Teaching Award. She was deeply dedicated to community service with a particular passion for education, serving as a tutor and mentor for Generations, Inc. and Boston Partners in Education. Lorraine served on the Regis College Board of Trustees for eight years.

“Lorraine’s Leaders seeks to narrow the gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students in navigating the college selection and admissions process,” said Sarah Tegan Hogan, Lorraine’s daughter and a partner in the life sciences transactions practice at WilmerHale. “My mother inspired countless young people to fulfill their dreams through education. We are proud to continue her legacy and make college more accessible for young people from diverse backgrounds.”

Inspired by Lorraine’s leadership, the Tegan family has been part of the fabric of the Regis College community for decades. Through the Tegan family’s generosity, Regis has provided access to a high-quality college education for students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity. The Lorraine Tegan Learning Commons is a hub of academic support and guidance for all students, including the university’s library, academic coaching services, and the Finucane and O'Sullivan Institute for Learning.