Youth Mentor Mario Lamarre from Brockton Public Schools addressed university community
Over 800 Regis College students, faculty, and staff participated in a day of service on Thurs., Sept. 28 to recognize Founders’ Day, which marks the anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston in October 1873.
"At Regis, we empower our students to embody the Sisters of St. Joseph's values by assisting those who are underserved and contributing our time, resources, and talents to enhance our community's well-being. Founders' Day is an opportunity to celebrate these values and demonstrate our mission through active engagement in service opportunities,” said Regis College President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD, RN.
Regis students, faculty, and staff began the day gathering on the campus quad where select undergraduate and graduate students reflected on what Founders’ Day means to them. During the opening remarks, Jalen Chappelle ‘24, Student Government Association vice president and president for the African Student Association, addressed the Regis community.
“Today we recognize, celebrate, and pay homage to our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph. Through acts of service, we recognize that we can make an everyday difference, just as our founders did and continue to do,” said Chappelle.
After a morning spent volunteering, the Regis community returned to campus for a keynote address by Mario Lamarre, Director of Mentor and Social Outreach for the Brockton Public School system, who inspired students to be agents of change in their communities.
Lamarre encouraged students to help others and not be afraid to seek help when they are feeling down and alone. In sharing his personal journey, Lamarre told stories of resiliency throughout his life. He reminded students that their voice matters.
“Be selfless, help others. When you start doing it, it becomes as natural as breathing and you’re impactful even when you’re not in a room, and that is really big. If there’s anything I can teach you, it is really understanding helping others actually works and energy is real,” said Lamarre.
In addition to service sites throughout greater Boston, members of Regis’ online community volunteered in their local communities, broadening the outreach of the Regis mission.
Dozens of students on the Men’s Lacrosse and Track and Field teams volunteered at the Highland Forest in Weston by building a drainage swale on a wet section of the trail; relocating an existing trail; maintaining water bars; and took part in an orientation on forest stewardship.
“For the past several years, we have partnered with Regis' Track and Field and Lacrosse Teams on Founders' Day to accomplish large-scale trail improvement projects at the Highland Town Forest, just behind the Regis campus. These projects have been significant—involving hard, physical labor and using a variety of hand tools—and have improved public access to these trails for the entire community. We have been impressed each year by the hard work, camaraderie, responsibility, and level of enjoyment that these student athletes have brought to these projects. Equally important, we are happy to be able to connect these students with the Highland Forest, which is an incredible open space resource just a step off the Regis campus,” said Jordan McCarron, Town of Weston Conservation Administrator.
Students and employees assisted with general yard work and property clean-up at BINA Farm in Lexington. At Land’s Sake, a nonprofit in Weston that supports environmental education and food donation programs, volunteers weeded, pruned, and prepared garden beds. A group cleaned up a camp for the YMCA in Waltham. At Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, volunteers worked on habitat restoration projects.
Volunteers at Community Servings in Jamaica Plain helped prepare and package meals to individuals and families throughout Massachusetts living with critical and chronic illnesses. Other students gathered on campus to write letters to active military and veterans, then added the letters to a donated book for Operation Paperback. More than 25 boxes with nearly 170 books were sent to service-members and veterans.
Volunteers also sorted donations and created donation bags for the Open Table food pantry and delivery program. At several Catholic Charities of Boston-run shelters throughout Greater Boston, Regis volunteers helped to organize and clean the facilities, while others distributed boxes of food at food pantries. For the Special Olympics, volunteers built boxes and filled them with items for partner organizations.
Several dozen volunteers gathered on campus in Regis’ College Hall Foyer to create blessing blankets for the Community Day Center in Waltham to help keep people without homes warm during winter. Others created dog toys for the Worcester Animal Rescue League.
“Founders’ Day gives us the opportunity to come together for the common cause of giving back to Regis and the surrounding community. I participated in the blessing blankets project because I believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, secure, and comfortable. It means a lot to me that I can help grant them a sense of happiness and comfort,” said Katherine Trach ‘26.
Others who stayed on campus helped sort stamps at the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, participated in a field day for our youngest students at the Children’s Center led by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and utilized the Nutrition program’s kitchen to bake bread for Spread the Bread, a foundation dedicated to offering hope, inspiration, and gratitude to first responders, schools, businesses, and churches. They delivered bread to Waltham Fire Department, and Boston Fire and Police Departments. The Children’s Center Challenge raised nearly $3,000 for the Regis Children's Center Scholarship fund this year.
The Regis Business Student Association along with Honors Program students organized a walk and bake sale for our community, with proceeds going to the Regis Hospitality Center and the Dear Neighbor Fund. Their efforts raised $1,000.
Students, faculty, and staff learned about the therapeutic use of horticulture by engaging in on-campus activities including planting flowers and plants around campus. Students and faculty in the Speech-Language Pathology program conducted hearing screenings with members of the community. Regis Glee Singers went to the Bethany Hill Health Center to perform for retired Sisters of St. Joseph in residence.
“I find Founders' Day meaningful because the whole day is dedicated to honoring the mission and core values that our school is founded upon. It's a day where we get to do what we do best as a community, which is serve others," said Sarah Juskiewicz ‘24. “Taking time to give back and volunteer fosters a positive relationship between the people at Regis and the community around us.”
Volunteers worked with representatives from the Weston Media Center to explore ways to support and enhance local news coverage and journalism for residents of Weston and throughout Massachusetts. Students, staff, and faculty collaborated on identifying strategies to support community building and awareness of local events and issues.