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Summer 2011

A Vow to Give Back: Mark '85 and Vicki (Vassalotti) '86 Semanie

Bentley University is not just where Mark ’85 and Vicki (Vassalotti) ’86 Semanie discovered their love of business. It’s where they discovered their love for each other.

Twenty-four years of marriage and two children later, the couple — who also went to high school together in Enfield, Conn. — stay connected to their college alma mater for reasons of head and heart.

Business Lessons in Malawi: Prashanth Gubbala '08

Prashanth Gubbala ’08 grew up giving back. Raised in a family that stressed the importance of helping others, he is applying these lessons as a Peace Corps volunteer in the southeast African country of Malawi.

The former Finance major had always planned to work in international development, but wanted to approach the field from a business standpoint. He spent two years as an investment banking analyst before the Peace Corps beckoned with its global focus, two-year term and business program.

Bentley Pride Goes the Distance

Warm Welcomes
President Gloria Cordes Larson headed to the Sunshine State in March for annual gatherings of alumni, parents and friends. Accompanied by University Advancement colleagues John Mosser, Jack Pini ’75 and Leigh Gaspar, Larson made stops in Miami, Naples, Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The travelers met many loyal members of the extended Bentley community and shared news of successful initiatives taking place on campus.

Starting a New Chapter

Last month, the Center for Alumni, Parents and Friends had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the newest members of our alumni community: the Bentley Class of 2011. The moment they crossed the stage and accepted their diploma, these former undergraduate and graduate students closed one chapter of their Bentley experience and began an exciting new journey.

Senior Athletes Lauded

Two shooting standouts and a gridiron great capped their Bentley career by taking home some prestigious hardware. Basketball players Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Brian Tracey (Bow Mar, Colo.) were named Outstanding Senior Athletes, and football’s Jared Kawadler (Sharon, Mass.) was honored with the Edward J. Powers Scholar Athlete Award.

Brennan was a major factor in powering the Lady Falcons to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight this season after an eight-year absence. It was she who scored the final seven points in the regional championship game against Pace on March 15.

Ayo Haynes '90, MBA '92: A Life Well Improvised

One could argue that Ayo Haynes ’90, MBA ’92 is the embodiment of Bentley's liberal-arts-meets-business philosophy..

Growing up in East Harlem, N.Y., the natural beauty and gifted athlete dreamed of becoming an actress one day. Her mother imagined a path that started with a college degree.

“We made a deal," remembers Haynes. "I would get a degree, then take five years to see if my acting career took off."

Challenging Perceptions

Academics, proximity to home, and a full scholarship brought Haynes to Bentley in 1986, eager to pursue her varied interests.

Marcelo Sa '01: Olympic Expectations

As the clock ticks down to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, one of that country’s own is keeping fellow planners focused and inspired. Marcelo Sa ’01 is assistant to the CEO of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee.

“Being part of a project that will mold the city I live in for generations to come is a unique opportunity,” says Sa, who lives in Rio de Janeiro with his wife, Clara, and daughter, Helena. “Two words best describe what the Rio 2016 Games will be about: passion and transformation.”

Ernest Washington '73: Giving Others a Fighting Chance

As a combat infantry Marine in the Vietnam War, Ernest Washington ’73 fought to clear a safe path for others to follow. As a mentor, advocate and entrepreneur, he’s still at it.

"In combat, you make a lot of promises to yourself,” says Washington, a native of Roxbury, Mass., and owner of Vanguard Parking Services. “Mine was, ‘If I'm lucky enough to get out of here alive, I'll do whatever I can to help my community.’”


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