Dear Bentley Community,
One of the many discoveries of Bentley’s Racial Justice Task Force inquiry into our campus environment was that many felt our campus lacks spaces where students of color feel safe and welcome. We conducted a campus review to collect feedback from students and identify opportunities to better meet this need. I’m pleased to share that, based on this group’s recommendations, over winter break we will renovate the Multicultural Center lounge in the Student Center. This new space has been co-created with our students of color to ensure the lounge supports community, sparks joy, deepens cultural knowledge, and facilitates activities that forge connections.
I’m equally pleased to announce that this newly expanded lounge will be named in honor of Assistant Director of Mentorship and Advising Claudette Blot, who over the course of more than 30 years at Bentley has advised, mentored and had a lasting positive impact on so many in our community, but especially our students of color. This will become the first space on campus named after a person of color, and Claudette is tremendously deserving of this honor.
Claudette has influenced the life of thousands of students who have attended Bentley over the last three decades. Her first role was in New Student Services, where she was one of the first people a student encountered after being accepted to Bentley. She later worked as a financial aid counselor before moving to Student Affairs where she became director of the CAP (now STEP) program. But her reach is greater than the students who passed through this program. Claudette has been a mentor, sponsor and cheerleader; a First Year Seminar facilitator, club advisor and tutor; a friend, confidante and shoulder to lean on. I could go on. The bonds Claudette builds extend beyond the borders of campus. She is known and loved by the families and friends of our students. And she keeps up with the promotions, weddings, births and meaningful milestones in the lives of Bentley alumni.
Claudette is a pillar within the Bentley community. A powerful force. An inspiration. And now, the namesake for the Claudette Blot Multicultural Center Lounge.
The lounge will be named in Claudette’s honor thanks to a generous donation from trustee Robert E. Alan ’91. Rob counts himself among those whose lives were forever made better by Claudette, and he is thrilled to contribute the gift that makes this renovation and naming possible. Construction on the renovated lounge is expected to be completed by the start of the spring semester so students can enjoy it when they return to campus in January. In early 2023, we will hold a formal dedication ceremony to honor Claudette and thank Rob.
At Bentley, we as a community value diversity and our students of color. Our Racial Justice Task Force discovery document called for investment in our BIPOC community, and this is a step toward fulfilling that goal. It is fitting that the newly renovated lounge where so many of our students of color will find a safe space to reenergize and connect with each other will forever bear Claudette’s name.
Dear Bentley Community,