Hit the Ground Running
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Dr. Marybeth Lamb brings more than thirty years' experience to her position as the new director of athletics and recreation at BSU, along with a strong familiarity with Bridgewater sports teams and key connections to the town.
"Over the years I had the opportunity to work with my predecessor in this position, John Harper, and also with Mike Storey, the associate director. Teams from my former colleges often played against Bridgewater teams," said Dr. Lamb, who spent the last decade at Regis College in Weston. "I was always impressed with the class and finesse of BSU teams, so when I heard that John was retiring I saw this as a great opportunity to be a part of this outstanding program."
Dr. Lamb now lives in Natick, but grew up on Long Island, and attended the State University of New York College at Brockport, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical education. She also earned teaching credentials and certification in sports medicine, qualifying her as a certified and licensed athletic trainer.
Further, Dr. Lamb credits a former BSU administrator, Dr. Linda Ragosta, now the vice president of academic affairs at Dean Junior College, as being one of her principal mentors.
Her first position in higher education was at Simmons College in Boston, where she spent seven years as the head athletic trainer. While there, she earned an MBA from Simmons and went on to work at Newbury College. "Then I decided to give the business world a try," she said, and she accepted a position at Investors Bank and Trust Company in Boston, managing college endowments. "As much as I enjoyed the challenges offered in the financial industry, after a few years I concluded that higher education was really where my passion was."
Regis College came next, and the chance to help the small (1,700 students) Catholic liberal arts college grow its athletic program. "It was a great opportunity to be there at that time," she said of her ten years there as the director of athletics. "Regis went coeducational during my time and we were able to build an $8.5 million dollar outdoor athletic facility. We went from eleven athletic teams to eighteen."
There she created an academic major for health and fitness studies. Meanwhile she was attending Boston College part-time to earn a doctorate in higher education administration. She graduated in December 2011.
Whether one is talking about a small private college or a large public university, there are, she said, many similar issues.
"Students who participate in intercollegiate athletics bring a passion to their sport no matter what sport it is," she said. "The number one job for those of us who work in this department is to help those students have the best scholar-athlete experience they can have. That's what Division III is all about."
Dr. Lamb believes strongly in the concept that the athletic program and its resources should be available to all students.
"Our focus is more than on those who choose to compete on the intercollegiate level. The so-called non-varsity' athlete - the young man or woman who is a member of a club sport or who just wants to work out in the fitness center - is equally important to us, hence the title of my position: Director of Athletics and Recreation.' Today more people than ever are interested in keeping fit and are working out to achieve that goal. That's a big change even from when I was in college," she said.
She understands too the importance of a quality athletic program to the overall mission of the university. "The questions that most college-bound students have, in this order, are, Do you have my major? Where am I going to live? Where am I going to eat? And where am I going to play?' In many cases, those are the decision-points for them," she said. (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, '71, University Advancement)