"My day-to-day work is really building and managing a company, and the education I got from BSU was very important to that."
Joseph St. Laurent is a regular visitor to Bridgewater State University, not only because he’s a benefactor of the university and chairman of its Foundation, but also because the Lakeville resident enjoys seeing today’s students forging their own success stories, just as he once did.
“I look at some of today’s students and realize they have their whole lives ahead of them,” Mr. St. Laurent said. “I’m glad if we’re able to be a little part of that. If we can give even one student a hand, that makes it all worthwhile.”
He began his career working as a researcher after earning a degree in biology and chemistry. It was 23 years ago, when seeking bigger challenges, that Mr. St. Laurent connected with Scott Goodrich, ’89, and Brian McLaughlin, who had also attended Bridgewater State, to found Chemic Laboratories, which today is regarded as a distinguished and mature full-service cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) pharmaceutical development contract facility conducting business on a global scale. Mr. St. Laurent is also a cofounder of Eleblend LLC, and serves as co-chief and scientific officer for Olatec Industries LLC.
Though, professionally, he wears many hats, his work chiefly involves managing Chemic’s technical affairs and business development under his official title, head of industry relations and regulatory expert. Many responsibilities fall under this umbrella, including overseeing the development of small-molecule drugs in his company’s many laboratories around the world. “My day-to-day work is really building and managing a company, and the education I got from BSU was very important to that,” Mr. St. Laurent said.
For most of the past decade, he has been a member of the university’s Foundation. Fellow Bridgewater State benefactor Louis Ricciardi, ’81, initially got him involved. Mr. St. Laurent said he enjoys giving back to an institution that has given him so much. He is quick to cite his mentor from 35 years ago, the late chemistry Professor Wilmon B. “Chip” Chipman, as an important influence in his life and career.
“One of the things that always impressed me back when I was in school – and I see this today, and it’s why I stay involved with the university – is it’s a very student-centric school,” he said.
Bridgewater State, Mr. St. Laurent added, was where he met his future wife, Linda, ’88, as well as his business partners. It’s also where he was given the strong foundation that has helped drive his career success.
Again, he said Bridgewater was to him as much a family as an institution. “You don’t see that everywhere,” he said. “I truly believe without Bridgewater my life would not be what it was today. It’s been at the core of a lot of what we’ve done and the success we’ve seen.”