Keeping It in the Family DiPietro Dentistry Boasts 65 Years of Family Dental Care

Keeping It in the Family DiPietro Dentistry Boasts 65 Years of Family Dental Care

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

For 65 years, the DiPietro family has been offering general family dentistry to patients from Revere and around the area. Keeping the business strong today are three siblings.

Dr. William DiPietro DMD, Dr. Christopher DiPietro DMD (Tufts University School of Dental Medicine) and dental hygienist Gina DiPietro share their workspace and their enthusiasm for dentistry every day.

Their father Dr. Joseph DiPietro, who lived on Rumney Road, started the business in 1954 and built the office at 123 Revere St. in the 1970s. He retired at the end of 1993 and passed away in 2016.

“It’s been two generations of personal care and attention,” said Dr. Christopher DiPietro.

The practice uses an intra-oral camera so patients can see the work going on, and all the dental work done in high magnification, he added. They also use digital X-rays.

“We use the latest materials, metal free,” Dr. Christopher DiPietro said.

Dr. Rebecca Paccone, DMD, is also a member of the practice. Paccone is a graduate from University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. The practice uses specialists for oral surgery. Most root canals are done in the office, but in a pinch a specialist can also be called in.

Many of the employees have worked for DiPietro for more than 10 years.

DiPietro Family Dental Care was awarded 2018 Best of the Best Award from Market Surveys of America.

“Our father had a lot of influence on us, we wanted to be like him,” Dr. Christopher DiPietro, adding that when they came to the office the biggest toy was the water spray.

As the siblings matured, they would assist their father with dental procedures, handing him instruments and gauze as needed.

All of this exposure to dentistry at a young age has stayed with all three through adulthood.

“Being exposed at an early age, we picked up on the dentistry,” said Dr. Christopher DiPietro. “That’s how we developed an interest. Today they find they can be working at opposite ends of the building and not see each other all day.”

“We get so busy with what we are doing,” he said, but they’ve allowed each other to have space.

They can also brag that they have some of their original patients from 1954.

“We have some who were single in 1954, who are now great grandparents,” he said. “We have a lot of generations of the same family. That’s pretty much how we have built our patient base.”

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Smiles All Round – Dr. Fatima Maarouf Celebrates Second Year in Winthrop

Smiles All Round – Dr. Fatima Maarouf Celebrates Second Year in Winthrop

Dr. Fatima Maarouf is approaching the second anniversary of her growing dental practice, Harborside Dental, 313 Main Street.

Two years ago Dr. Maarouf made a major decision in her career to acquire the practice of long-time Winthrop dentist, Dr. Richard Schwartz, who had served the community for four decades.

“Dr. Schwartz retired and I took over the practice,” said Dr. Maarouf proudly.

One of the first orders of business was selecting a name for her new practice. As a homage to the town’s status as a seaside treasure, Dr. Maarouf chose, “Harborside.”

“I think of Winthrop as a beach town and I love the beach and being around Winthrop, so we decided Harborside is a good, calming name,” she revealed.

Dr. Maarouf has made an investment in the town and its future. She and her husband, Hugo Solis, who works as an attorney for the BPDA and as a real estate agent for the Winthrop office of Coldwell Banker, moved from East Boston to Winthrop a year ago. Harborside Dental is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and she and her husband are members of the Cottage Park Yacht Club.

Harborside’s dental assistant, Mirjeta Gjinovici, and treatment coordinator, Lindsey Robinson, also call Winthrop their home.

There have been some noticeable changes made in the dental office in the past two years. Dr. Maarouf renovated the entire office, installing new dental chairs, computers, software and other state-of-the-art equipment.

Dr. Maarouf, 33, grew up in Lebanon where she attended American University of Beirut and received her degree in Biology in 2007. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry in Richmond in 2011. She moved to Boston in 2012 and completed her residency program at Tufts University, performing adult special needs dental care and hospital-based dental care.

“I ended up loving Boston and staying in the area,” said Dr. Maarouf.

She became an associate dentist at offices in the Boston area, but had dreamed of having her own practice.

“I realized that eventually I wanted to be a business owner,” said Dr. Maarouf. “When this practice came up, it was in a really cute town and excellent location with ample parking and T accessibility, so I felt it was a great opportunity. My husband and I really love it here. My team also lives here. We’re all invested in the town.”

Dr. Maarouf performs dentistry for patients of all ages, as early as age one to those in their senior years.

“We do a variety of fillings, crowns, fluoride treatments (for children), cleanings, extensive veneer and bridgework, implants, extractions, and teeth whitening,” said Dr. Maarouf. “We also work closely with specialists for certain procedures such as extensive root canals and implant placement.”

Dr. Maarouf recommends preventative care for all patients and suggests regular checkups every six months.

She has begun a series of educational visits to local pre-schools where she talks about the importance of dental care. “Prevention is really important, especially when kids are young,” she said. “I try to teach them that it’s fun to be at the dentist.”

Dr. Maarouf tries to accommodate her many patients’ work and activity schedules with expanded office hours (8 a.m.- 7 p.m. on some days and is open one Saturday a month).

And she is also expanding her knowledge, keeping abreast of the latest technological advances in the dentistry. “I do a lot of continuing education courses and attend workshops and seminars throughout the country.”

Dr. Maarouf said the decision to open her own practice was a tough one, but she is pleased with the reception in Winthrop and excited about her future here.

“There are challenges that you don’t anticipate and you’re responsible for everything, good and bad, so there’s a lot that is put on your shoulders – but when you’re trying to create something that you love, it makes it all worth it at the end of the day,” Dr. Maarouf concluded.

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Guaranteed to Make You Smile: Drs. Mobed and Parsi Find Great Success

Guaranteed to Make You Smile: Drs. Mobed and Parsi Find Great Success

Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily Parsi certainly have a lot in common.

Both are scholars, which goes without saying. They hold degrees in engineering: Dr. Mobed, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Parsi, three advanced degrees in Civil, Water Resources, and Computer System Engineering.

Both attended dental school in the Boston area. Dr. Mobed completed his dental training at Boston University while Dr. Parsi studied at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

But perhaps, most significantly, they share the same home address. Dr. Mobed and Dr. Parsi are husband and wife, the parents of two children.

And they have been practicing dentistry together at their state-of-the-art offices, Northgate Dental, located at 603 Broadway that has been in existence for 27 years. Dr. Mobed is an endodontist specializing in root canal surgery. Dr. Parsi is a pedodontist specializing in children’s dentistry.

Dr. Mobed began his practice in 1992 at the Northgate Shopping Center before moving to Broadway. Dr. Parsi joined the practice in 2008. They also have a dental practice in Brookline.

Yes, they do work side by side in the Revere office, though as Dr. Parsi states, “I treat the children. He treats mostly adults.”

Of course, everyone asks the question, “What’s it like for a couple to work together?”

“It’s great – we really support each other quite a bit,” said Dr. Parsi. “I feel it’s good to know that you can trust the other person 100 percent.”

Dr. Samantha Bogle is the orthodontist at Northgate. Dr. Joey Chang is the oral surgeon and the director of the pre-doctoral program at Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

Do Dr. Mobed and Dr. Parsi talk about dentistry at home during dinner?

“Unfortunately, a lot,” Dr. Parsi said, smiling.

“We go to dental conferences together but we attend different lectures,” added Dr. Mobed.

The dentists have stayed on top of the major technological advances in their profession and their offices feature the latest state-of-the-art equipment.

“I think one of the biggest changes have been in CT scans and microscopes, and everybody gets white fillings instead of silver fillings,” said Dr. Mobed.

Dr. Parsi said preventive care should begin early. “The primary goal in pediatric dentistry is to prevent cavities, so we want to see children as early as 6 months old, but no later than the first year of age,” said Dr. Parsi. “Because the objective is to teach the parents how to take care of their children, ideally so the children will never have cavities, rather than seeing them at the time when there are already cavities in the mouth.”

Dr. Parsi said Northgate wants to be “a dental home for families, so patients know where to go when there are issues, but hopefully we can prevent these issues from happening.”

27 years in Revere

Dr. Mobed has been a practicing dentist in Revere for 27 years. He has treated two generations of families who have been coming to Northgate Dental.

“I like the people,” said Dr. Mobed. “It’s a good community and they’re appreciative of what you do for them.”

“I’ve had patients who I saw when they were very little, and now they now see him,” said Dr. Parsi. “Depending on the patient’s personality, anywhere between the ages 15-18, they’re ready to see the adult dentist.”

She is proud to see her patients dedicating themselves to dental care and prevention.

“I’m especially happy to see the children whom I’ve seen six months old, because they end up being very healthy, and it makes me sad when somebody whom I’ve never seen, comes in to the office and they have major needs. I’m glad we’ve made such a strong connection to families that we’ve known for a long time. It’s very satisfying.”

Dr. Parsi recommends that her patients have regular dental check-ups every six months.

Interestingly Dr. Mobed came to the United States from Iran 40 years ago with the goal of becoming a professional soccer player.

He accomplished that goal, earning a spot on the Boston Teamen professional team that was based in Framingham.

One of his fondest soccer memories was playing for an Iranian team that had an exhibition game in that country against Brazil and Pele, arguably the greatest soccer player in history.

“In 1978, Brazil came to Iran for some exhibition games when Pele was at the top of his game and was most famous at that time,” recalled Dr. Mobed. “I was fast, but too skinny, otherwise I wouldn’t be a dentist now.” But fortunately for their many patients, Dr. Fardad Mobed and Dr. Lily Parsi are dentists now and they look forward to continuing their successful partnership at Northgate Dental for many years to come.

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Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Turner Conquers the Track Physically and Mentally in Distance Events

Chelsea’s Justin Turner is coming off of a league MVP season in Cross Country, and has been racking up wins for indoor track this winter as well. The senior captain said he loves chemistry, but hopes to working in computer programming. Here, he is shown running the two-mile at a meet last Weds., Jan 9, during a meet at Lynn Tech.

When Chelsea High track standout Justin Turner hits the last lap of a two-mile race, it isn’t so much the training or preparation, but the mental toughness to find energy that just isn’t there. He would know.

The senior captain has prevailed in most every two-mile event already in the indoor track season, and he also made a huge splash in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference (CAC) as the League MVP in cross country.

“I think the finish is more mental, probably because you know you’re so close to the finish and you want to do anything you can to get there and also hold off anyone who is exact same thing to try to catch you…At the beginning, I try to hold off the adrenaline rush for the start. It’s about getting a good pace and settling in and focusing. On the last few laps, you pull out everything you have left in order to finish – and that’s the mental part.”

Turner, 17, attended the Early Learning Center, the Berkowitz Elementary, the Wright Middle School and Chelsea High. He said he started being athletic at a young age, playing football and other youth sports, and becoming the athlete in his family.

He began cross country and track his freshman year, and has participated continuously all four years. Having been mentored by star athlete Jose LeClerc, who graduated last year, Turner said he stepped up to lead the team this year. Though he is a quiet leader, he said that he believes other team members look up to him.

Turner said he enjoys distance running because it’s a very controlled sport.

“It’s more about paying attention to what I’m doing and not getting distracted by what’s around me,” he said.

“You have to motivate yourself and if you don’t it’s hard to stay focused,” he added.

When it comes to the classroom, Turner has never had a GPA below 3.5, and he said he enjoys chemistry the most. However, he hopes to focus his attention on computer programming in the future.

He said his older sister is involved in that, and he watched her over the summer programming video games, and he felt that was something he really wanted to do.

He has applied to seven colleges so far, but said he hopes to be able to go to Suffolk University so he can try to run track and cross country there as well.

Beyond the classroom and the athletic fields, one might have seen Turner in the front row of the concert band, where he plays flute and piccolo.

He said his mom and dad, Russell and Erikka Turner, have been a support system throughout his track career not only for himself, but also the whole team.

“My mom and dad and family came to my first meet and they always come when they can,” he said. “They support me throughout my years and they support the rest of the team too. They don’t just support me, but everyone on the team.”

Turner also has three siblings, Jyllian, Teri and Kyle, and he said he has enjoyed growing up in Chelsea. “There is a stereotype out there that Chelsea isn’t the best place, but people in this community fight that stereotype and they do everything they can to make it the best city it can be,” he said.

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Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

Collins Center Lays Out Roadmap for New Superintendent Search

It’s been so long since Chelsea has sought out a new superintendent that there isn’t even a current job description.

For so many years, Boston University (BU) appointed a superintendent as it ran the public schools for decades, and when current Supt. Mary Bourque came into the role, it was long-decided that she would succeed former Supt. Tom Kingston – the last BU appointee.

Now, for the first time in 30 or 40 years, the School Committee will be tasked with finding a new leader for the public schools.

“This is all new to all of us,” said Chair Rich Maronski. “It’s even new to the School Department. They don’t even have a job description for superintendent. They have to create one now, which tells you how long it’s been.”

Bourque said the Collins Center was most recently used by the schools to hire Monica Lamboy, the business administrator who took the place of Gerry McCue. She said it was also used to hire City Manager Tom Ambrosino and former City Manager Jay Ash.

“The first couple of steps will go slowly, but from the middle of February to May it will be intense,” she said. “I can’t be involved in it then. I’ll be more of the logistics part. There is a lot of community input, but it’s a School Committee decision. Chelsea hasn’t had a search since before BU…One interesting point is we don’t have any internal candidates. In Revere, Supt. Paul Dakin was succeeded by an internal candidate, Dianne Kelly. None of our internal candidates feel they are ready to move up. Because of that, it’s going to be an outside candidate.”

Maronski, Supt. Bourque and the rest of the Committee met with the Collins Center last Thursday, Jan. 10, to go over the timelines and parameters of the upcoming search.

“It’s all structured by the Collins Center,” he said. “They are looking at the May 2 School Committee meeting for us to vote on this. That would be the first Thursday in May. I believe they will want to get it done by June because that’s a very busy month for us. I think the Collins Center is pretty good. They had all the dates worked out and structured for us. That helps.”

The notice of a job opening will go out on Feb. 8, and focus groups of teachers, staff, parents and community groups will form about the same time. They will be charged with coming up with a candidate profile that will be used by a Screening Committee to review all of the applicants.

The Screening Committee will be selected by the School Committee on March 7, and it will be made up of appointed members, including City Manager Tom Ambrosino, parents and teachers.

They will conduct private interviews of candidates in April, and they will forward a public list of finalists to the Committee around April 4. Community forums and public interviews will take place from April 22 to 25.

A contract is proposed to be signed by May 10.

Bourque said she will remain on through December 2019 so that she can mentor the new person and help transition them into the “Chelsea way.” Since it will be an outside candidate, she said that will be critical. “Chelsea has a very strong reputation and coming in with a solid transition plan with the exiting superintendent to help them is something people will like,” she said. “At the same time, it is an urban district and it is a complex district. Some people don’t like that, others do.”

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Dr. Erika Fellinger of CHA Everett Named ‘Top Doc’ for Surgery

Dr. Erika Fellinger of CHA Everett Named ‘Top Doc’ for Surgery

Between taking her kids to gymnastics and riding her bike from her Somerville home to the CHA Everett (formerly the Whidden), Dr. Erika Fellinger somehow finds time to perform just about any kind of surgery that might walk through the doors of the community hospital.

Her dedication and listening skills, many say, are notable, and it is one of many reasons she was recently named a Boston ‘Top Doc’ in the latest issue of Boston Magazine. Once a year, the magazine highlights several doctors and specialists who have gone above and beyond in the medical profession. This year, Fellinger was recognized.

“It was a surprise, and it’s an honor,” she said. “I think it speaks a lot for CHA. I love my colleagues. We have a mission driven group of physicians and I consider myself one of them. I love my patients and listening to their stories and knowing their families and the staff here. I think if that’s what gets you ‘Top Doc,’ then there needs to be more of it. That’s really what we need more of in medicine. We need people who enjoy the stories and the people. I’ve been on the other end as a patient and I know how it feels. Even if I can’t fix them, the listening I can do is critical.”

Fellinger didn’t come by way of Harvard or Boston University, like many top doctors in the area, but rather by way of the mountains and valleys of practicing community medicine in Vermont – with a few years training in Africa as a member of the Peace Corps as well.

She said the key for her has been to focus on the patients of Everett, Chelsea and Revere and really get to know them. As a general surgeon mostly conducting minimally invasive surgery, she can be doing everything from removing a gall bladder to repairing a knee to treating a gunshot wound that cannot wait.

In the midst of those procedures, she said she has always made an effort to visit with the patients – learning about them whether they are five generations in Everett or they have just arrived from any number of countries around the world.

“General surgery isn’t usually warm and fuzzy, but I feel fortunate the training I had in Vermont featured role models that listened to patients and their stories,” she said. “It helped to find out what was wrong with them. Coming down here, I realize now that was a really unique experience and I am fortunate.”

Fellinger, 50, was born in Washington, D.C., but said her “hippie” mom retreated to Maine when she was 11. As the oldest of five children, she said there wasn’t a lot of money, but there was always a lot of work to be done. She got a big break in landing a scholarship to Smith College. After college, though, this non-traditional surgeon took another non-traditional route on her way to the operating room.

“After college, I thought I wanted to go to medical school, but wanted to get experience so I joined the Peace Corps,” she said. “I ended up in Africa for four years. It was life changing. I still have friends there, and with cell phones, it’s much easier to talk to them now.”

She returned to the United States and enrolled in the University of Vermont Medical School (which is Maine’s in-state medical school). She married a Vermonter, and was a resident for 10 years up there, later completing a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Bay State Medical Center in western Massachusetts.

Some 14 years ago, she got an offer to come to the “big city,” being offered a position at the former Whidden and at Cambridge Hospital. Going back and forth between the two facilities, however, was challenging. Soon, she was able to decide between the two, and she chose Everett.

“I had a choice between Cambridge and Whidden and I chose Whidden,” she said. “I loved it. It’s a great operating staff. Everybody really cares and bends over backwards to help out. I also love the patients. My practice has grown. I see many of my patients out in Everett when I go to eat, and I’ve even seen patients while taking a steam at Dillon’s Russian Steam Bath in Chelsea.”

The hospital has changed, she said, but only for the better – as she noted everyone is now board certified and it’s much more academic. She said she often describes herself to patients as a “butts and guts surgeon” due to the fact that general surgery can entail both parts of the anatomy.

More than anything, she said she enjoys being a compassionate physician who could face just about any kind of care.

“It’s a community hospital,” she said. “I love being able to take care of anything that comes through the door.”

Fellinger is married, and has three children between the ages of 13 and 8. They make their home in Somerville.

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In Appreciation: Remembering Elaine Richard

In Appreciation: Remembering Elaine Richard

The greatest legacy of Elaine Marie Richard was seated in the front rows at the Our Lady of Grace Church.

The four loving and devoted sons, Ken, Jim, Jack, and Edward – these four scholar-athletes, all graduates of Chelsea High School and the best universities in the nation – led a beautiful tribute to their beautiful mother.

When it came time to encapsulate all that Mrs. Richard had meant to her family and the great example she had set for her children and the family, it was Jack Richard, who stepped to the lectern to deliver the eulogy.

A brilliant, personable man who excelled at Tufts University and Boston College Law School, Jack rose to the occasion with words that showcased the richness of his talents.

“Before I speak for my brothers, I should first speak for my mother,” he began. “Many of you here today have been so good to her through the years, and I know she would want me to begin by thanking you all and by telling you how much she and we appreciate all your kindnesses to her big and small.”

Jack told the assemblage that the day truly was “a celebration of life, a full life very well-lived and filled with great joys, but also marked by great sorrows.”

Jack said their mother grew up in a big triple decker in Chelsea “in a house full of family and faith” where she was doted on by her older sister, Marjorie, and brother, Edward.

Elaine Doherty Richard was an excellent student herself and graduated at the top of her class at the St. Rose School.

“When Elaine Doherty, that cute little girl, grew to become a beautiful young woman, she met the one and only love of her life,” said Jack. “Ken Richard was talented, handsome, strong, and as we kids would say, ‘wicked smart.’”

Elaine Doherty and Kenneth Richard married when she was 22. “The four of us were always so proud of both of our parents,” said Jack.

The four boys were born five years apart. Mrs. Richard would prepare meals for her four sons and her husband each day. She would send her sons off each morning to Our Lady of Grace School. The boys did their homework at night at the dining room table with the assistance of their mother.

“But day after day, every day, Elaine Richard did it all with grace and with cheer,” said Jack. “All in all, our mom, against all the odds at that time and place, she succeeded. She was proud to say she went 4-for-4 with her sons.”

But just as Elaine and Kenneth Richard “were about to enjoy all the benefits of their work – with all four kids in college, they were finally about to get some well-deserved time together for themselves, my young and healthy dad passed away suddenly,” related Jack. “My mother’s sweet and happy world was crushed. She was only 44 years old.”

Following the death of her husband, Elaine Richard “never quit on life and she soldiered on, and day by day, year by year, she built a new life and she taught us a lesson in grace and in perseverance, a truly good example.”

“If you know my brothers and me,” then you know Elaine Richard,” said Jack. He praised his brothers, “Ken, who was thrust in to the role of the man of the house when he was just a college kid, protective of us all and the most solid dependable man there is; Jim, a deeply spiritual man whose faith and his family are the very center of his life; and Ed, the best guy with the biggest heart who would do anything for you, but also with the strongest will of anyone I’ve ever known. We are what we are because of her.”

Jack Richard said this Christmas their mother gave the family “the most important gift and lesson.”

“She taught us how to die,” said Jack. “For two weeks, we had all been taking turns at her bedside, just as she had done with us so many times when we were sick as children. We got to say how much we loved each other. We held her hand and we told her how good she was. She spoke of how this family she had built would live on, in us, in her 12 grandchildren, in her five great-grandchildren.”

Elaine Doherty Richard died on Christmas day. She was 86 years old. She will be missed.

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GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

GreenRoots Talks with Senior Citizens about Public Transit

There has been no shortage of discussion about what people think about public transportation service in Chelsea, but many of those conversations don’t always include the elderly, and that is one of the largest populations to use the service.

On Monday morning, GreenRoots staff and a graduate student from Boston University gathered to speak to seniors in a multi-lingual, confidential discussion about what needs to be improved.

“We wanted to have this conversation because so many seniors depend on public transportation,” said Sarah Levy of GreenRoots. “We want to know what is working and what is not working. We hope this will being a conversation on how to improve public transportation for you all. It’s not going to be us coming one time and going away.”

The group was lively and many seniors turned out for the meeting.

Some of the answers were unique to the older popular.

“The strollers are often a problem for us,” said one woman. “Seniors get on with canes or walkers and the baby strollers block the space. When the bus starts going, they can’t get to a seat because the strollers slow them down. They can fall down.”

Added one woman, “I would suggest that they have strollers get on in back. That gives more space for seniors in the front.”

Another request was to educate the young people and adults about getting up to provide a seat for an elderly person.

“I hope the T can have an educational campaign to better let young people know that they are supposed to get up and provide a seat for an elderly or handicapped person,” said one man.

By and large, though, the biggest complaint for seniors was the infrequent service and the inaccurate time schedule.

“If you don’t come at the right time, you have to wait another hour,” said one woman. “The 111 is usually ok, but the 116, 117 and 112 are always late and they are too crowded. Sometimes you can’t get on because it’s full and then you have to wait an hour for another bus.”

Added another woman, “Many people are left behind because the buses are so crowded. They are left standing there in the cold because there is no room for them.”

Other major concerns were:

  • There needs to be more places to get a Charlie Card in Chelsea.
  • The MBTA needs to schedule a time to come to Chelsea to do photos for Senior ID Passes.
  • There needs to be more regular 111 buses and fewer 111C buses.
  • The Chelsea loop bus to the Mystic Mall needs to be more predictable, and it needs to also go to the Parkway Plaza.

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Suffolk Success Story:University Renames Residence Hall in Honor of Michael and Larry Smith

Suffolk Success Story:University Renames Residence Hall in Honor of Michael and Larry Smith

Suffolk University renamed its oldest and largest residence hall in honor of two of its most esteemed graduates,

Chelsea High School classmates and friends joined Larry Smith and Michael Smith at the dedication ceremony of the Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall at Suffolk University. Pictured at the ceremony are, from left, Jeanne Blumer, Larry Smith, Barbara Lawlor, Michael Smith, Arlene Taraskiewicz, Helen Dobbyn, and Joanne Chelotti.

Michael and Larry Smith, during a ceremony Friday at the hall located at 150 Tremont St. across from Boston Common.

Shawn A. Newton, associate dean of students, served as master of ceremonies for the program.

“I’m extremely happy to welcome you to 150 Tremont St. today, Suffolk’s oldest and largest residence which is about to have its name changed,” said Newton. “Today we’re honoring with our special guests, Michael and Larry Smith, who without your generosity and support – thank you for being role models and for being great leaders. We truly appreciate your support to Suffolk.”

Marisa Kelly, just hours before her inauguration as the new president of Suffolk University, noted the history of Suffolk’s first residence hall and praised the Smith brothers for their extraordinary history of philanthrophy to the University.

“It really is a great day at Suffolk University and I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible dedication,” said Kelly. “This is the residence hall that launched Suffolk on the new chapter of this educational journey when it opened as the university’s very first on-campus home for students in 1976.”

Recognizing the Smiths’ ongoing generosity to the University, Kelly told the assemblage, “Michael and Larry Smith are really doing so much to build community here, of course by all of their contributions, but specifically what they’re doing to build community as part of our residence life program.”

Kelly said Michael (Class of 1961) and Larry (Class of 1965) each earned business degrees at Suffolk “and they were armed to find great success in the insurance business. They have been incredibly generous to their alma mater. Larry Smith now serves as a member of the University’s board of trustees. We thank you, Michael and Larry, for your loyalty to Suffolk, your exemplary generosity and we’re just so grateful for your involvement here.”

After receiving a warm ovation from the many guests in attendance, the two brothers, who grew up in Chelsea, took the podium for the ceremonial unveiling of the rendering for the new Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall.

Michael spoke first, thanking the University “for this great honor. “I wish my mom and dad were here to see it.”

“I love this university,” he said. “It helped us grow. I want to thank everyone for showing up today. It’s just overwhelming. When I went to college in the early 1960s, we had one building. It was a great education, great professors and I’m so proud of Boston and Suffolk University. I wish everyone the best success.”

Larry, a basketball star at Suffolk and at Chelsea High School, echoed his brothers’ sentiments, stating, “we’re very, very proud of Suffolk University.”

Larry recalled his humble beginnings as a boy, working early mornings in Boston as a window and floor washer. He said he would then change in to his school clothes at Chelsea High. He became a scholar-athlete on the basketball team and earned a scholarship to Suffolk.

“The tuition at that time was $600 and Suffolk University and Charlie Law came and gave me a scholarship,” he said.

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Suffolk Students Henry, Nastri Speak at the Dedication Ceremony

Suffolk Students Henry, Nastri Speak at the Dedication Ceremony

Two Suffolk University seniors, Sean Henry and Andrea Nastri, were the student speakers at the dedication ceremony for the new Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall.

Henry, an ice hockey player representing Suffolk’s student-athletes, noted the Smiths’ past gifts that led to the creation of the Michael S. Smith and Larry E. Smith Fitness Center on campus.

“When it comes to being a student-athlete at Suffolk, you join a family bigger than you can expect,” said Henry. “Larry and Michael Smith, you came to Suffolk University in the 1960s and I know Larry was a star on the basketball team, so you’ve known for a long time how great this family is. Your loyalty to Suffolk and your numerous generous donations have changed this program and I hope that one day I can show half the generosity that you’ve shown this University. This residence hall is a great tribute to the two of you. We can’t thank you enough for everything you have given us.”

Nastri, a third-year residence assistant at the hall, said as a freshman, she met two of her best college friends in the residence hall.

“I was delighted to live in the city and be at Suffolk University and with that positivity, I met a lot of friends who shared my enthusiasm,” said Nastri. “This is not just a building across the street from the historic Boston Common. This is not just a Suffolk University building to me. This is my home. This is where I’ve grown up. This is where I’ve grown up. This is where I’ve connected with others. This is my place.

“Smith Hall will be the name people remember years from now when they laugh about the memories they made here,” said Nastri. “Smith Hall will embrace students with open arms in to a safe and inclusive environment.”

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