NewsApr 23, 2018

Unveiling former President Moore’s portrait

Alumni Hall ceremony celebrates the legacy and impact of Joseph B. Moore, our fifth president

Students, alumni, faculty, staff, neighbors, former employees and trustees gathered in Alumni Hall on Thursday afternoon for the official unveiling of Joseph Moore’s presidential portrait, complete with a reception, speeches, plenty of jokes and even a few tears.

Around 100 people were on hand to catch the first glimpse of the oil painting carefully crafted by Professor Tony Apesos, a faculty member in the College of Art and Design.

Professor Tony Apesos is pictured alongside the portrait he painted of Joe Moore.

(View more photos from the event.)

“It’s a really odd experience to have your portrait painted, but rather than dwell on it, let me thank Tony for taking on this impossible task," Moore said to the crowd. "How lucky for me that Tony is not just a distinguished senior faculty member, but also a distinguished portrait painter. And I think, Tony, you were right to leave out the halo that I asked for,” he jested, as the audience erupted in laughter.

During the ceremony, Moore was hailed for his imprint across the physical campus, academic programs and the community during his nine-year tenure. Speakers praised him for raising Lesley’s profile and shepherding key initiatives, including community college partnerships, technology partnerships with local secondary schools, the Boston Speakers Series and the Urban Scholars Initiative, as well as the creation of Brattle Campus and major renovations to the Threshold Program.

More than a university administrator, Moore was also acknowledged as a champion and tireless advocate for students, taking all of their issues to heart.

“Those things are never forgotten, and are always appreciated, and they leave a wonderful legacy for our students,” said Trustee Deborah Schwartz Raizes ’69. “Our students remember Lesley and what the two of you did to help them.”

As Raizes indicated, the event was also a celebration of Beth Chiquoine, President Moore’s wife, who played a critical role in working with donors and cultivating important relationships with members of the campus community during her husband’s tenure.

The speakers hailed Beth Chiquoine (right), President Moore's wife.

“Behind every great woman is a great man, and we’re honoring Joe today,” quipped Board of Trustees Chair Hans Strauch as he kicked off the speaking program.

“Beth, you’re the best,” said Trustee Emeritus Donald Perrin, who was chair of the board at the outset of Moore’s presidency. “Beth was an amazing partner in fundraising efforts, and they never missed an undergraduate student move-in day, faithfully attended student athletic events, and always opened their home to student events.”

Joining the chorus of praise, Moore reflected that he was “lucky enough to have a spouse who shares your passion, and makes you better than you are.”

A lasting legacy

All of the speakers noted tangible contributions of Moore’s presidency that continue to benefit Lesley, such as the Strauch-Mosse Visiting Artist Lecture Series, the “brainchild” of Moore and Dean Emeritus Stan Trecker, according to Strauch, whose family foundation endowed the program that brings artistic visionaries to campus, such as “Hamilton” star Christopher Jackson earlier this month.

“I want to thank Joe, once again, for making that happen and helping my family contribute in such a meaningful way to Lesley’s mission,” said Strauch.

Lesley President Jeff Weiss (left) shares a laugh with his predecessor, Joseph Moore.

President Jeff Weiss, who was appointed in 2016 to succeed Moore, hailed his predecessor’s enormous impact in shaping Lesley over nearly a decade. Raizes said that today’s campus bears the fruits of Moore’s innovation and tireless work to build relationships with donors.

The crowning capital achievement, perhaps, was the construction of the Lunder Arts Center, which opened in 2015 in Porter Square, and serves as the background for Moore's portrait.

“It has transformed our university in so many ways,” said Strauch, “and your leadership made that happen.”

“The Lunder Arts Center really took years and it was a project of love,” noted Raizes.

As President Moore stepped to the podium to conclude the speaking program, he jested, “In my retirement I’ve been working on a book, and I just want to read the first draft,” eliciting laughter from the audience.

He recalled his time as Lesley’s fifth president as “occasionally intense, often rewarding and always interesting,” and he was bemused and humbled to join the annals of Lesley history with his likeness adorning the historic Alumni Hall walls alongside the university’s past leaders and founder, Edith Lesley.

“Any positive outcomes of these nine years resulted from many people. There are many others who need to get their portraits painted,” Moore said. “The real story is the lived experience of faculty and staff,  Lesley’s education programs, and the day-to-day experience of our students. Buildings are great, but it’s what goes on inside that matters.”

“Lesley is an amazing place, we have an amazing mission, we have purpose,” said Strauch. “Your nine years were transformational; everyone in this room knows it. I’m so happy your portrait will be in this room so we can be reminded of you.”