Before Gloria Larson’s Bentley swan song, a new book

Bentley University president Gloria Larson has released a new book, “PreparedU.”
Chris Morris for The Boston Globe

When Gloria Larson says she’s putting pen to paper, she really means it.

The Bentley University president blew through a stack of legal pads as she compiled notes for her higher education book, “PreparedU,” just published by a division of John Wiley & Sons.

In some ways, the book will be a swan song for Larson: She plans to leave the business school in Waltham, which she has run for a decade, at the end of the school year.


Her penchant for legal pads dates back to her days at the University of Virginia’s law school. Larson went on to a career in state government as a top aide in the Weld administration. She chaired the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority while a partner at Foley Hoag and continued on the MCCA board during her early years at Bentley.

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To research her book, she drew on connections made over the years in Boston, including Hill Holliday’s CEO, Karen Kaplan, and Citizens Bank executive Jerry Sargent.

The book is aimed at a variety of audiences: college-bound kids, their parents, employers, educators. It highlights the importance of what Larson calls a hybrid form of college education: a mix of business school “hard skills” and liberal arts “soft skills.”

Employers need workers who can hit the ground running without much training, she says, but they also want to hire people who have developed critical thinking and communications skills during their college years. Bentley and a number of its peers offer models for making business schools more like liberal arts colleges, and vice versa.

Larson may need some career advice of her own soon. She says she’s still figuring out what her next chapter will be.


“I’ve got some intriguing [possibilities],” Larson says. “Interesting people have suggested some things to me. But I still have this whole year in front of me. . . . I can’t think of a more rewarding job than the one I’ve got right now.”


A new HUD chief for N.E.

A veteran New Hampshire political operative who ran Ben Carson’s presidential campaign in the state has been named New England’s top federal housing official.

David Tille was sworn in Monday as regional administrator for the New England office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Previously the regional director of a free-market small-business advocacy group, Tille has worked as an aide to three Republican members of Congress from New Hampshire and on various political campaigns in the state. In 2016, he ran campaign operations there for Carson, who is now HUD’s secretary.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Tille said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Secretary Carson, the HUD Region I team and our dedicated community partners across New England, to listen to and explore innovative ways to best meet the housing and community development needs of our region.”


Tille will take over a Boston office that oversees the six New England states for HUD, working with local governments and housing authorities on federal grants, economic development, and housing programs. HUD plays a key role overseeing vouchers and other low-income housing programs and local development block grants, and it needs to approve large-scale projects to redevelop public housing in Boston. Earlier this year, the Trump administration proposed sharp cuts in HUD’s budget, but Congress has pushed back.


BC fund-raiser: $11m?

What Boston College bills as Boston’s biggest fund-raiser may be about to get bigger.

More than 7,000 people will pack BC’s Conte Forum on Friday night for the 25th annual Pops on the Heights scholarship gala.

Suffolk Construction’s owner, John Fish, a board trustee, says he hopes this year’s event will raise more than $11 million for BC scholarships — topping the $9 million raised last year.

This year, the event will again feature the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart. This time, they’ll be joined by singer and actress Jennifer Hudson. Actor Chris O’Donnell, a BC grad, will preside over a ceremony honoring composer John Williams.

The event grew during Fish’s tenure as board chairman, which ended earlier this year. Fish is still closely involved as a trustee. BC trustees David O’Connor and Phil Schiller, and their wives, Maureen O’Connor and Kim Gassett-Schiller, are running the event this year.

The high cost of college, Fish says, is one of the biggest challenges in higher education. At BC, tuition, fees, and room and board exceed $67,000 a year.

“Deep inside, people want the people who don’t have the financial means not to be sidelined,” Fish says. “People who want to attend Boston College should not be handicapped by their financial position.”


A bank looking to grow

Denis Sheahan, Cambridge Trust’s CEO, has recruited one of Boston’s best-known bankers as he looks to expand the bank and build its investment management business.

Sheahan just hired Mark Thompson, a former chief executive at Boston Private Bank & Trust, to be his number two. Thompson will be Cambridge Trust’s president and oversee its private banking operations.

Thompson was most recently part of a team of investors that had been poised to buy Admirals Bank. Thompson’s group wanted to buy Admirals’ traditional banking business and rename it Bank & Trust Co. of Boston. But those plans fell through this past summer after a federal agency raised concerns about the bank’s corporate governance and financial standing.

So Thompson started talking with Sheahan about Cambridge Trust. They plan to develop more specialty lending opportunities, in part by targeting the VC and private equity firms that are backing the city’s innovation sector and by getting more active with family-owned businesses.

Sheahan is also moving the bank’s stock to the Nasdaq Capital market to make it easier to raise funds for a possible expansion. Being able to sell shares more easily outweighs the higher costs and extra paperwork, he says. Also, the 11-branch bank will be looking to add more talent to its team, as Sheahan looks to continue the growth he embarked on after becoming CEO in 2015.

Meanwhile, another local firm has poached a couple Cambridge Trust execs. David Walker left Cambridge Trust earlier this year to join Moody, Lynn & Lieberson, an employee-owned investment firm, as a managing partner. Walker then recruited Eric Warasta from Cambridge to be a portfolio manager. Cambridge’s wealth-management business oversees $2.8 billion in clients’ assets, while Moody, Lynn & Lieberson manages about $1.1 billion.


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