Editors: The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m., on Friday, March 2, in Drew Hall on Elm Street.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – On March 2, Smith College will dedicate the Center for Career Development in honor of Smith alumna Rochelle “Shelly” Braff Lazarus, chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, and former chair of the Smith College Board of Trustees.
Throughout her four decades as a leader in the advertising industry, Lazarus, a member of the Class of 1968, has built the brand images of such household names as American Express, IBM and Dove.
Dedicating the center in Lazarus’ name recognizes her longstanding commitment of time and philanthropy to her alma mater. Lazarus spoke about her career in her commencement address to the Class of 2005.
“When I first started my career it was perfectly acceptable in this country for a prospective employer to say to a woman, ‘We’d love to give you a job, but there are so few spots, and we couldn’t waste one on a woman’,” Lazarus told the graduating seniors.
“In the last three decades there have been many women who have found themselves on this same journey. Breaking down barriers, pushing up the ladder, elbowing our way to a seat at the table – lots of tables.”
Lazarus joined Ogilvy & Mather, one of the world’s largest marketing communications networks, in 1971. She was named CEO in 1996 and became chairman in 1997, a title that she retains after having relinquished the CEO title in 2009. Lazarus has been widely recognized for her success, regularly appearing in Fortune magazine’s annual ranking of the 50 most powerful women in American business. She is also a recipient of the Advertising Educational Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
A psychology major at Smith, Lazarus later earned her Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School — one of only four women in her class of 300. She has since received Columbia’s Distinguished Leader in Business award, the first woman to be given that honor.
Lazarus retired from the Smith College Board of Trustees in 2003, having served as chair for the previous five years.
The Rochelle Braff Lazarus Center for Career Development prepares students for meaningful undergraduate and post-graduate opportunities, and helps them to develop career decision-making skills to use during college and throughout life. The center provides individualized advising and access to extensive industry programs, career resources, jobs and internships, alumnae networking, graduate school information, recruiting and career fairs. The center also administers the Praxis internship program, which provides each Smith student a stipend to work at a summer internship.
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