Launched at the beginning of the 2021/22 season, the partnership was a key draw for Sam Ruopp to make the move to Belfast. After speaking to head coach Adam Keefe and head of hockey operations Steve Thornton prior to joining the team, he learned that Lasell offered comprehensive degree programmes, with a suite of more than 40 academic options.
Fully remote and online courses with flexible timetables presented the Canadian defenceman with the unique opportunity to complete an MBA programme off the ice, amidst winning two championship trophies on the ice and pursuing his professional ice hockey career.
Recently graduating from the MBA programme in 2022, Sam Ruopp said: “I’m so grateful to Lasell University and the Belfast Giants for giving me this opportunity. Not only has it helped my future self for life after hockey, but it’s made me a better person, particularly with time management. The online tutors were very supportive. I was able to manage my workload around practices and games, and pace myself.”
“I’m proud to be a Lasell University alumnus. After graduating, I can confidently say that moving forward I’m in a better position. I’m not ready to hang up the skates any time soon, but I’m set up for the future.”
In addition to the MBA programme, Lasell University also has other graduate level degree courses available, which Belfast Giants’ players can access. These include Master of Science in Applied Sports Analytics, Master of Science in Sport Management, and degrees in Business and Communication. Alternatively, players are given the opportunity to be enrolled in undergraduate degrees with discounted tuition rates.
“Lasell University truly values our partnership with the Belfast Giants and the Odyssey Trust,” said Lasell University president Michael B. Alexander. “Lasell is committed to further deepening our roots in Northern Ireland and we are excited to see many more graduates follow in Sam’s footsteps.”
Lasell University has deep ties to Belfast and The Odyssey Trust, owners of the Belfast Giants, as official webcast sponsors of the Giants, and more broadly, via the Harness Friendship Four Tournament which recently took place in November 2022 at The SSE Arena, Belfast.
During the tournament, Lasell students visited Belfast as a part of an international connected learning experience. The one-of-a-kind tournament champions elite NCAA ice hockey, but also places a large emphasis on education. The Harness Friendship Four is the only NCAA Division 1 hockey tournament played outside the United States.
For further information about Lasell University and the academic services they offer, visit the Lasell University website here.