Sometimes an era truly comes to an end.
After a 40-year career in LMU student life, and several years as an undergraduate and graduate student herself, Elena “Lane” Bove ’69, ’72 is retiring. Senior vice president for student affairs, she stepped down as of Jan. 7, 2022.
Long careers in higher education are not unusual. Bove, for example, has worked with six LMU presidents. But rarely has a person held a post of senior leadership during almost all the major events, from tragedies to triumphs, in a university’s modern history: the historic men’s basketball team’s run to the NCAA Elite Eight and the passing of Hank Gathers, the expansion of the campus to Lincoln Boulevard, and the December 2019 Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate, the most visible event in the university’s history.
For 33 years, Bove led the Division of Student Affairs. She founded, developed or oversaw programs to serve students in health and psychological services, media, social action, housing, career services, recreation, intercollegiate athletics, and more. As a woman forever shaped by her Marymount College experience, Bove was central in the efforts to establish the Marymount Institute for Faith, Culture and the Arts.
Bove derives some of her greatest satisfaction from the transformation she oversaw in women’s athletics.
“When I became vice president for student affairs in 1987,” Bove says, “there were no full-time coaches in women’s athletics and very little support for expanding women’s athletics at LMU. I am so pleased to say that today women’s athletics at LMU is vibrant, strong and relatively well-resourced.”
Along with her work in building programs, Bove earned a reputation as an advocate for underrepresented students, the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, Jewish and Muslim students, and Black, Latino/a and Latinx, and Asian American Pacific Islander communities. She supported students during the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 and has been deeply involved in the university’s recent efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Bove also drew recognition beyond the Westchester campus for her work with organizations including California Women in Higher Education. She oversaw LMU’s student media, including the Los Angeles Loyolan, and received the 2017 Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Award of the College Media Association for her outspoken defense of the First Amendment.
President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., and Provost Thomas Poon in a letter they co-authored when Bove’s retirement was announced, called her a pillar of the LMU community, a “bold leader, thoughtful educator, brilliant administrator, tireless free speech champion, generous alumna and donor, dedicated fundraiser, and passionate community member.”