Assumption & The BASE Partnership Provides Full, Partial Scholarships for Inner City Students

Apr. 9, 2021
Office of Communications
Francesco Cesareo and Robert Lewis Jr.
Assumption University President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., and The BASE Founder Robert Lewis, Jr., at Assumption's 2019 Commencement, in which he served as the keynote speaker. Assumption and The BASE have signed a formal partnership that provide partial and full tuition scholarships to inner-city students, expanding the academic and athletic higher education opportunities for whose who would not otherwise have the resources to pursue a college degree.

Assumption University today announced the signing of a formal partnership with a Boston-based nonprofit that provides academic and athletic higher education opportunities for inner-city students who otherwise would not have the resources to pursue a college degree.

The University’s partnership with The BASE, a nonprofit that provides athletic, educational, and career-building resources to enable inner-city student-athletes to pursue a college degree includes four (an increase from two) full-tuition scholarships and four partial scholarships annually to qualified The BASE students. Assumption was one of the first institutions of higher learning to partner with The BASE in 2014, with the first The BASE scholars graduating from the University in 2018. 

“A critical element of Assumption’s mission, one that has been embedded in the institution since our founding, is to provide individuals from all backgrounds with access to higher education,” said Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., president of Assumption University. “At Assumption, these students will be supported in their pursuit of a Catholic liberal education that seeks to awaken in each student a sense of wonder and purpose as they encounter a world of ideas through their academic and extracurricular programs, both inside and outside of the classroom.”  

The Assumption and The BASE collaboration has yielded notable outcomes. The BASE scholars who have graduated from Assumption have secured impressive positions. Nick Call ’19 serves as a senior associate in portfolio operations for Bain Capital in Boston; Phil Gaines ’19 is a project engineer for Erland Construction; and Alex Richardson ’19 serves as community relations assistant for the Worcester Red Sox.

“I started The BASE because I wanted to shift the narrative regarding urban youth and show that urban talent is American talent,” explained Robert Lewis, Jr., founder and president of The BASE, who served as commencement speaker and received an honorary degree from Assumption in 2019. “Assumption’s continued support of The BASE and its belief in our students is changing the game for urban young people. Together, we’re providing student-athletes with the opportunity to obtain a college degree and the chance at building a brighter future, but we’re also changing hearts and minds across the country in demonstrating the true power of education.”

Lewis founded The BASE Boston in 2013, a program built upon the foundation of his success as a coach of the Boston Astros, which he began coaching in the 1970s. What started with only a handful of Boston-area youth now extends across the United States; Lewis established The BASE Chicago, and launched annual Urban Sports Classics in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. 

Richardson, a Rehoboth native who didn’t think he would even attend college until he encountered The BASE, joined the Worcester Red Sox after completing a productive internship while he was a student at Assumption. “My time at The BASE and Assumption have shaped me into the person I am today and helped turn an urban kid’s dreams into reality,” said Richardson, who said his time at Assumption instilled the importance and value of service, something that guides him in his professional pursuits. “I try to incorporate compassion and serving others into my daily life and job. I am blessed to have a career that combines my love and passion for the sport of baseball and allows me the privilege to have an impact on my community by paying it forward and giving back to others.” 

In addition to increasing the number of scholarships, the University will offer a number of on-campus visit opportunities for The BASE students to learn more about Assumption. They include an annual BASE Day visit; receptions with the University President; and a presence at The BASE’s Annual College and Career Fairs.