Volunteer Story, Betty (Blake) Hinkley, J63, A95P

 


Betty (Blake) Hinkley, J63, A95P, remembers a bittersweet moment at the top of the Memorial Steps, the campus behind and the world ahead.

Current occupation: Quality Assurance Manager, Dun & Bradstreet in Waltham, MA

Volunteer experience at Tufts: Tufts Alumni Admissions Program (London, Minneapolis, Austin, Boston); Tufts Alumni Council; Board and President, Cape Cod Tufts Club; Class of 1963 Reunion Committee

Most memorable volunteer experience: Working on my reunion committee; that brings back memories. I volunteered to write an in memoriam for our deceased classmates, and as I worked on the list and discovered how many had passed away, I felt incredibly sad that they were no longer with us. The least we could do was remember them in name and thought. A short service was organized, and as I looked around the room at the folks who had made it back to campus, I realized the true value of reunions: rediscovering ourselves and the bonds that we had as students.

Why volunteer? I believe in education. I also believe in Tufts, and I want to help make it the best place for students to have their college experience. Having worked on several large campuses over the years, I fully appreciate the benefit of the “smaller” university. Although Tufts has expanded since my graduation, I believe this has enhanced the student experience. I’ve also been impressed with the hard work and commitment of the faculty and staff. For many of them, Tufts isn’t just their job, it’s their life. The small amount of time I can give as a volunteer pales in comparison to their dedication, but it is time that I gladly give. Plus, I get to meet all kinds of wonderful people and be inspired.

 

Favorite spot on campus: Standing at the top of the Memorial Steps always made me feel so fortunate to be exactly in that spot, with the view of the main campus behind and the rest of the world ahead. Somehow it made me feel like I was in a very special, transitory place, temporarily separated by those steep steps from what lay ahead in my life. Following commencement, that landing seemed like the perfect place to contemplate what role I would play in the world, but going down those stairs was a bittersweet journey. I was leaving a place that I had loved so much, but looking forward to the next set of steps to climb.

A piece of Tufts to have forever: I’d take a little piece of Cohen auditorium with me. I spent many hours there as a member of the chorus, taking music classes, listening to operas in the cubes, and playing the piano. “Mac” and Professor King were so friendly that they felt like family. Music was pervasive at Tufts. The band played at football games; the band, orchestra, and chorus combined to give many concerts. Music was special, and I’m delighted that music at Tufts is alive and well today, and that there is a marvelous new building in which to perform.


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