Volunteer Story, Timothy Nelson, E04

What he’s doing now:  Structural Engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, San Francisco, CA

How he gives back: Tufts Alumni San Francisco President, Tufts Alumni San Francisco Steering Committee, Tufts Alumni Council, Tufts Alumni Council ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee, Tufts Alumni Council Regional Programs Committee

I’ve had so many great experiences volunteering for the Tufts University Alumni Association, but the most memorable is definitely Tufts Alumni San Francisco’s trip to the San Francisco Food Bank in 2013.  We had over 20 alumni volunteers come together one weekend before Thanksgiving to sort through thousands of donated food items and help the Food Bank package over 1,000 boxes to be shipped to local elderly residents. To me this event summed up everything that our alumni organization is about: bringing together our alums, being active citizens, and supporting our local community. 

There are a lot of reasons why I volunteer for Tufts.  It’s a great feeling to support the institution that helped me prepare for and find a career that I love.  But I also do it because, as a Connecticut native living on the West Coast, the alumni community has always been a family for me.  I’ve met lots of great people, made professional contacts, and gained valuable leadership skills from my experiences with both the San Francisco regional chapter and the Alumni Council.

If I could, I’d want to go back and relive the opening night of Torn Ticket II’s production of the musical Into the Woods.  It was spring 2002, and I had the opportunity to conduct a 14-piece orchestra for the show.  This was something I had never even dreamed of doing, let alone as a college sophomore.  Into the Woods is a challenging show with a lot of music, and  the feeling I had after putting the baton down at the end of our very successful opening night in front of a packed Cohen Auditorium is something I’ll never forget.  I would love to share this day with my son, Logan; perhaps when he’s a little older.  I hope that music plays a role in his life, and I hope he can one day have a similar opportunity; maybe even at Tufts!

My favorite spot on campus is Goddard Chapel, hands down.  Aside from being a gorgeous building on campus, it’s also where I spent almost every Sunday night, singing with the choir at the 10pm Catholic Mass. The Chapel is extra-special because it’s also where my wife, Sara, and I were married in the summer of 2009.

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