Florence Goldman, J38

By Kristin Livingston, A05

“College students the world over are generally agreed that college alums, even pleasant-faced, good-natured alums, are boring.” So reads the Jackson Senior Class History in Florence Goldman’s, J38, Tufts yearbook. But talk to anyone who knows Goldman and they say it isn’t so.

Florence Goldman, J38, at her home in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

The oldest living emerita Tufts Alumni Council member at 95, Goldman is known for her feisty wit and bright eyes. And she'll proudly sit for an afternoon with a fellow Jumbo for a walk down memory lane—or Professors Row, making sure to stop for every remembered hoot and holler from a long-ago prom or rally along the way.

Family ties and fond memories of Tufts have kept Goldman close to the university well after graduation and were the catalyst for her tireless volunteer work at the helm of the Tufts alumni chapter in New Hampshire for nearly 50 years. “My father graduated from Tufts,” she says, “my brothers, too, much later. So Tufts is in my blood.”

Goldman remembers “full dress” dinners with President Cousens, riding in a Model T with “fellers” from the tennis team on icy afternoons, heading into Fenway on Friday for Ladies’ Day, and sitting tall, ankles crossed beneath her skirt, in the chem lab, surrounded by men bound for medical school. “I wasn’t an A student,” she laughs, lightly touching a faded Tufts banner that has traveled with her for decades, “but I had five labs a week.” She, too, was premed.

After graduation, she worked in a hospital researching cholesterol. She then married and helped run a local pharmacy. Her husband wanted her to take the board exams for medical school, but ever the people person Goldman preferred the idea of running her own Main Street pharmacy in small-town New Hampshire.

Goldman's yearbook photo

A regular face at reunion, she soon wanted to bring together all of the Brown and Blue bloods in her region. She steadily revived the New Hampshire chapter, organizing meetings over the phone and raising scholarship money from across the state.

“It’s tough in a rural area,” says friend and fellow New Hampshire volunteer Dick Freeman, E51. “You’ve got somebody in the north, the south, on the sea coast, on the western side like us. How do you pick a place where you can get people to go to?” Goldman figured it out, he adds, and the chapter thrived. Her efforts and dedication have created a Tufts Alumni legacy.

Of her enduring devotion to her alma mater, the spirit seems to have been captured more than 70 years ago in that aptly written Jackson Senior Class History:

“We shall come back to reunions, fat and forty, perhaps, and bore the undergraduates we meet, or the husbands and children we bring with us. We may not be able to share our sentiments with them, but we can share them with each other—they are all bound up in that love for Tufts which no one has ever expressed more perfectly than John Holmes who knows that sometimes our hearts stand still, and ache to think how much we love—this Hill.”

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