Volunteer Stories

Keshia M. Pollack, J00
Her current work on two Alumni Council committees is bringing bright ideas to student and alumni outreach and engagement.

Tufts in 150 Characters

How would you describe Tufts in 150 characters or less?

That's the question we've asked thousands of Tufts alumni as the 150th anniversary of the Tufts University Alumni Association approaches.

We got the idea from Twitter. Our hope has been to invite replies – word pictures, haikus, bits of verse, brief reminiscences – that portray the colorful mosaic that is Tufts.

The response has been remarkable. A few criticized the grammar of the question. (Yes, it should be 150 characters or "fewer" – Ed.) But many more expressed great enthusiasm for the assignment.

Below are some of the very creative, colorful, and sometimes poignant replies received to our initial e-mail this past fall.

If you haven't already, we invite you to send us your description of Tufts in 150 characters or less by emailing alumni@tufts.edu.

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The college on the hill, formerly under the aegis of President Hermon Carey Bumpus, and home to the American Tissue Games Association in the 1960s. It’s where Rounder Records was born, and maybe eBay, and maybe Tracy Chapman’s career. Jumbo went up in flames. It still feels like home.
—Bill Nowlin, A66, Ph.D. ’80

A place that opened my eyes, stimulated my brain, enhanced my growth, introduced friends to my heart and then launched me into the world.
—Robin Benty, J91

Coach Don Megerle
—David R. Ackerman, A83

Robyn Gittleman of the Ex College & Professor Fred Schepler helped me create a class—Int'l Cultures & Cuisines. I'm now celebrating 21 years in the global coffee business! Thx.
—Melissa J. Pugash

Th’imperfect egg of th’old Arena Theater
Lights out, the pause before the play
Audience intimate, still; our collective breaths held
Anything is possible
—Robi Polgar, A87

Sunday mornings, freshman year.
Both sides of the 2nd floor of Miller Hall converge at the stairs.
Together we march to brunch at Carmichael Hall.
Conversations are lively.
Laughter is shared.
Lifetime friendships are forged.
—Melanie Wallack Cadenhead, J86

Tufts provided the opportunity for me to work in northern Greenland (2 summers) and far north Alaska while a student, opening up a subsequent career as a geologist working on glaciers over the world.
—John Reid

The cannon stares out over the hill and fires up generations of Tuftonians.
—Warren M. Little, Ed.M '66

TUFTS molded me in ways I recognize every day, over 30 years later, as a learner, a friend, a spouse, a parent, an occupational therapist, a leader, a citizen of The World.
—Caroline Larson, BSOT73

Mountain club hikes, skis,
Peeps singing, Cheap Sox, spring flings
Life-long friends frolic
—Karlynn Cory, E94

That tree on the quad, chapel concerts, Yid Lit, hikes in the White Mountains, WMFO, Ex College, sundaes at Joey’s, campaign for John Anderson, the libes.
—Jane Kershner

Unconditionally accepting
Success building
—Sharen Barboza

Mother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, brother, husband, godfather, me…family. Brown and blue family. Maybe add a son and/or a daughter?
—Liz Milman Christo, J87

Professors’ doors open, walk right in; quiet study in Tisch; fantastic friendships; fitness on the field; too much to take in within four years.
—Cristin Gallup Rich, J83

There were at least 150 characters in my engineering class!
—Diana Jacobson Zankowsky, J74, E74

Preserves the tranquility of a country campus within the grasp of a great city.
—Jonathan Targett

Tufts gave me poetry. XJ Kennedy, Maxine Kumin,
great teachers offering a life in words. I am still
in that life each day. Tufts gave me France, too, and I go back
to teach every June or May. Come with me!
—Marilyn (Zimmerman) Kallet, J68

Junior Year in Tuebingen 1989. The Berlin Wall fell. The result of many chipping away at a problem with perseverance and purpose. I wanted a career that tries to bring down walls.
—Jane Leu, J91

Tufts is place where dreams are pursued and passions are born.
Lifelong friendships are nurtured in an atmosphere of exploration, collaboration, and celebration of hope in what is possible.
Diversity of ideas and people are the rule at Tufts and the resulting adventures are savored for a life time.
Waking each morning with great anticipation of what the day holds and what new and exciting challenges will arise is a luxury that is priceless.
The depth of genuine interest and involvement of faculty and staff creates an extended family that is remembered with fondness and great appreciation even as time and distance accelerate.
The gift of time at Tufts engenders a desire to stay connected and help others experience this very special place.
Tufts is an attitude, a state of mind, a celebration of what it means to learn everyday we have the opportunity to take a breath.
—Ray Powell

Mother, then daughter, set off to Tufts:
Forever to share Jumbo,
The Quad,
Love for reading and writing,
And calling the third floor of Stratton Hall home.
—Sandy Novack

—Tracy D'Allesandro Carreiro, J84, V88

At Tufts I found the truth of Eric Liddell's assertion: “We are all missionaries. Wherever we go, we either bring people nearer to Christ, or we repel them from Christ.”
—Burton B. Bruce, P.E.

Tufts did not teach me what to think, nor did she give me the answers. She taught me the value of synthesis, to answer answers with questions, and to approach life holistically.
—Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson, Ph.D.

Huff puff up drumlin. Robert Frost in chapel, John Holmes in class. Who will be mayor this year? Will Audrey be first woman? Kursaal for coffee dates, love and caffeine a perfect match.
—Carol Schneider Anderson, J57

As my 9 year old son might say, "Tufts is small but mighty." The Medford campus feels like a small college, but Tufts is so much larger than the hill. The work of our faculty, students and alumni reaches every corner of the earth. A light on the hill shining ever so brightly.
—Abbe Schiffman, J81

A perpetual light on high illuminating dreams, diversity and diligence for a small-town boy from Maine.
—Jonathan Greenleaf

Tufts is a silver moon and city skyline atop Tisch library roof. A hill paved with grey stone and script, lessons strong below my feet. Every step here a journey forward.
—Hali Ganbold, J06

Late nights at the old Arena Theatre. Creaking boards, banging pipes, but make no mistake, hallowed ground.
Rehearsals, dress rehearsals, scenery building, costume construction, opening night! The stage so intimate you can hear the audience breathe. Sit down beside them and draw them into the play. The utter darkness of the house. Creeping on stage for the opening act; no more run throughs, no more rehearsing, no last chances. Cue lights, cue sound, Act I, Scene One!
Doc Collins’ booming voice directing Arthur Miller, Kal Burnim’s Diary of Anne Frank, Laurence Senelick and his mad Russians, Peter Arnott and his ancient Greeks, Tony Cornish and Shakespeare. An eclectic collection of artists and actors and directors, designers and writers pouring their souls into this collaborative effort that might, just might produce something wondrous and magical. It always did.
—Chris Romano, A79

Brown and Blue, Light on the Hill
Torn Ticket II theater + Jumbos sports
Music + Science + Engineering + Liberal Arts
Friends for life, Life with friends
—Charlie Seymour Jr., A73

Tufts…Inspiration to think beyond; Vision to see beyond; Strength to reach beyond.
—Michael DeAngelis, M.S., M.P.H., R.D., Tufts N00

Tufts was a magical place before the holidays in 1959–1963. The week before Christmas break there usually was snow on the ground, and we would get trays from the dining hall. Many of us used our "borrowed" sleds to slide down the hill next to the library. Excitement, Christmas lights, and soon returning home to celebrate the holidays with our families added to our magical image of Tufts at that time of year.
—Barbara Lickstein, J63

Walk into prof’s office to discuss term paper. Afterwards, we talk about movies for an hour. This isn’t an irregular event at Tufts. That’s awesome.
—Devin Toohey, A09

Tufts taught me not to fear my own creativity.
—Steve Leichman, A06, BEATs co-founder

Senior year, finally running around the quad exposed, excited, loved, & happy. No boundaries, only opportunities, forever grateful for these memories.
—Candice N. Lewis, A05

A big tufty hill
Hard to walk up in the cold
Easy to walk down
—Sam G. Baris

—Dennis McCoy

Teachers learn and learners teach:
respect for self and others
the wonder and joy of knowledge
ethical paths to achievement and service:
Peace and Light
—Jon (Jim) Oxman

Walking the tightrope from my Midwestern childhood into adulthood, I landed at Tufts.
Art! Drama! Politics! Literature! Just what I was looking for.
—Peggy Wagner Kimble, J71

An old mythic elephant
reverted to ash in a fire
and left for peanut butter in a Peter Pan jar
On a forgotten shelf in Jackson Hall.
A taxidermised tail somewhere lost to book-stacks.

The school on the hill--
Carmichael Hall
With its three meals a day and cereal wall.
My first grilled cheese with tomato,
The way only in Boston they use white American instead of yellow
And it melts like cream.

A Medford/Somerville/Davis Square dream
A redline bisection,
A safety shuttle invention,
A hockey detention
A round sounding cheer, a victorious scream.

Boston Ave. for Pizza, College Ave. on a jog.
Opportunities to row, swim or picnic on the Quad
Deciding on the Future, learning from the Past.
Engineers writing poetry and poets doing math.
Do you want to be a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Writer, a Vet?
At Tufts University, there is learning to be done yet.
—Joselin Linder, A97

Personally for me and my brothers, who all received academic scholarships to attend Tufts School of Engineering between 1987–1992, Tufts is our "GATE of Opportunity and Liberty." Just a little bit of background. My brothers and I were refugees escaped from Vietnam in 1984. We were approved to immigrate to Boston following the established process for political refugees in 1985. We transferred to Tufts from North Shore Community College in 1987 and had the privilege to work with the wonderful and caring advisor, Mrs. Marian Connor, from the Adult Student program at Tufts. The combined five-year B.S./M.S. program had allowed me to meet Jim Moseman who was a grad student at the Chemical Engineering Department in 1989. We got married at Tufts' chapel in 1991 and have been happily married for 18 years. Some times, I feel bad that we could not give back to Tufts enough to what the school had given us. However, we can proudly say that we are being good role models for the youths in our local communities and work places, carrying the message that a good education and CAN-DO attitude will help us to become a true productive American citizen. We are honored to be part of Tufts Community and Family. Go…Go..Jumbo!!!
—Anh Dao

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