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Alumni Take Time To Give Back

Alumni Take Time To Give BackDuringcommencement weekend, approximately 100 Tufts alumni set asidea day to help renovate an area preschool that serves mostly low-incomefamilies. Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [06.14.05] Tufts held its third-annual alumniservice day over commencement and reunion weekend, bringingnearly 100 Tufts alumni from the past 40 years together to helprenovate a Somerville child care center.

"Thework they're doing, we really can't afford to do," said DarrinDyer, director of the Cambridge Economic Opportunity CommitteeChild Care Center in Somerville, told the Somerville Journal."We, like most educational institutions, have to stretchthe dollar."

The centerhas been serving children from Somerville, Medford, Cambridgeand Malden for more than 30 years, with 78 children currentlyin its care.

Among thetasks performed by the alumni – who ranged in age from 20-somethingsto folks in their 60s – were painting murals, constructingradiator covers and shelving, and assembling literacy resourcekits for families, according to The Boston Globe.

"Theyjust seemed to be elated with the attention that they got,”said participant Dan Winslow (A'80).

During thetwo previous service events, alumni helped builda new playground for children in the Clarendon Hill housingdevelopment and improvethe facilities at the East Somerville Community School andCummings School.

"Thehope is that the alumni service day will be a gateway to greaterand more long-term involvement either with Tufts, its host communities,or communities where alumni reside across the country," GregPropper (A'01) – who helped organize this year's event andalso organized the inaugural alumni service day – said inan interview.

Theannual alumni service projects are the brainchild of two membersof the UniversityCollege Board of Overseers, Deb Jospin (J'80) and VanessaKirsch (J'87), with whom Propper sits on the UniversityCollege Alumni Advisory Council.

"Thefact that over a weekend where colleges and universities aroundthe country typically engage in pure celebration, recreation andsocializing, Tufts University chooses to organize and engage ina service project, speaks volumes towards its dedication to publicservice and active citizenship," Propper said.

Some alumnicame away from the experience with a deepened understanding ofthe world around them.

"Whatwas more striking to me was that in the shadows of the prosperityof Davis Square and Tufts University, there could be such abjectpoverty and such need a short walk from Tufts campus," saidWinslow.

"Thereis no better feeling than looking at a beautiful, new mural ona wall that used to be chipped and faded," said Propper."But, I believe, participants also leave with a sense thatthere is so much more work to be done."

Photos courtesyof the Office of Alumni Relations







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