When Stacey Morse, E77, lived in Hong Kong, she was struck by the reputation Tufts has earned there. Despite being 8,000 miles away, the university attracts many applicants from the densely populated Asian city.
The positive reputation Tufts enjoys is related to the strong local alumni community, which Morse got to know as leader of the Tufts Alumni Admissions Program in Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012. “Engaged alumni become better ambassadors for the school, wherever they live,” she says.
As a member of the Board of Advisors of both the School of Engineering and the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, Morse has learned that lifelong alumni engagement is more likely to occur when graduates become reengaged within five years of leaving campus. This propelled her to offer a $75,000 matching gift, to be split evenly over five years, to encourage giving by young alumni. The matching challenge she is helping to fund will launch in March, when the Young Friends of Tuft Alumni will be holding events in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C.
“Sometimes young alumni think, ‘I can’t give enough to matter,’” says Morse. “With a matching program, if they give $20, they’re actually giving $40. I hope it will encourage them to make a gift.”
Morse herself was unable to give much as a recent graduate. But she offered what she could and was able to contribute more over the years.
Morse says her primary goal is reconnecting more alumni to Tufts and their fellow graduates. But she recognizes the need for alumni to give back. “Tufts has become a more remarkable place and it’s on a great trajectory,” she says, “but in order to keep going, it’s important to broaden the university’s base of support.”
Written by Dan Eisner. This story first appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Blueprint. Read the full issue online here.