If you’re a Tufts graduate, it turns out you can go home again. Four alumni are doing just that this year by returning to the university to earn master’s degrees at the Fletcher School through its low-residency program. The group includes two retired business leaders, a dedicated volunteer seeking a career change, and the managing director of a family shoe-making company.
The Global Master of Arts Program, called GMAP, is tough but “it’s a really great fit,” said Priscilla Billings Johnson Wong, J87, A16P, A20P, who is based in Connecticut and serves as the volunteer president of the nonprofit Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. “It opens your eyes to all kinds of possibilities.” Having worked in fund-raising, she hopes to transition into nonprofit program management, with a focus on education and international antipoverty efforts.
Tom Gorman, A82, enrolled as he prepared to retire from his position as CEO of Brambles, Ltd., after nine years with the global supply-chain logistics company based in Australia. “It’s not so much about the grade like it was as an undergrad. I’m really here to learn at a much deeper level,” he said. “The readings have been great; the professors have been stimulating; the students bring a diverse set of experiences and are incredibly capable.” While Gorman had feared that retirement would lack intellectual excitement, he now finds himself studying about 20 hours a week, often late at night or early in the morning, since he continues to work as a consultant.
GMAP is a hybrid master’s program in international affairs that combines residency sessions and online studies. Students participate in person for three two-week residencies during the twelve months of the program, which makes it possible for many to earn the degree while continuing to work full-time all over the world.
Two of the residencies are on the Medford campus, which is particularly interesting for those who studied at Tufts as undergraduates. Returning to campus for the August residency this past summer “was both thrilling and a bit scary,” said Brian Radliffe, who studied economics at Tufts in the mid-1970s and went on to a long career at AT&T, retiring as director of global business development. “Back on the Hill, going to classes, and living in a dormitory again. Wow!”
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