Never mind the University’s offer of health insurance, retirement funds, or access to the Tufts gym, the most rewarding benefit of working at Fletcher is the opportunity to get to know our fantastic students.  Unlike access to the gym, it is a benefit that I take advantage of every day.  And that’s why the joy that students feel at their own graduation is mixed with a little sadness for me and other members of the Fletcher faculty and staff.  It isn’t that we’ll never hear from these people again — in fact, there are some beloved members of the class of 2008 due back for this weekend’s reunion — but the nature of our contact inevitably changes.

Every year, I try to recognize those students who have regularly brightened my day.  There’s no way to cover the entire list — this is a blog, not an encyclopedic resource — but I’ll single out a few groups, not that thanking them is a substitute for seeing them regularly.

For starters, there are the stalwart Admissions Interns who do the widest possible array of substantive and trivial tasks for us, always with good cheer.  Farewell and good luck to Katie and (Dear) Ariel!  Then there are the students who are selected to serve on the Admissions Committee.  Thank you to this year’s rock star team of Lily, Bernardo, Felix, Margot, and Hillary (who did double duty as an Admissions Intern, starting her work with us before classes began two years ago).  Thanks, too, to Elspeth, a Januarian who did her Admissions Committee service a year ago, but also spent some time with us this spring, turning data messes into beautiful reports.  And more thanks to Violet, Juan Sebastian, and Heidi, who participated on the MIB Admissions Committee either this year or last.  Finally, thanks and good luck to our wonderful, generous, and dedicated volunteer interviewers.

And, of course, there are dozens of others.  There’s Patrick, whom I’ve known seemingly forever.  And Maliheh whom I’ve so enjoyed working with on the blog.  And PhD students including Erik, Courtney, and Ethan, all of whom have also supported the work of the Admissions Office.  From here, it becomes difficult to isolate individuals, but thanks to the many people whose minute of conversation is well worth stopping for as we cross the Hall of Flags.  Or students whose applications I promoted in Admissions Committee meetings, but who don’t know that, and also don’t know that I watch their progress through Fletcher to be sure they were a good bet.  Or students who pepper the Social List with interesting (or “interesting”) bits of news, analysis, information, or humor, keeping us informed about students’ interests and concerns.

Naturally, I hope that all of these students and all their classmates enjoy their Commencement weekend and bask in the pride of friends and family.  But don’t forget us after you leave Fletcher!  Send a note once in a while.  Connect with us via your preferred social medium.  Most important:  Do great things in your work and community that we hear about in the years to come.  We’ll miss you, but we wish you all the best!

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