Skip to Main Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer Navigation
Give Now

Profiles in Giving

Luis Dorfmann, A12P

About him

When Luis Dorfmann, A12P, joined Tufts in 2005 as an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, he was not a runner. In fact, he could barely jog half a block, he says. But when a colleague invited him to go for a run, he didn't want to be impolite and turn down the invitation. "I started, a little at a time, and I kept going," says Dorfmann, who recently completed his fourth marathon. He began his marathon career by accepting the President's Marathon Challenge in 2008 and finishing his first Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 43 minutes. He will continue to be a part of the PMC team next year.

Why he participates

"Part of the challenge is to run the distance; the other part is to raise funds," Dorfmann says. He grew up in Northern Italy where the concept of fundraising is not as well developed as it is in the United States. "Getting this kind of support is vital to the university to support its mission and is an incredible motivation to be able to run Heartbreak Hill during the Boston Marathon," he says. "Each contribution, no matter what size, is very valuable and much appreciated."

Dorfmann often tells his students that participating in the challenge provides a sense of accomplishment, which in the long run, may be more valuable than taking extra courses. "Running the 26.2 miles on Patriot's Day is a unique and unforgettable experience and makes you an integral part of Tufts University," he says. "At the end of the day, everyone gains something."

What Tufts means to him

"If Tufts were to be traded as a stock, I would tell you to invest in it," says Dorfmann. "President Bacow, the provost, and our deans provide outstanding leadership and have a vision for the future; we are always moving in the right direction. The contribution of a single person is recognized all the way up to the president. That doesn't happen at other universities. Here, you have all the opportunities you wish."