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Profiles in Giving

Joe Findaro, A78, A12P

The Inspiration

“Frank Colcord, chairman of the political science department, was a Mr. Chips-type professor, a first-class gentleman,” recalls longtime Washington, D.C., attorney Joe Findaro, A78, A12P, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior under President Reagan and a self-described “behind-the-scenes Tufts consigliere” who has helped many young alumni get a footing in the nation’s capital. “I was premed in the fall of 1976, but found a greater calling toward law and government. I went in to see Frank Colcord for advice, and we became great friends. He inspired me to double-major in political science and psychology. He asked me to be a teaching assistant, even though I had no experience with his course, Introduction to the City. He challenged me to do an honors thesis so I could qualify for summa cum laude. I said, ‘Frank, I’d have to get straight A’s next semester to hit the GPA mark!’ He said, ‘You will.’ No matter that Frank was a liberal Democrat and I started the College Republicans: he became my Tufts mentor. He was a real inspiration, an all-around nice, decent guy. He was like family to me.”

The Gifts

Findaro gives monetarily to the Tufts Fund for Arts, Sciences & Engineering, and gives even more of his time and energy to his alma mater. “Tufts is a lifelong experience,” he says. Next April he plans to run his fourth Boston Marathon with the President’s Marathon Challenge team. This past spring he saw his son Mark, A12, win a national title with the men’s lacrosse team. He also has been active on the Parents Committee and on his 25th and 30th Class Reunion committees. “Tufts is one of the greatest undergraduate institutions in the country, if not the world,” he says. “It’s a hands-on place where students get to know their president, deans, teachers, and coaches—all of whom teach you not only to be strong intellectually, but to have a heart.”

The Impact

Support in the form of financial contributions and volunteer time helps ensure the next generation of Tufts students enjoys a first-class education. Gifts to the Tufts Fund support student scholarships, faculty excellence, academic and athletic programs, facilities, and technological resources—all the things that make up the essence of Tufts. Volunteers, in the meantime, are critical to Tufts success. Whether spreading the word about the university’s goals and initiatives or working with development staff to raise funds, volunteers are needed more than ever to help Tufts support its students and faculty. Learn how you can help by visiting the Tufts Fund.