Charter Student Gives Back
Generous Donor Audrey Taub '69 says the University was her Path to Opportunity
In preparing for UMass Boston’s upcoming 50th anniversary, university archivists came across a Boston Globe clipping, published January 22, 1965, and headlined: “Girl Accepted to College, Doesn’t Know Where.”
The girl described in the article, Audrey Taub ’69, was selected as the charter student of the new Boston campus by John Lederle, the university’s president. She is now principal economic/business analyst at Mitre Corporation in Burlington, Massachusetts, where she has worked for 27 years.
We chatted with Audrey about her experiences as one of UMass Boston’s first students.
“I know the tremendous impact even a small amount of money can have on a student.”
—Audrey Taub '69
Why didn’t you know where you were going to college?
I was an 18-year-old senior at Revere High School, and I represented the type of student the new university wished to recruit. I was strong in math and science and wanted to pursue an engineering career.
The president called me and asked if I’d be willing to serve as the charter student. He and other administrators invited me and my parents to the Parker House Hotel to generate publicity for the new campus. But at that time, the campus’s location had yet to be chosen.
The cost of UMass Boston's tuition her first year, $100 a semester, made such
What’s most memorable to you about those first years?
Commuting from the Wonderland Station in Revere [home of a dog track] on the Blue Line was an exercise in contrasts, especially on race days. The T was often lined with men studying their “green sheets,” and there was I, a petite young woman with my face buried in a calculus book.
The course work was rigorous. For a math major, I took a heavy load of humanities, including five semesters of German. It was prescient on the university’s part to make sure we had such a broad education.
You’ve made a gift to UMass Boston nearly every year since you graduated. Why?
The education I received at UMass Boston has been the foundation of my professional success. I was lucky. My father had gone to college on the G.I. Bill and could afford the $100-per- semester tuition. I’ll never forget the classmate who almost dropped out because she couldn’t afford a textbook, or the student who dashed off to Wilmington after class each day to work in a plastics factory.
I know the tremendous impact even a small amount of money can have on a student. Today, as in the late 1960s, it may mean the difference between completing one’s education or not.
To learn more about supporting the university, contact Kelly Westerhouse, director of the UMass Boston Fund at 617.287.5342.