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The Tufts Finance Initiative (TFI) continues to receive support from alumni and friends of Tufts who wish to invest in providing students with education, training and guidance to develop successful careers in finance. As a result of gifts to TFI, Tufts now offers an undergraduate minor in finance. The initiative has also enabled the university to hire Christopher Manos, a professor of the practice in economics, and Chris DiFronzo, E96, EG04, a liaison in the Career Center between students and alumni who work in finance.

Most recently, alumni Marc J. Zwillinger, A91, and his wife Dr. Kirsten Chadwick, J91, made a generous commitment to TFI in memory of Marc’s mother, the late Sandra Rudel Zwillinger, A91P. Their gift honors Sandra’s legacy as a female pioneer and leader in the financial services industry on Wall Street in the 1980s.

Sandra’s Legacy

Sandra Rudel Zwillinger, A91P, smashed through glass ceilings. In the 1970s, she quickly climbed the Wall Street ladder, becoming senior partner at the brokerage firm Gruntal & Co, which went public in the ’80s.

“She lived in a world of all men,” says her son, Marc Zwillinger, A91, “but she was entirely fearless. Whether it was speaking to rooms of 300 people, opening or closing offices, hiring people, she ran it all.”

Following Gruntal’s successful stock market launch, Sandra continued working as a broker, next at Oppenheimer & Co, and then Kenneth Jerome. Although she stopped going into the office in her mid-70s, she never retired, and continued managing accounts until her death in 2012, at age 80.

In addition to her family – husband Eugene and Marc – Sandra made time for everyone. “If anybody in the family needed anything, she was there,” Marc says. “She ran financial affairs for friends and cousins, loaned money, financed businesses, everything.”

Education was vital to Sandra Zwillinger. With this investment, Marc hopes to inspire young women with similar ambitions. “To see another bright young woman gain passion and the tools for a career in finance at Tufts would be incredible,” Marc says. To know that the same young woman might then learn about his mother and carry on her legacy, he adds, would be priceless.

Zwillinger’s gift will specifically support skill-building and professional enrichment opportunities offered by the Tufts Career Center under the umbrella of TFI. This year, the program provided funding for two workshops with financial training consultants Wall Street Prep. Described by one student as “a semester’s worth of information in 48 hours,” Wall Street Prep gives students a true taste of work in finance through seminars on complex topics like modeling/valuation and mergers and acquisitions.

An Ongoing Effort

Through contributions to TFI, alumni and friends are helping Tufts prepare students for success in the world of finance. If you wish to help to strategically expand Tufts students’ knowledge and networks– and their prospects for the future, contact Jeff Winey, senior director of principal gifts and university initiatives, at 617.627.5468 or