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The Tufts Financial Network (TFN) brings together alumni, parents, and friends in the fields of finance, business, and real estate who are united not only by their professional goals, but also by their desire to build a brighter world. Across Tufts, TFN members are investing their time as volunteers and their resources as donors to impact the University in positive ways.

Justin, A98, and Ashleigh Nelson, J97, have found numerous opportunities to connect with their alma mater, including serving on the President’s Council. Justin discovered early on that it is surprisingly easy to get involved, especially with students. As a TFN Advisory Committee member and managing director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, he advocates visiting campus with your firm to recruit and posting internships and jobs on Handshake as a way to get started. “The quality of Tufts students increases every year, and they really just appreciate the chance to talk with someone.” Adds Justin, “opening doors for students is really personal to me, and I enjoy helping them explore the world of finance and eventually secure their first job.”

Riyadh Mohammed, A06, a member of the Global Business Practices team at Google, also recommends donating your time to start. Riyadh, with a handful of peers, helped spearhead the TFN Young Alumni Scholarship. He has also been active in helping TFN strengthen its programming for alumni of color. “Get involved in your local alumni chapter, do prospective student interviews, reach out to University Advancement to volunteer,” he shares. “Make no mistake, this is truly giving back!”

In addition to volunteering their time, TFN members continue to be extraordinarily philanthropic, supporting some of the University’s most pressing priorities. From endowing scholarships and professorships, providing funds for building projects, supporting the annual fund, or establishing the Tufts Finance Initiative, TFN families have a significant impact at Tufts.

According to Ashleigh Nelson, dedicating your support to areas that are important to you will also make your experience more meaningful. “Having majored in biology, I was thrilled to establish the Nelson Endowed Summer Scholars Fund for students working in the Allen Discovery Center.” Giving back to create opportunities for current students is central to the Nelsons’ giving philosophy. “Justin and I met at Tufts, so we have really strong, positive feelings toward the University,” shares Ashleigh. “Neither of us would be who we are nor where we are today without it.”

Volunteering your time and resources is a great way to strengthen your bond with Tufts, says TFN Co-chair Eileen Aptman, J90, who serves as CIO of Belfer Management. “It reminds you that you are benefiting from those who came before you and who also gave so you could receive.  And even more striking are the students you support. Tufts is a living, growing institution, and you want to be part of both the history and the growth!” Over the last 30 years, Eileen has supported the university through her generous philanthropy and advised numerous students through her efforts with the Tufts Career Center. A fundraising volunteer for her class reunions, Eileen also serves on the University’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Advisors for the School of Arts and Sciences.

For alumni who do not know where to begin, especially as they consider making their first gift, Eileen advises, “just get started – whether it be the Annual Fund, #TuftsGivingTuesday, your first reunion year or right after you graduate. There are so many opportunities, and no gift is too small.”

Why and how you give will evolve, too. “Ten years ago, the most valuable thing I had to give was my time,” says Justin. “But as you’re able to give, you give more,” adds Ashleigh. “And gifts that directly support students are more necessary than ever amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

For Riyadh, giving is also personal and not a short-term endeavor. “I grew up in a tough neighborhood in inner-city New York. If it wasn’t for the world-class education I received on the Hill, I am not sure where I would be today,” he says. “I look forward to continuing to help the University in any way I can to repay that immense gift.”

To express your interest to become more involved as a volunteer or donor, email