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Home away from home

Like countless undergraduates, Ashley Siegel, A15, packed her bags and flew more than a thousand miles from her hometown for college. Leaving her on the steps of Haskell Hall on matriculation day was tough for Venezuela natives and Florida residents Frank and Virginia Siegel, A15P; like so many parents, hugging their child goodbye rattled the nerves and called for tissues.

But ask them today why they love Tufts so much and the Siegels have a simple answer: Ashley found a home away from home on the Hill.

The Siegels didn’t travel nearly as far as their daughter when they went to college. While working full time to pay her tuition, Virginia attended school in South Florida, near her family, which had moved to the States when she was a girl. Frank likewise earned his degree close to home in Venezuela.

That’s why they’re thrilled at how comfortable Ashley feels at Tufts, which she first visited on a whim during a trip to Boston in high school. According to Virginia, she and her daughter scouted out as many colleges as they could in the metro area, leaving Tufts until the very end. As it turned out, they saved the best for last.

“I saw she just felt right at home, the greenery, the open space,” says Virginia. “It was warm, diverse, pretty much just what she was looking for.”

A gift to create a legacy

Owners of a successful paper trading company, the Siegels donated $100,000 to Tufts to create the Frank and Virginia Siegel Scholarship Fund.

While Ashley is a big reason why they decided to make such a generous donation to the school, the current Tufts Financial Aid Initiative offered an added bonus: As part of a drive to increase financial aid, a generous donor is offering to match any newly established endowed scholarship of $100,000 or more doubling the impact of these gifts.

“The Siegels value deeply the their daughter’s Tufts education, and the overall experience she is having at Tufts. In terms of ways they could make an additional impact at the university, the Tufts Financial Aid initiative seemed to be the perfect fit for them. It offers them a way to leave a lasting legacy for their family at Tufts–a place they all have come to love.” adds Director of Tufts Parents Program, Gina A. DeSalvo.

With this endowed gift, the Siegels will be opening doors to generations of deserving Jumbos, while showing Ashley and her brother, a current senior in high school, the value of education and philanthropy. Ashley is a premed student, majoring in biopsychology and minoring in German. She tutors a Somerville fourth-grader once a week, plays intramural volleyball, and is treasurer of the German Club; she’s happy and thriving at Tufts. To be able to give that opportunity to others, says Virginia, “that’s priceless.”

To learn more about the Tufts Financial Aid Initiative and how you can join the Siegels in their philanthropy please contact Gina A. DeSalvo, Director, Tufts Parents Program at or at 617-627-0644.