Bill Gehling, Former Athletics Director, to Lead Office of Alumni Relations

Gehling, A74, AG79, A05P, has been dedicated to Tufts for decades, as a student, a coach, and an administrator

Bill Gehling on Tufts’ campus. The former Tufts athletics director, he will lead Office of Alumni Relations

Bill Gehling, A74, AG79, A05P, has been named the new executive director of the Office of Alumni Relations, (OAR) having served in the role in an interim capacity since April 2019.

“Bill has done a commendable job as interim executive director, providing seasoned leadership, stability, support, and a boost of confidence to the team,” said Eric Johnson, senior vice president of advancement. “I am grateful that the OAR team, all of us in University Advancement, the Alumni Council, and the Tufts University Alumni Association will continue to benefit from his leadership experience and deep institutional knowledge in this role.”

The former director of athletics, Gehling has been at Tufts for nearly five decades, as a student, a soccer coach, and an administrator. However, his family’s history goes back still further—to his parents, who met at Tufts and graduated with the Class of 1943.

“There are so many forks in the road that determine your life―you don’t even know how many there are,” said Gehling. “But those forks made Tufts a big part of our family―there are nine of us in our extended family who have attended Tufts.”

At Tufts, Gehling was an all-star soccer player, graduating in 1974 with a degree in child development; he also earned a master’s in education from Tufts. In 1979, he began a 20-year tenure as coach of the women’s soccer program, guiding the Jumbos to the NCAA national quarterfinals in 1998, his final season.

In 1999, he was appointed Tufts’ fifth director of athletics. Under his leadership, the Jumbo varsity sports program grew in reputation, consistently ranking among the very best in the nation at the NCAA Division III level. In 2015, Gehling moved from Tufts Athletics to University Advancement to serve as senior advisor. In that role, he was responsible for building a network of athletics alumni and exploring fundraising opportunities in support of Tufts athletics and other university priorities as part of Brighter World: The Campaign for Tufts.

For his service to Tufts, Gehling received the Tufts Athletics Distinguished Achievement Award and the Hosea Ballou Award, both in 2015, and the Tufts Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Steve Wermiel, A72, A10P, president of Tufts University Alumni Association, said, “Bill brings so much experience with Tufts and so many thoughtful perspectives on how Tufts has changed and grown. I have worked with Bill at a time of transition in the Office of Alumni Relations, and he has brought a sense of stability and a calm leadership style to the role. Across the numerous roles he has played at Tufts, he has consistently earned the respect of alumni and university leaders alike.”

The Tufts University Alumni Association is one of the oldest college alumni associations in the United States and has more than 100,000 members worldwide.

Jennifer Covell, J86, the association’s president-elect, said, “It’s been a pleasure working with Bill during his tenure as interim executive director. Given his perspective as an alumnus, together with his experience in Tufts Athletics and University Advancement, I think the alumni association will be well positioned to further strengthen our alumni body’s connection to Tufts.”

Of his appointment to the directorship, Gehling said, “I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to lead the OAR team and deepen collaborative efforts within the university and with our alumni partners. Our goal is to engage and connect the extensive, diverse Tufts alumni family, which is crucial to the long-term success of the university we all love.”

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